From a single piece to entire homes, buildings and factories, architectural salvage covers it all. Homeowners, landscapers, interior designers, restaurant and bar owners, retailers and set designers all desire or require architectural antiques and salvage from time to time. So whether you are seeking fireplace mantels, doors, steel frame factory windows, vintage chicken wire glass, salvage beams and flooring, farmhouse sinks, claw-foot tubs, wrought iron gates and fencing, lighting, nautical décor, industrial structures or salvaged aircraft parts, there is an architectural piece for everyone and every purpose.
Because there is so much choice of material, there are specialist collectors for all sorts of advertisements from engraved 1700's trade cards to pottery Guinness toucans, labels, posters, large enamelled metal street 'puffs' as they became known in the 1800's, and shop signs such as barbers' poles and opticians' spectacles. There are calendars, book marks and paper weights, clothes hangers, shoe trees, thermometers, ashtrays, biscuit tins, bar furnishings and beer mats, and among the first attempts to sell through attractive packaging was the pot lid.
Acquiring a badge or souvenir as a keep sake, a talking piece, one up man ship, or simply to remind oneself of happy memories of places visited and experiences of journeys previously undertaken. Today we use a camera or telephone to take photographs, but one wonders if the plethora of digital photographs will be as collectable in the future.
Human beings have been adorning or improving their looks since the creation of time. From the need to remove unwanted body hair, to applying facial powders and lipstick to improve ones look, beauty has always played an important role in fashion and human development. Beauty, hygiene and grooming equipment is generally a neglected area of collecting. No longer do we use or manufacture beautiful cut glass silver topped perfume bottles because they have been replaced by modern packaging. Be that as it may, modern packaging is functional and practical rather than beautiful and useful.
Has anybody stopped to think what will happen to the internet when we are not able to generate electrical power due to ever invading “green” policies? As with all antique items, the carbon footprint to produce them has long since passed into history. The paper books, postage stamps, postcards, fine art and paper ephemera are all relics of days gone by that we may have to rely upon in the future for our knowledge and history.
What makes a book valuable? The author, subject, date, binding, distinctive illustrations, provenance, rarity, edition, printing, usefulness – or any combination of these – are all factors in determining the value of a volume, but above all, the book and its dust jacket must be complete and in good condition. From modern first editions to tales of discovery, the scope for the book collector is enormous. Whatever your interest or depth of pocket, there are sure to be books that fit.
Pleasure should always be the deciding factor when buying a picture. It is only by satisfying this purely subjective need, and having to live with the result, that you can build up a really interesting collection. It is for this reason that collectors will constantly rehang or sell part of their collection in exchange for new acquisitions. For an individuals taste is constantly developing, this development should be based upon the attitude that all pictures are interesting, but some are more interesting than others. As the eye becomes more experienced it should be constantly appreciating good quality in mediocre paintings whilst marvelling at, when possible buying, paintings which fulfil all expectations.
In a typical home there are likely to be more objects made of ceramics – earthenware, stoneware and porcelain – than any other single category of material. Most will be 1900's and 2000's, a fair proportion will be late Victorian and perhaps a few pieces will be earlier.
Oriental ceramics have a far richer history than those in the west. Fine porcelain was made in China from at least the 800's and started to reach Europe around 1600's.
Despite their inherent fragility, many early Chinese pieces survive and are keenly collected.
The earliest ceramics made by humans were potteryobjects (pots or vessels) or figurinesmade from clay, either by itself or mixed with other materials like silica, hardened and sinteredin fire. Later, ceramics were glazedand fired to create smooth, coloured surfaces, decreasing porositythrough the use of glassy, amorphous ceramic coatings on top of the crystalline ceramic substrates. Common examples are earthenware, porcelain, and brick. We will look at the long and rich history.
Ceramics are generally made by taking mixtures of clay, earthen elements, powders, and water and shaping them into desired forms. Once the ceramic has been shaped, it is fired in a high temperature oven known as a kiln. Often, ceramics are covered in decorative, waterproof, paint-like substances known as glazes. In this section we will take a general look at some ceramic manufacturers and the long rich ceramic history.
The lure of antique timepieces lies in their combination of art and technology. Visual clues can help date the item and identify its mechanics.
Barometers and thermometers still have their place in forecasting the weather, but early examples are now collector´s items too.
Scientists, astronomers, sailor and the general public employed a range of microscopes, telescopes and other magnifying instruments as diverse as the stargazers´six-footer to pearl encrusted opera glasses.
Coins and historic medallions have long been appreciated by collectors, many of them being considerable works of art in their own right, and all of them expressing a facet of history. Who, on finding a silver coin of the reign of George II, marked with the name LIMA, would be anything but fascinated to discover that the silver used in the making had come from captured treasures. The British privateers the Duke and the Prince Frederick, had taken two armed French ships in the North Atlantic and, on their return to Britain, the captured silver was immediately taken to the Tower of London where it probably supplied more than half the coinage of George II’s reign. Coins of this period, particularly the low denominations, are by no means overpriced. It is also surprising to note the prices obtained for silver coins of the 1200’s and 1300’s. A silver penny of the reign of King Edward I, for example, may still be purchased for well under £50.00, yet such a coin is in fact a medieval royal portrait that has been actually hammered individually by hand.
Our customers are our most valuable asset. We understand the apprehension that people have when buying online from a company they have not dealt with before. Because of this we openly publish our policies to reassure our customers they are dealing with a trusted and professional company.
You will notice we write or host articles and videos about the natural world. What you may ask has that got to do with antiques?
Both the natural world and antiques need to be conserved, each in their different ways. Once we loose our antiques or the natural world, they have gone for ever, one could say they become as dead as a dodo.
We need to consume liquids regularly to prevent dehydration, and a whole industry has evolved to provide goods for our every needs. From wine bottles to wine boxes, corkscrews to ring pull cans, glasses and decanters, beer mats to ceramic ashtrays, special words to special laws, basically an area that is truly a collectors paradise.
Cheers, bottoms up, salute, skål, slange.
One of the delights of antique furniture as with all practical antiques, is that it is a tangible link with the past. Sitting at a 1700´s desk, it is easy to imagine an earlier owner leaning on the same surface, struggling with an important letter. An ink stain on a well-rubbed edge adds to the sense of continuity.
The way antique furniture carries the mantle of age is one of its appealing characteristics. Whilst ceramics and glass are little altered by the years, a piece of furniture changes in subtle ways, its timbers gradually shrink and mellow through handling, polishing and exposure. This slow maturing gives it a unique patina that cannot be matched – or reproduced – by the finest new pieces.
If not as old as sitting, chairs date back to at least 2980BC to 2475BC. Variations on the theme are innumerable and it would be easy enough to list 250 or more names of the various types.
We take the various chairs we have in our home for granted, yet 500 years ago, only the nobility and the clergy enjoyed the privilege of sitting down on a chair to eat or hold conversations. The rest of the population sat on boxes, or even the section of a log. By the 1500's the stool was commonplace, and by the 1600's it had acquired a panel back and in some instances, open arms.
Throughout Europe wealth increased and spread during the 1700's, creating a demand for more comfortable furniture on which to spend longer hours of leisure. Reflecting this, fully upholstered seats and shaped backs begun to appear and as most people could afford chairs, they started to be made in sets, in the early part of the 1700's, many were constructed in walnut and have not survived the ravages of woodworm, but the great quantity of mahogany chairs that were made from 1740 onwards have often survived in good condition and are still widely available.
By the 1800's, the chair was catering for every specialist need. Invalid chairs were an innovation, as were chairs designed especially for writing at a desk. Reading chairs had book rests attached for quite hours in the study, but these have rarely survived in their original condition, and low nursing chairs catered to the needs of those nursing small babies. In the United States, rocking chairs became very popular.
Antique furniture is a very large and specialized subject where many books and much information is available. We cannot therefore do justice to the subject without writing yet another book on the subject, so this is only meant to be a brief introduction to an alluring and fascinating subject.
Here you will find general information about furniture, from buying tips to identification of the wood used to make furniture pieces, to the names of the makers who made them.
Very often furniture was filtered down through the social strata as the landed gentry refurnished their houses. Some outdated or unfashionable furniture and other items were banished to the attic or the servants´quarters or simply dumped, to be recycled by the estate workers. Passed on down the centuries, and often altered on the way, these objects eventually find their way onto the market, sometimes without the current owner appreciating the value. The anticipation that an undiscovered treasure may be lurking in the next shop is part of the thrill of collecting.
The idea of an object having value due to its age is only about 100 years old. It may only be a coincidence that this corresponds to when the legal definition of an antique was established. Before that, except in the case of Greek and Roman antiquities, items were judged purely on their artistic merit, or how fashionable they were, age meant very little.
Very often furniture and other important works of art filtered down through the social strata as the landed gentry refurnished their houses. This frequently involved a complete updating, replacing not only the decorations but occasionally remodelling the fabric of the building as well. Some outdated or unfashionable furniture and other items were banished to the attic or the servants´quarters or simply dumped, to be recycled by the estate workers. Passed on down the centuries, and often altered on the way, these objects eventually find their way onto the market, sometimes without the current owner appreciating the value. The anticipation that an undiscovered treasure may be lurking in the next shop is part of the thrill of collecting.
Eating and drinking customs and habits help to define who we are. The Ale Warmer or Muller is a good example of a once common every day article that was developed to satisfy the desire for warm ale on a cold winter´s night. Even the tables where we eat our food and the chairs upon which we sit have evolved over time according to changing customs, habits and fashion. The very scenery and environment in which we live all influence who and what we are. Many will romanticise about the good old days, and for some they were just that, but for the many it was a time of drudgery, toil and hard work for little gain or financial reward.
Styles and fashions have been copied, altered and adapted since time began and American antiques are no different. The development and evolution of the USA gave rise to unique styles and pieces combining practicality, abundance or scarcity of materials along with native American Indian influence.
Why is a website dedicated to antiques, publishing articles about food and drink? The answer is simple and straight forward because many of the antique items we sell today are inextricably linked to or associated with the eating and drinking habits of our forefathers. To fully understand why certain items came into being, it is necessary to understand the etiquette involved with food and drink in days of yore. The Ale Warmer or Muller is a good example of a once common every day article that was developed to satisfy the desire for warm ale on a cold winter´s night. In our electrically lit, centrally heated homes, it is easy to forget the lonely ploughman who walked behind the horse all day in all weathers. The need for a warm beverage in front of a blazing open coal fire on a cold winter´s evening, and soaking up the warmth that was denied him during the day. Many will romanticise about the good old days, and for some they were just that, but for the many it was a time of drudgery, toil and hard work for little gain or financial reward.
A menagerie or collection of everything else that does not conveniently fit into any other category.
Even in affluent times, thieves and fakes abound. At any time, one cannot be too careful so we should all do what we can to protect our property. Fakes from Russia, China and elsewhere are becoming more and more difficult to spot so the market is awash with these items. Specialist collectors and dealers have been genuinely caught, so research the subject before you part with any hard earned cash. At Rarity4u we operate a policy of due diligence which means we take as many precautions as we can to ensure the items we sell are not fake or stolen. We investigate and examine each and every item for authenticity and confirm the details in our item descriptions. It is impossible to ensure that every antique item that is 100 years or more in age has not been stolen at some time during its life. The Police keep stolen items for a period of time in order try to find their legal owners. When their efforts have failed, these items are then auctioned off to the public and hence become legal once again.
Glass has a magical quality born of its transition from sand and other minerals to vessels of transparent delicacy. Barring breakage, scouring pads and dishwashers, glass is wonderfully resistant to age, neither warping like furniture, nor tarnishing like metal. It can look the same after 200 years as it did when as new the shape and style reflecting the customs and habits of the time.
The value of jewellery depends on the quality of the materials used to make it, its design, maker and condition, and the prevailing fashion and taste. Rare gems of the highest quality are usually a good investment because the political and physical problems involved in mining them and the scarcity of fine stones means that supply is unlikely to exceed demand. Diamonds are the exception as their supply is controlled by an international cartel to maintain prices, but demand can always be fulfilled so no dramatic rise in pieces is likely.
Here you can rest your eyes from antiques and collectables and read about not only me, my exploits and achievements, but also about dog related activities in general.
Metals are a natural and abundant resource that is both malleable and extremely durable, which makes them suitable for all manner of practical purposes. Pure metals, such as copper, iron, lead and tin, and various alloys including brass, bronze and pewter have been used around the world for thousands of years. Metals have played a significant role in the development of human civilization, with bronze and iron used to make early tools and weapons. Drinking vessels and utensils for making and eating food have been fashioned from metal since ancient times. Pewter and spelter were inexpensive alternatives to more precious metals.
Humans have used metal objects to help and assist then in their daily endeavours. Before electricity, creating fire and light was a major problem and as a consequence a whole industry, terminology and paraphernalia accompanied the ritual of lighting the fire and making light. Metal has played a major part in cooking through the ages and even today we us a range of metal items when preparing, cooking and serving food and drink. However the shape and types of metals used has changed over time and some are no longer used today. Jelly moulds, ale warmers, bed warmers, wax jacks, chamber sticks, taper sticks, snuffers and trays, trivets, footmen, sadirons, fenders and firedogs were all items in everyday use that our ancestors took for granted that today makes an enjoyable collecting area.
In the northern hemisphere where the days are short, dark and cold during the winter months, daily warmth indoors, and being able to build and maintain a domestic fire was an important housekeeping skill in the days before electricity. Fire and light are as necessary today as they were in years gone by. However making both light and fire in times passed was much more onerous, an art passed on from one generation to another. As a consequence a whole industry, terminology and paraphernalia accompanied the ritual of lighting the fire and making light. Wax jacks, chamber sticks, taper sticks, snuffers and trays, trivets, footmen, sadirons, fenders and firedogs were all items in everyday use that our ancestors took for granted.
The word music derives from Greek; "art of the Muses". Music is both an art form and a cultural activity. Different style of music may emphasize, de-emphasize or omit some of the elements such as pitch, melody, rhythm, tempo and timbre, all of which are known as the colour of music. Music is performed with a vast range of instruments and vocal techniques ranging from singing to rapping. There are solely instrumental or vocal pieces and some that combine singing and instruments. Similarly the recording and reproduction industry has experienced a wide range of changes from the phonograph to MP3 music downloaded from the internet and everything in between.
The range of products that we supply includes the world-renowned Renaissance wax which was developed in the laboratories of the British Museum and is used to preserve all types of objects in the museum and historical collections. We are often consulted by architects and conservators who wish to use the products in the cleaning and maintenance of both interior and exterior surfaces.
Ever since it was discovered silver, like gold has been converted into gleaming artefacts of great splendour and beauty. Such symbols of wealth and power are collected not only for their superb workmanship, but smaller more ornate pieces also have a unique attraction. This is in part because silver has always been a precious metal. The intrinsic value of silver has had one undesirable effect, silver objects have long been regarded as recyclable and thousands of pieces have been lost over the centuries, melted down to finance wars, to cover up theft, or simply to make something more fashionable.
For some a special event is a designated day or holiday such as Christmas Day or Valentine´s Day, but for others it can represent a birth or confirmation, whilst for others it can be a treat to say thank you, or I appreciate you. Some say it with flowers, others with a pieces of jewellery, but whatever your taste, it is always nice to know that your efforts are appreciated and rewarded with a gift.
The story of style can be said to be the tracing of the strands that mesh to give each age its distinctive look, from the skills and materials available, to the changes in life style and income from buyers zest for the new, to designers vision of beauty.
Mankind has had a love affair with the automobile for a great many years. Countless books and technical journals have recorded each and every development of this creature as it occurred. It remains to be seen if mankind will have the same affection for the electrical car, or if the electrical car is just a stepping stone to something new to come.