A Piece of History
I’ve often watched the programme Antiques Roadshow and looked in awe at some of the things people take to get valued that have either been in their family for generations or just found in the loft writes Tracy Hargreaves
So, what constitutes an antique? In the antiques trade it’s generally referred to an object which is more than 100 years old, valued for its aesthetic or historical significance and it must, where possible, have retained its original character. Antiques are not just old, they tell a story.
However, what should you do if you think you have an antique? Look for marks and signatures on the item and research the company or individual that made it. Pottery and porcelain marks are quite common and probably the easiest to spot. Old costume jewellery will have a mark but usually very small and in an obscure place. With furniture you can look at its style to determine the era, whether it’s Chippendale or Queen Anne, being able to identify it will then give you an indication of the year it was made.
Silverware usually has a series of small symbols inside squares. If you know how to read them, it will tell you the maker, country of origin and sometimes the date it was made.
But beware of fakes and reproductions. Get a good antiques guide and do your research, you’ll also learn lots about your favourite pieces and you never know you might have something valuable stored away.