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How to Start Collecting Antiques

collecting antiques

It can be a lot of fun to collect antiques, but how do you get started? There’s several things you need to think about before you get started collecting antiques. Here’s a small guide to help you begin.

Collect Something That Interests You

Before you begin to collect antiques, you need to have an interest. For example, it might be old china, furniture, salt and pepper shakers, and so on. You won’t be able to collect everything as antiques can be very expensive. If you have one or two focus areas, it makes it a lot easier to find pieces that you like and ones you’ll enjoy. Think about what you would like to collect and then you’ll have a focal point in which to start.

Profit or Just to Collect?

Many people collect simply because they like certain items, but others collect to sell a collection later. If you’re selling, then you need to collect items that you’ll be able to turn over for a profit. If you’re just collecting for the sake of having a collection, then the value of the item isn’t much of a concern for you. Spend some time and decide if you just want to collect or want to sell. Some people might want to have a combination of the two.

Research

There’s plenty of fakes out there in the market and they can look like the real thing. You need to do a lot of research before you buy anything, especially if you’re buying online. It’s often a good idea to visit antique shops to buy items in person as you’ll be able to heck them over and look for specific marking such as the artists name or other features that make the item authentic. You must conduct research if you plan on buying antiques because you don’t want to be scammed or buy something that’s not authentic because it’s going to be worthless to you and you’ll be out the money. You should learn all you can about the pieces that interest you. It’s a good idea to get a solid education about the antiques you plan to buy because it will make you a better shopper and you’ll be able to spot the fakes easier before you buy. Keep records of everything that you buy so you can refer to it if needed later as you collect. You don’t want to buy two of the same thing, unless this is what you want.

Start Small

Start your collection by just picking up a few pieces. Once you have a few pieces you can then decide on how to expand upon your collection, For example, you may like a certain pattern on plate or a certain art style. Pick up a few pieces of things you like and then decide how to branch out and grow your collection. Your tastes may chance as you collect so don’t be afraid to change gears if you decide to later. Collecting can be an enjoyable experience. Use this guide to get started on your collecting adventures.

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Antique Cuckoo Clocks

Cuckoo Clock

Cuckoo clocks have been around since 1730 and this may be the very reason why there are currently available for the collection. These were manufactured by skilled craftsmen and gifted artists.

The designs that are touted to become worth purchasing are those containing older pieces that were minimally looked after then but they are greatly revered up to now.
Did you know that well preserved have a history behind it? Back in the 18th or 1800s, these time pieces may bring a king’s ransom or it is also purchased at auction houses and high priced boutiques.
Cuckoo clocks during that time were regarded as very valuable. They are esteemed for his or her hard carved scenes, attractive facades, and whimsical displays. Should you analyze the , you’ll understand that these are telling a tale through their designs.
Even to day, whenever someone hears cuckoo, he will turn his head. This is because the familiar cuckoo still resonates from then to now. There’s something so unique upon hearing the sound of a bird who abandons her young birds within the nest to be released and remind us of what time it is.
As for children, they anticipate the bird’s cuckoo and count the amount of cuckoo as though were a mathematical game. For whatever reason, became commemorative and collectible items simply because cuckoo clocks are a worldwide phenomenon.

Cuckoo clocks are also a collector item

Cuckoo clocks are comparable to the automobile or the airplane that was also manufactured in that time.
The humble beginning of those inventions make it more interesting for that collectors of to softly analyze the designs of these time pieces making a feeling of all of these judging in the era these were manufactured.
On eBay alone, there are a lot of available. Professionals on these collections be aware of right value for the design.
Some may be sold in a cheaper price but others are obtained as quickly as possible regardless of price simply because of a brief history that goes with these.
If you know someone who is an expert on and you are considering to purchase these, then its best that you ask for his opinion so you understand what you are getting directly into.
Finally, it’s also wise to be aware of proper care of these time pieces. If you are going to purchase and restore these to be sold again then these should be cared for within the best way possible.
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Collecting Antique Mantel Clocks

antique mantel clocks

There is some thing unique in regards to a house having a grand fireplace with ample room for any collection of antique mantel clocks. If you have regarded as beginning a collection of mantel clocks, you might wish to take time to do some homework. Collecting antique mantel clocks may be rewarding however it may also be costly, particularly in case your information is limited.

Although you are able to discover inexpensive mantel clocks in a selection of styles, you will wish to make sure you are buying a accurate antique instead of a contemporary replica, or even worse a fake antique. Take the time to do your analysis prior to buying your initial clock and you will know you are obtaining your money’s worth.
Antique mantel clocks are available in numerous kinds and styles. You are able to discover travel alarm clocks, grandfather clocks, and cuckoo clocks. Because you will find so numerous styles obtainable, it could be useful to select 1 kind to gather instead of attempting to gather all of them. If you’re in a position to narrow your option to 1 kind of clock, it’ll make collecting that a lot simpler. Whilst you would like every mantel clock to have the ability to stand on its own, you also want every 1 to become suitable to group together. In the event you ought to discover a rare antique mantel clock of Mickey Mouse and also you merely need to get it, be ready to location it inside a various location than together with your cuckoo clock collection. Understanding what your collection objectives are will assist you to determine whether or not or otherwise to buy that fantastic clock and whether or not it’ll fit together with your present collection.
Whilst it’s feasible to have enjoyable collecting antique mantel clocks, and there’s a possible for profit, you will wish to be conscious of a few of the pitfalls you might encounter. Numerous individuals are thinking about this kind of collection so you might discover clever reproductions pieces. Actually, a few of the replicas are so well created that it is challenging to inform them from the accurate antique. You are able to use the exact same guidance federal agents are given when studying to inform counterfeit cash, “Spend so a lot time studying about the actual dollars so you are able to tell the fake simply.” This really is particularly essential if you are a novice. Performing your homework will assist you to steer clear of becoming taken benefit of and losing cash. What can you do? Read on-line descriptions and pour over books about the actual factor to discover which key elements to search for. Then, if at all feasible, seek a completely independent appraisal of any antique mantel clock you are thinking about just before really buying it.
Whilst it’s feasible you will discover a rare antique mantel clock at a yard sale or on-line auction, do not get your hopes up. Much more than likely you will need to take a look at reputable dealers or antique shops for what you are searching for. If you are searching for a specific piece to increase your collection, shop around and do your analysis prior to putting your hard-earned cash onto it. By looking around, you might have the ability to discover the exact same piece for much less cash. It might be also in much better condition.

Collecting antique mantel clocks

Collecting antique mantel clocks may be an enjoyable activity. Be wary of jumping correct in with out studying all you are able to about the subject, determining what the key signs are for recognizing a accurate antique, and what errors to steer clear of. Having one of these information will maintain you against generating an costly buy to discover you have been duped later. With regards to buying any kind of collectible, the Latin phrase “caveat emptor,” which means let the caution, stands accurate.

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How to Find The Right Wall Clock

Wall Clock

There are lots of elements involved in selecting a wall clock for a specific room. As soon as you’ve weighed in all of the deciding elements, you’ll arrived at the conclusion on precisely what kind of wall clock will probably be the ideal match for that room.

The very first on our listing of deciding elements is what room will this new wall clock be hung in. You definitely do not wish to put a kitchen clock within the living room, dining area or house office. You are able to see that the incorrect clock may have a main damaging impact on the total theme or type of a specific room. Then once more, a brightly lit neon light logo clock may go perfectly on the wall inside your recreation room. Whether or not it is a Cuckoo clock or perhaps a pendulum clock with chimes, usually match the wall clock using the décor or theme of the room by which you’ll hanging the brand new clock.
Following you know the area in which you would like to hang the wall clock, the next factor you need to do is determine size. Having a ruler, appraise the size of the region of wall space you’d like your new wall clock to take up. Because wall timepieces come in all shapes and sizes, measuring wall clock space will provide you with a great thought of the shape and size you’d like your new clock to become.
Now that you know the room your brand-new clock is going in and also the approximate size of your brand-new clock, the next phase would be to decide in the event you want an analog or digital wall clock. Analog, obviously, having hands that move about pointing to numbers or markings on the face from the clock. Digital, having actual numerical digits telling you the time of day. You might likewise want a wall clock that also provides you with weather info like temperature, humidity, barometer indicating climate conditions.
For anyone who’ve unique interests like sports, beverage or the personal touch of getting some thing custom imprinted on the face of the wall clock, you will find businesses which will put any picture about the face of your wall clock if you’re prepared to let them do the job for you.

Price of a wall clock

This brings me to an additional deciding factor, price. If you’re price conscious, a wall clock may be inexpensive or however a wall clock may be a main investment. This all depends upon what you’re searching for and also the size your spending budget. In the event you look around you’ll discover reasonably priced wall clocks that have the look of the a lot more costly models.
If it’s your need to see samples of wall clocks up close and personal, you will find not numerous physical stores that deal in just clocks. Even though you may wish to go to some house décor stores simply because numerous of these carry a number of clocks.
Your greatest bet in discovering a big selection of wall clocks in most styles, shapes, themes, added extras and colors would be to go on-line. The web provides very a couple of stores that deal in only clocks. Numerous furniture and house décor stores also provide a great selection of wall timepieces.
Everybody includes a have to know the time of day. You are able to display time of day in numerous various methods. With the big selection of wall clocks provided these days, there should be a unique time piece which will express the creativity and artful expressions in you.
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Antique Grandfather Clocks

lovely-small-antique-inlaid-vienna-spring-wall-clock

Long case clocks, tallcase clocĸs, аnd grandfatһer longcase cloсks rөfer tο tһe sаme thing. Grandfather clocks have manү naмes and tһey happөn to bө among thө ancient modөls existing today. A typical grandfather clock is tall, freestanding and its рendulum is fitted insidө a loνely long narrow casing. Thө ancient clocks were plаinly mechаnical ωooden boxeѕ that covered а substantial floor space. Tһe modern grandfather clock s аre ѕtill Ьig but the wall clock options are аvailable. The shаpe of the clock face and case hаs Ьeen altered since tһe mid seventeenth century. Another elemөnt thаt һas been changed oνer tһe years іs tһe grandfather clock movement.

In tһe oldөn days, the longcase grandfather clock ѕ weгe manυfactured wіth two tyрes of movements. Tһere was tһe eight-day moveмent and thө 30-houг or one-day movement.

This tүpe of а cloсk movement would οnly reqυire үou to wide it once а wөek. Usually, аn eigһt-day сlock ωas гun bү two ωeights. One weight drove thө pendulum and the οther weight drοve the striking mecһanism. A striking mecһanism consisted οf chimes or а Ьell. On eitһer sidө of the dial, weгe twο keyholes used fοr the winding process. A great exаmple οf а grandfather clock that uses an eight-day movemөnt iѕ the Thomas Rοss. Find this cloсk οnline and νiew its parts.

The one-day movement

The one-day oг 30 hour movement required winding on а daily basis. Thө clocks υsing this movement һad onө ωeight tο run botһ the striĸing mөchanism and timekeeping sүstem. These were certainly tһe inөxpensive stylөs bought bү thοse peοple ωho could not pay for thө eight-day movement clocks. The manufacturers back tһen hаd found а wаy of making the one-day and eight-day look simіlar. A few 30-hour movement grandfather clock had faĸe ĸeyholes tο imitate the eіght-day twο ĸeyholes. Thө eight-day movement сlocks were expensive.

Longcase grandfather clock movement today

Most longcase grandfather clock you arө likөly to get todаy have eight-day moνement. Theiг weіghts aгe suѕpended using cables and tһey have a pullөy sүstem. Other clockѕ ωeights arө suѕpended υsing chains and they haνe а geаr sүstem. Tһe mechаnical or tһe tүpe οf movement thаt іnvolves weіghts, сhains and а pendulum continues uр to dаte. A company ѕuch аs Hermle contіnues tο manufactυre grandfather clock movement for οther watch companies.
The clοcks that are not mechanical uѕe electronic movөment. They normally υse ωhat іs cаlled the quartz movement. Hermle specializeѕ in quart movement as well. It cаn bө described as a pгocess tһrough whicһ electronic impulses pass from а battery via а quartz cryѕtal. This powers the cloсk movement at frөquent intervаls. When аn electrіc charge is applіed tο the quartz crystаl іt vibrates thus the battery сharges it, whicһ іn turn movөs thө grandfather clock hands.

It aѕ wөll drives tһe chimeѕ and the pendulum. The mοvement made specifically bү Hermle tends to laѕt longөr regardlesѕ of tһe mechanical οr electronic style. There aгe many stores available on the WeЬ that can sell moveмents to you. You may hаve tο cһange the clock’s wөights and movement if theү are faulty. Yοu can find bοth the antique and contemporaгy grandfather clock movement fast аnd securөly onlinө.

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Antique Conservation

Antique restauration

Your antiques have taken you a lifetime to collect, and if proper steps of conservation are applied, can last for generations. The beauty of most antiques is that they were built to last. Great time and care went in to their creation, and they are often built to exact tolerances with superior materials. Even delicate antiques are usually stable if care is taken. Still other pieces may be particularly delicate as technologies used to create them were in their infancy or not completely understood and this made them inherently unstable. We will offer some helpful hints and basic rules of conservation that will preserve the life of your prized possessions and insure that they will be passed to our children’s children.

Knowing the materials that make up your antique and an understanding of the environment in which they will be stored and displayed in is paramount and this knowledge can help owners make informed decision that will protect their valuables. Presented are some of the common dangers to antiques and ways to prevent damage and deterioration to some common materials. The governing rule of conservation should be to do no harm to your antique. Overhandling, light, dust, environmental extremes involving moisture or heat, unseen environmental elements, animals & pests and improper cleaning or repairs are all able to impact the stability of an antique.

Over-handling is the number one danger to antiques. Every time an antique is handled, it comes into contact with dirt, oils, salts and moisture from our hands. Handling also increases the risk that parts will be loosened or in the case of delicate antiques broken. There is also the ever present danger of dropping a piece. Owners handling pieces should take a few preventative measures to protect pieces when they are being handled. Pieces should be handled carefully and supported with two hands on the strongest portion of the object to prevent dropping. Pieces made of metais or other materials that react with moisture should be handled using cotton conservator’s gloves. Particularly sensitive materials include, ferrous metals, brass, copper, ivory, leathers, paper, etc.

When showing pieces, special cautions should be taken. Place a jewelers pad underneath or place the piece on the pad so that it can be admired and will not be be scratched on hard surfaces. The piece should be supported on a non-reactive stand especially if it is uneven or unwieldy. Custom cases or stands can be made that will properly balance and support pieces. Stands and boxes will allow a piece to be moved with the minimum of handling and offer protection to a piece. Glass or plastic cases that allow a 360 degree view are ideal as they allow a piece to be seen from all sides without handling.
An archival soft plastic case that allows this bronze medallion to be picked up and viewed from any side without damaging the piece.

Pieces with working mechanisms such as clocks, watches, firearms, automatons, music boxes, etc. are tempting to use and when showing are often run or worked. Prior to showing or using a piece with a mechanism, the piece should be carefully inspected. If there is any sign of damage it should not be used and a professional should be sought out to make repairs. If the piece is run, it should be monitored so that if there is any trouble it can be stopped before major damage is done. Firearms should not be “dry fired”, as this can crack or loosen mechanisms. Automatons or pieces using a mainspring for power that are operated should have be run until all tension is released from the mainspring.

The environment in which antiques are displayed and stored is another important consideration. Fortunately, there is a greater understanding of the environment and the chemistry that can effect our prized possessions. Owners should consider where a piece will be placed and stored and weigh the pros and cons. We want to see and have our antiques be seen but many times this can effect stability. Many antiques originally came in custom crafted boxes that were padded and came with a lock and key. Searching out original boxes or having one made can increase the value of a piece and help showcase it’s beauty. Modern pressboards, glues, wood pulp paper used in bookcases, jewelry boxes, storage boxes can react with antique materials.

A French First Empire General’s uniform button in an archival plastic case with inert foam bedding.
When choosing storage or display units, seek solid woods, archival boxes that are acid and lignin free, uv protectant glass and archival plastic sleeves that do not contain PVC. Many companies now offer these products and will advertise as archival.

Strong light should generally be avoided for many pieces. Ultra violet rays can fade or discolor leather book bindings, paper, paintings, woods and textiles. Owners can combat the effects of strong sunlight by darkening rooms with dark thick shades during periods of intense sunlight. Pieces can be displayed in shadow boxes or cases with UV filtering glass. Owners should rotate pieces from their collections to minimize light exposure and this will have the added benefit of constantly showcasing various portions of your collection. Textiles should be stored when not in use or covered with a non-reactive covers. Delicate silks are particularly susceptible to light. Documents and maps can be faded to the point that any text may be unreadable.

An example of a glass enclosed display table that allows pieces to be viewed without handling. This case is in a brightly lit room, where light is controlled by heavy shades.

Environmental extremes involving moisture and intense heat should be avoided. Moisture is a common hazard to many types of materials found in antiques. Moisture can cause mold damage and discoloration, especially to documents. Wood is also greatly effected by moisture and heat. High humidity can cause a piece to enlarge and crack.

Pieces with inlay are a greater danger as the various types of wood will expand and contract at different rates and inlays are generally tightly fit and do not allow room for “give.”
A Victorian coal scuttle with inlaid woods showing some buckling due to expansion and contraction of the veneers.

Ferrous metals will quickly oxidize in the presence of moisture and develop a layer of rust. Overly dry, hot conditions can cause wood to shrink and pull away from fittings. Textiles can also be damaged by moisture, which will create a perfect environment for molds and mildew. Humid basements or dry attics will quickly deteriorate an antique. The best rule to follow for antique pieces is to place in rooms where you would want to live. Desicant packs that absorb moisture can be purchased to protect cased antiques. These packs offer a low cost preventative measure that far outweigh costs associated with cleaning and repair.

Unseen environmental elements can alter an antique piece. Airborne elements like sulfurs and dust collect on pieces and can react with certain materials. The most common example would be tarnish on silver. Silver in its purist form is a noble element that is non-reactive but silver used in silverware or other objects d’arte is not pure. Other metals added to give stability react with the atmosphere to cause tarnish. Silver should be protected using silversmith bags, which are chemically impregnated with anti-tarnish chemicals and kept in a case. Materials such as wool, felt and velvet release sulfur that will hasten tarnishing In some cases this “patina” is sought and it shows the age of a piece. Brass and copper develop this rich patina that develops over time. Dust can be kept from gathering on a piece by placing it in a case and by regular cleaning of the surrounding environment using a filtered vacumn and duster that will collect rather than move around dust particles.

Animals and pests have long been the companions of man. Domestic animals although like family members have no regard for the age or value of your antiques. Animals should generally be kept away from rooms housing high value antiques. Dogs and cats love to chew, scratch or lay on antique carpets, textiles, or furniture. Pests like mice, moths, silverfish, woodworm, etc. have always been the bane of mankind.
A Silverfish illustrated below is a common insect that feeds on starches. During feeding, it can damage bookbindings, papers and pictures.

These pests will seek out your antiques to make their homes and for sustenance. Again the best rule becomes to keep antiques where you reside. Pests tend to gather in attics and basements where they are free to roam at will. Textiles, woods and paper are most at danger from pests. At the first sign of pests action should be taken. Pests must be eliminated quickly or they will multiply. Seek professional help for removing pests such as woodworm from antique pieces. Be very aware of pieces coming from outside sources and what they may be carrying into your home. As always professional pest services can be consulted when problems arise.

Improper cleaning and amateur repair has caused many good intentioned owners to alter or damage their antiques. Generally the best rule for cleaning antiques is that less is more. The current movement today is to appreciate antiques in their original “old” condition. That means keeping patinas on metals, not refinishing furniture, having some age cracks, etc.

This 200 year old brass drum body has mellowed to a rich green patina. The paint on the top bands which was once dark blue has faded to a blue green.

There are differing schools of though but unless the aging process is endangering the stability of a piece, your antique should be allowed to grow old gracefully.

Cleaning should be limited to removing surface dust and dirt. Avoid replacing “dirty,” damaged or old parts of an antique. Collectors generally want to see antiques intact. Original broken pieces that can be expertly repaired are better than new replacements. Small parts that may be broken or detached should be recovered and saved so that a professional can reattach them. If replacements are made to keep a piece working, the replacement part should be marked and dated and the original part should be retained. This will assist with any later sale and can deflect any accusations of antique fraud or dating mistakes. Save all documentation of repairs made. Professionals should be sought for any repairs or major cleanings and they can be consulted in areas where cleaning and repair may improve or detract from the value of a piece. Specific materials making up an antique may require differing types of care that a professional will take into account.

The final topic of conservation that we will discuss is the preservation of the provenance of an antique piece. Provenance is the story behind a piece. These stories place a piece into historic context and can greatly increase the value. If an owner can show that a piece belonged to a famous (or infamous) personage or was used at some point in history, collectors may clamour to add such a piece to their collections. Provenance is preserved by gathering and retaining documentation. Owners who acquire pieces should record when and where they got a piece and how much they paid. Pieces passed down through families should have accompanying stories written down. Persons supplying the history should be documented and ideally they should sign their names. Pieces being sold or passed outside a family should have documentation notarized Any sales information should be kept and old pictures showing a piece, articles about a piece, or auction information should be kept with an antique. The detective work you apply and evidence you gather can mean the difference between a common piece and an extraordinary find.

We are the guardians of our antiques, and they are a part of our heritage. Mechanization and modern industry have all but eliminated the master craftsman from our everyday lives. Following these few rules of conservation and understanding your antique pieces will allow them to survive to be passed on to further generations. So surround yourself with beautiful things that bring you pleasure and remember that you hold a little piece history in your hands.

Related books:
Caring for Antiques: A Guide to Handling, Cleaning, Display and Restoration
Southebys. Conran Octopus Limited 1996.
ISBN 185029 867
Housekeeping with Antiques
McGrath, Lee Parr
Dodd, Mead & Co., New York. 1971
ISBN 0-396-06432-9

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Antique Sterling Silver-Collecting & Investing

Silver coins

While everyone else is running around trying to invest in the “next big thing”, there have been a select few investment which have always stood the test of time. One of these is silver.

Prior to the fiat currency system which many governments now employ, gold and silver were used as an exchange medium for thousands of years. It’s not hard to understand why. Both gold and silver can be adapted for a wide variety of purposes. For example, silver is the highest conducting metal known. It can also be molded into jewelry and weapons. This meant that when you had a large stockpile of silver, you could actually use it for something. Then, if you needed to trade for something else of value, you could either melt the item down or trade it as it was.

Many of these items made from silver in the past we now call “silver antiques”. The word “antique” means that it was made somewhere in antiquity, or a long time ago. There are many different antique silver items you might buy. Silver tea sets, silver necklaces, silver earrings, silver bracelets, silverware, and silver weapons are just a few examples.

The great thing about buying these items is that you actually get to enjoy the item while it gains value for you. You might display the silver antique in your home or you might use your silverware utensils on special occasions with special guests.

Silver antiques gain in value for two reasons. First, it is an antique. There will always be a demand and nostalgia for artifacts that were made many years ago. If you’ve ever watched “The Antique Road Show”, then you are well aware of how expensive rare antiques can be. The second reason is that silver generally rises in value over time. With this double-whammy, silver antiques are undoubtedly one of the best investments you could possibly make.

So before you put all your money in the newest technology company that might go bankrupt tomorrow, consider one of the oldest and safest investments in the world.

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Investing in antiques and collectibles

Antiques and collectibles

Antiques are among the most tangible alternative assets, they are collected for their aesthetic appeal as much as their use and value. Items should always be examples of fine craftsmanship and be in good condition. Investing in antiques is a medium-to-long term venture however unlike investing in the volatile world of stocks & shares you will be able to enjoy your investment while it appreciates in value.

By purchasing from a recognised dealer each antique will come with a guarantee of authenticity which is extremely important as fakes & reproductions are plentiful! They may seem like a bargain at the time but they will never be a true investment.

Don’t be afraid to ask your local antique dealer lots of questions they are the experts in this field and are there to help you make an informed decision.

Most importantly buy only what you like from a period and style that suits you. If you don’t like a piece do not buy it simply for investment purposes as you will soon tire of it.

Antiques are an investment therefore do not be put of by price, quiet often they will cost less than you might expect and can be less than the cost of a weekend short break!

Antiques need not be all or nothing, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes which will suit the most contemporary of apartments, to the semi-detached/townhouses through to the period county homes. Furnish your space in the predominant style you want adding a statement piece in contrast to achieve an uncompromising style that suits you and your home.

When you see an item that you love and know will suit you do not hesitate to buy it. The joy of antiques is that they are one-off items and you will never come across another piece exactly the same, so don’t take a chance that the piece will be available for long.

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Antique Furniture – Beds, Chests, Tables, Chairs

Antique furniture

Dining Tables & Chairs

An Antique Dining Table regardless of size can look great when put together with modern chairs or vice versa. This can create an informal feel to a dining room whilst creating a unique concept. Also an antique or contemporary dining table combined with single antique chairs, whether traditionally upholstered or with a modern fabric can once again create a new classy look yet retaining the functionability of a dining room.

Mirrors

A Modern Fireplace can be complimented with an Antique Overmantle Mirror adding character and light to a room. Alternatively a large upright mirror propped or hung on a wall can offer the same effect. Dressing Mirrors are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles are can be place in numerous places throughout the home for example, on chests, windows, tables etc

Card Tables & Tea Table & Console Tables

These are the most multi-purpose tables to buy. They have numerous uses and are perfect size for modern homes and apartments. They can be sold single or in pairs and are on legs or pods therefore perfect for creating floor space. They can be highlighted by positioning them on quality rugs.

Places they can be used as any and all of the following:

Sofa Tables taking a bare look of the back of a sofa whilst not taking up too much space or to the side/end of a sofa as a lamp table.
Hall Tables or Landing Tables, due to their size they are narrow so fit most modern built homes, accessorised with a lamp, bowl or picture frame, blending well with contemporary are or mirror above.
Bathroom or Dressing Room with vase of flowers.
Against any wall in any room.

Chest of Drawers, Linen Press, Commodes

Chests are another extremely versatile item of furniture. The come in various sizes and shapes from a low boy to a tall boy, from a single chest to a chest on chest. They no longer need to be confined to the bedroom, but can be used in almost any area in the home from dining room to bathroom. Not only are they decorative but offer much discrete storage, in the many drawers but also a solid top provides ample space to hold a TV for example.

Bookcase, Bureaus, Library Tables, Desks

Contrary to common opinion a house does not need to have a separate library/office area to enjoy the aesthetic and functional properties of these typically office furniture. Antique bookcase come in all different styles and can greatly enhance a room. Smaller open bookcase can be place in alcoves, against a wall or back of a sofa, they are deep enough to hold magazines. Bookcases can also double as display cabinets. Bureaus host similar functions and with a drop down lid the can accommodate a lap top and offer the combination of decoration, investment, storage and an all in one office which can be closed and locked away easily. Traditional library tables can offer storage, and can be used as dining tables if required. Desks can free stand in a room or double as a console against a wall, they can also work beautifully as a ladies dressing table.

Occasional Tables & Chairs

Every room needs tables and chairs, they are the best way to achieve ‘just the right look and feel’. You can never go over board with either so mix and match these as much as you like, use fabrics that suit you whether it be traditional or contemporary, both look great on antique chairs and add character to a piece, highlight them with cushions or throws. Tables work in much the same way whilst offering a multitude of purposes. As little as adding an antique table or chair to a room can be enough to complete a room.

Sideboards, Serving Tables & Wash Stands

Where ever there is a wall space sideboards and serving tables can be used regardless of the room. They function well as hall tables, in the living room in an alcove or flat wall, in the dining room as original designed for. Pedestal sideboards provide plenty of lower storage, drawer space is usual and the large tops allow a host of smaller items/collectible to be suitable displayed.

Chiffoniers

Chiffoniers placed in an alcove or against a flat wall in either living room or bedroom act as great TV cabinets. Whether the TV is wall mounted or flat screen chiffoniers can be placed underneath. The offer attractiveness, lots of storage for Ski Boxes, DVD’s Games Consoles etc. In a children’s bedroom, play room or nursery they offer a host of uses from storing toys to books to bed linen.

Cabinets & Single Pedestals

Neat Cabinet or pedestals/Lockers need not necessarily be restricted to bedrooms. Instead they can function as drinks cabinets with shelving to accommodate bottles & glasses etc, with drawers for coasters & corkscrews. They can hold towels, soaps etc in bathrooms with room on top for a toilet mirror or perhaps a vase. They can be used in a home office to house folders.

Your Style

It is important to buy only quality items, as these will be most likely to hold their value and really stand out in your home. Remember antiques are as much about investment as they are about filling a room. Buy items that you personally like not just because it will suit a room. Don’t be afraid to experiment with antiques, use them how and where you like and what best suits you but do use them. Remember no home is too small to have at least one quality piece of antique furniture.

An Antique Dining Table with Set of Modern Chairs
A Modern Dining Table with Antique Chairs
An Antique or Modern Dining Table with Single Antique Chairs upholstered in Traditional Fabrics
An Antique or Modern Dining Table with Single Antique Chairs Upholstered in Contemporary Fabrics.
A Modern Fireplace with an Antique Overmantle
A built in Contemporary Fireplace with Overmantle Mirror.

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Silver antique jewellery

Silver antiques

Silver may currently be thought of as the ‘poor cousin’ of gold and platinum, especially in regards to jewelry, but that has not always been the case. In fact, antique silver jewelry is often more prized than its gold counterparts are. To fully understand the value of sliver rings, look at the history of the meta l, and its role in jewelry.

Silver is known to have been mined since 4000 B.C. and been used to make jewelry almost as long. The shape of the ring itself – an unbroken circle – is a recognized symbol of prosperity and life. The luster of the sliver is often compared to moonlight, especially as it reflects upon still waters. Because of the comparison to moonlight, silver is associated with witchcraft and paganism in early history.

Pagan priestesses often wore silver rings, frequently on multiple fingers. The circle shape of the ring mimics the cyclical nature of life itself, an important point to early Pagans. Silver jewelry was also used as a sign of class and prestige.

As years went by, jewelers began to carve designs into the rings. Customers were able to place specific requests for intricate patterns, symbols or names for their rings. This way the wearer could show affiliation to a particular group, pay homage to a deity or have a physical representation of their feelings for another person. Rings are still used this way today.

During the 1300’s gemstones became a popular addition to rings. This added another element for jewelry designers, and gave clients even more ways to personalize their jewelry. However, silver rings were not always for show.

Rings with certain carvings, and often the addition of various gemstones were thought to give the rings certain magical powers. These powers were generally thought to be talismans to protect against evil forces and negative energies. Parents would hang rings over their babies’ cribs to protect them from harm.

Some rings had different engravings, ones that were more positive. These rings were believed to enhance courage, concentration, or to help the wearer achieve their goals. Interestingly, this jewelry was often passed down from mother to daughter through the generations – even if the jewelry originated with the father. This passing of jewelry was thought to keep the magic within the ring alive for future generations.

While the magic and power may not be widely believed in now, families still pass down their jewelry through the generations. These family heirlooms now carry memories and stories with them. In their own way, these memories and stories are their own form of magic.

Victorian England had a distinct impact on jewelry design, as did the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods. The Victorians, who believed in the idea of the more elaborate the better, introduced intricate filigree. Filigree with gemstones, or filigree by itself is highly sought after in the antique jewelry market. Art Nouveau brought elements of flora and fauna into jewelry design while geometric and industrial symbols characterize the Art Deco period. The design of the ring definitely helps to determine the age of the ring.

Silver does readily show its age. In fact, many people try to avoid silver even if they like it simply because of the fact that it tarnishes. However, it is not actually the silver that tarnishes, but really an oxidation of the impurities within the silver. For this reason, it is best to look for the purest silver when shopping for silver jewelry.

An international standard is now in effect, which has helped regulate the quality of silver available. Most silver is now marked with a “925” to indicate that it is 92.5% pure. The remaining content is often nickel, copper or zinc. This additional content helps to make the silver more durable than pure silver while maintaining the original beauty of the metal.

When shopping for an antique silver ring, look for something that truly appeals to you. Jewelry should evoke a gut reaction, one that lets you know that this is the piece for you. An antique ring means you are getting a piece of history. This history has a story attached to it. Even if you never find out the story of your ring, it creates a good starting point for your own story to begin.