Buying a holiday home abroad has become a popular pastime for the English. In the UK where house prices continually out price both Europe and the US, many Brits see buying a house abroad as a mouth watering investment where they not only get more for their money, but get better weather as well.
The UK’s nearest neighbour and one of the most popular places to (more…)
The more people move away from the overindulgences of Victorian décor and antique furniture, the more they move back towards Victorian overindulgence at Christmas time.
When it comes to creating a splendid Christmas feast, presenting a large roast organic turkey with all the trimmings, lashings of giblet gravy, stuffings and sauces is still what everyone wants and nothing much has changed for well over 100 years. In fact, the modern concept of Christmas is very much down to the Victorians. Without them there would be no (more…)
For some people, buying an antique is all about investment and this is hardly surprising. If approached wisely and with a certain amount of diligent research, the probability of a good financial return on an antique can be approached with the same amount of certainty as investing in gold or diamonds. Quality early English hand made antiques will rise in value in the short and long term and the investor will make money. A discerning purchase of a Queen Anne antique desk (more…)
Television shows such as Sun, Sea and Bargain Spotting have sparked an interest in the British public to find antiques abroad and bring them back to sell at a premium. Perhaps the assumption of the show is that the British are a bit savvier when it comes to buying antiques than our European neighbours who seem to have more than they know what to do with.
French flea markets are now becoming the target of (more…)
It’s often interesting to delve into the history of buildings and see how their usage has changed over the years. An example was quoted recently in the Lancashire Telegraph where an antiques centre in Bolton, originally used by the minister of the local United Reform Church, was originally passed for approval by Bolton’s planning committee to become a home for unmarried mothers. This substantial building was to be divided into seven bedsits for single mums in (more…)
In the Daily Mail recently there have been two articles about the theft of rare antiques from stately homes. The first theft at Sutton Park near York (the house of David Cameron’s father-in-law) took place in May this year, and the second at Firle Place near Lewes in East Sussex in July. The latter has been used as the backcloth for TV shows such as Jonathan Creek.
Both houses are open to the public at certain times of the year and precious antiques in the case of Sutton Park, it was felt by the owner, were stolen to order where pieces were earmarked during these public opening times. Firle Place has been broken into before so it would seem that public opening creates opportunities for (more…)
A policy change by Starbucks reported by Kaya Burgess in The Times on the 7th November could have a beneficial affect on antiques traders throughout the country.
In a bid to perk up the brand, plans are to go ahead to open up 100 new coffee shops throughout the UK under their new ‘independent’ banner. Instead of the new outlets keeping the brand and livery of the Starbucks chain, the coffee shops will take on an individualised look and reflect the locality by furnishing the outlet with local antiques from local traders and second hand shops.
In light of these moves by Starbucks, who have suffered bad press of late by (more…)
When watching the Antiques Roadshow we always tend to assume that the experts who wax so lyrically about contestants’ antiques have been born with antique silver spoons in their mouths, or that they have been brought up in the antiques trade like John Bly whose family business has been going in Tring for over 100 years. In fact, John Bly’s grandfather established their family business in the centre of Tring in 1891 although there exists a letterhead suggesting (more…)
If there is one thing that you learn in the antiques trade, it is to keep everything as far as possible in its original state and an ormolu finish on a fine antique desk or chest of drawers which gets a lot of wear from owners over time is a prime example of this. As the handles of the chest are continually handled, the gold tends to get rubbed and the bronze comes through.
It is tempting at this stage to get the ormolu (more…)
When we speak of libraries, what comes to mind usually is a large civic building where we go to borrow books. These buildings vary in structure depending on the community they serve. City examples are usually quite elaborate Victorian or Edwardian structures and there are often fine examples of long, sturdy generic library tables that stretch the middle and sides of these buildings.
However in the antiques world when we think of libraries and (more…)