Antique selling and collecting as a popular hobby only began relatively recently. In the middle of the 19th century gentlemen of leisure would build up collections of books, manuscripts, prints, maps, coins and interesting artefacts that would be kept in cabinets and brought out to show to friends on social occasions. Antiques as collectibles only came into being during the second part of the century when research began to be conducted on antiquities.
The Victorians were keen to revive different styles during this time where many pieces of period antique furniture from the Gothic, Queen Anne, Rococo, and Regency periods would have been copied to satisfy a growing mass market where ideas on design were needed. The period piece of furniture in the face of so many copies would be highly prized and rigorously researched to find out the tiniest fact about it and knowledge about antiques and ownership became a mark of intellect and class.
The hobby of collecting has now moved on from the preserve of a few dedicated and wealthy amateurs of the 19th century to millions of people today. The term ‘antique’ itself has also changed from something that has to be over 100 years old to anything second hand and collectible, and programmes like BBC’s Antiques Roadshow and Bargain Hunt have done much to educate the general public on the value of antiques.
So if antique desks, Arts & Crafts furniture , antique cabinets or antiques of any description are your chosen collectible, much can be learned through speaking to local antique dealerships in Preston, Lancashire, and other parts of the UK.
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