On dark winter evenings it is not easy to imagine life without electricity, but if we cast our minds back to the grand houses of the past we might visualise the beautiful chandeliers.
ANTIQUE CHESS SETS
So often one sees articles on the history of chess and frankly, to a chess collector it is probably the last thing on his/her mind.
ANTIQUE CHINESE SNUFF BOTTLES
Chinese snuff bottles, and the powdered tobacco which they contained, were at the heart of a fashion that had no equivalent in China’s long history.
When was wine first decanted? Did the Greeks and Romans pour their wine from amphora into a smaller vessel to then be served at table?
ANTIQUE GLASS PAPERWEIGHTS
Most antique paperweights were made by one of three French factories, as a sideline, for just 10-15 years in the mid-1800s.
Nowadays it might seem incredible that, as late as the 1300s, Man believed the world was flat and that sailors departing for the unknown might drop off the end.
ANTIQUE JAPANESE WORKS OF ART
The range of Japanese antiques from the Meiji period is extensive, covering collecting fields such as ceramics (the most highly prized being Satsuma), ivory carvings, bronzes and mixed metal work, silver items, cloisonné, lacquer.
ANTIQUE MINIATURE FURNITURE
The skill of the cabinet makers in producing these pieces is truly amazing, and in some cases the work involved would be greater than producing the full size example.
ANTIQUE PALAIS ROYAL
For collectors of thimbles needlework tools, and needlework boxes some of the most beautiful and sought-after pieces are known collectively as ‘Palais Royal’.
ANTIQUE SINGING BIRDS
Why are antique singing bird automatons having a big impact on today’s audience? Perhaps it is because these fine and rare examples are seen only occasionally.
ANTIQUE STAFFORDSHIRE FIGURES
In Staffordshire during the middle of the last century there were many small pot banks churning out hundreds of different models, covering such themes as Royalty, Theatrical, Crimean, Political and Crime, to name but a few.
ANTIQUE TEA CADDIES
Tea caddies of the 18th and early 19th centuries not only reflect an important and fascinating social custom, but they demonstrate the best craftsmanship in practically every decorative material and technique of the age.
What exactly is Vizagapatam work? Vizagapatam work is the term used to describe pieces made by Indian craftsmen around the town of the same name on the Coromandel Coast of India.
ANTIQUE WEDGWOOD FAIRYLAND LUSTRE
Fairyland Lustre is the name given to a type of lustrous and brightly coloured decorative china made by the factory of Josiah Wedgwood and Sons under the artistic direction of Daisy Makeig-Jones.
WILLIAM LIONEL WYLLIE RA
William Lionel Wyllie R.A. is considered by many to be the leading British marine artist of his period, his work is in the Royal collection, the Tate, the Royal Academy, the Imperial War Museum, the National Maritime Museum.
ANDREW WEBSTER KIDDIE MASTER MODELMAKER
When I saw my first ivory model by Kiddie, the Recreation Hall, Kilkenny, I was amazed at the quality of the work, especially the fine detail on the trees and hedges at the rear and I started to look for other examples by him.
CARE FOR CERAMICS
‘Ceramic’, from the Greek keramos meaning clay, is the generic term for all items made from clay and fired in a kiln. Depending on the type of clay, which other elements have been mixed with it and the temperature at which it was fired, the end result may be referred to as porcelain, pottery or stoneware.
CARE FOR FURNITURE
A patina on the surface, built up over many years and even with old marks and damage, is part of the character and value of a piece of furniture and should be preserved.
CARE FOR GLASS
Glass should be stored in dry, ventilated conditions as damp can cause white cloudy stains. A glass wrapped in damp newspaper can be permanently marked with the newsprint and a damp glass can be permanently stained in a few hours by strong sunlight. Decanters should not be stored with their stoppers in place in case there is remaining damp inside.
CARE FOR PICTURES
Pictures should be hung securely using nylon cord for preference. There are various strengths of cord so check with your dealer for the most suitable. Brass or copper picture wire can also be used but it can corrode over time. String is not normally strong enough and it can also stretch and be prone to rotting.
CARE FOR SILVER
Contrary to popular belief, silver does not need constant cleaning and in fact should not be cleaned more than absolutely necessary. The need to do so can be reduced by regular dusting with a soft cloth, using a brush with very soft bristles for crevices, or washing in warm soapy water, rinsing well and drying with kitchen towel.