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 Some outdated or unfashionable furniture and other items were banished to the attic or the servants´quarters or simply dumped, to be recycled by the estate workers.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.