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Moser Harrach wine and hock set

 This stunning foursome is definitely worthy of a collector’s dining table. Featuring two wine glasses and two hock glasses (though either goblets or chalices would be a more apt description) made in the late 19th century by Bohemian designer Moser. 

Gilding and enameling

Moser stands easily head-high with his French contemporaries, though his style is perhaps more definitive. Instantly recognisable for fine gilding and enamel painting, the “Moser” identity is one much copied – especially by those pesky Venetians; it can however, be easily told apart by the sheer quality of both design and execution. It should be remembered that in the early days, Moser used blanks made by Harrach so attribution is sometimes difficult. As with many glass-makers, customers could choose “Blanks”  and “patterns” to create a bespoke collection – this makes individual pieces of early Moser glassware almost unique.

Worth a prunt

Though these glasses are two pairs, they were obviously chosen to go together.  These glasses have a green flash to the top, gold and platinum enameling in a classic stylised leaf form and are set with “jewels” (glass beads to represent rubies, emeralds, sapphires and pearls.) The wine glasses have a stubby stem but generous bowl (and gilt edged foot) while the goblets stand taller, with a hollow ridged stem and prominent “prunt”. They were probably made and sold on the Persian market, though their original provenance is anyone’s guess. 

 

Dimensions

  • Goblets stand a little over 18 cm tall with base diameter of 7.5 cm and aperture of 7 cm
  • Wine goblets stand a little under 14 cm, base diameter 6.75 and aperture of 7 cm
  • Green flashed Harrach blank with gilded edging
  • Gold and platinum enameling set with “jewels”
  • Immaculate condition
  • C1885 – 1900

This item has now SOLD

If you are interested in this set, please complete a contact form quoting stock number AP2025

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Gold and Diamond ring

Happy in its box

Here we present an absolutely fabulous vintage (yes OK so not quite antique but still with some age) dress or cocktail ring. It is snazzy and sparkly and totally top class jewellery. Stylistically this is a mid 20th century ring but lets say 60s for safety.

The base of the ring is 18 carat yellow gold. Marked 18k AND 750 (18 ct weight standard) meaning it was not originally from the UK. It is most likely American, but could equally be from some parts of Europe. There is another mark of CO6 or C06 but can find no reference to what this means. It could relate to the stones. 

A stone on fire

And on the subject of the stones, and this is what we think makes this ring a little bit special – the design. The ring features a single centrally placed diamond weighing in at a fabulous 1/2 carat in a round brilliant cut – and oh boy does it capture the fire of this stone, however for added brilliance, the central stone is flanked by chevrons and under those twin vertical bars laid with horizontally set baguette cut stones. 

No cheese with these baguettes

It is impossible to guarantee the carat weight of all those baguettes but there is a substantial amount of ice in this ring. Overall, this is a simple ring with echos of Deco styling but not overblown and not heavy on ostentation. The gold (though usually white gold will highlight diamonds better) allows the stones to speak for themselves. 

We really think this ring has something a little bit special. Its a goodly size at UK “O” (US 7.25), plenty of gold and good solid construction. A real treat.

Stats

  • 18 carat yellow gold, marked 18k + 750
  • 1/2 carat central diamond, brilliant cut
  • baguette set chevrons and panels
  • UK size O, US size 7.25
  • 50s/60s in date

If you are interested in this item, please fill out a contact form quoting stock number AP1804

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Art Deco cocktail stick and stand

 C’est magnifique non? Going with our decorative AND practical theme, here we show a gorgeous art deco period set of cocktail sticks in a stylish stand. There are twelve chrome sticks with forked ends perfect for swooshing your glace cherry through your pink gin (its all very roaring 20s). Each topped with a red “cherry amber” catalin (bakelite) ball. I’ll come back to those in a moment.

The stand is stunning. A catalin central post with doughnut carrying handle, a chrome disc to support the sticks all set on a wooden base. This base is proving somewhat controversial between us. At first we thought it may be coromandel, but the date would indicate that unless it was re-appropriated, it is more likely to be rosewood. Then again, it could be macassar wood. The grains and colouration of both rose and macassar are very similar but either way, it is a stunning contrast with the brightness of the catlin and chrome.

What we do know is that the set is French and dates to the late 1920s or early 1930s. This is where those sticks come in again. The top of each stick has a slightly angled extra chrome top. This was typical of the period but was not used in later reproductions. The set is in fabulous condition with very little pitting to the chrome and no damage that we can see to the structure. 

Dimensions

  • A little under 18 cm tall
  • A little under 9 cm base diameter
  • 12 forked sticks of about 14 cm

This item has now SOLD.

 

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Walker and Hall Giant Bottle

This giant bottle is a real talking point. Its size suggests a decanter, however the style suggests a scent bottle. I think we’ll leave it up to the buyer to decide. It is a large pear shaped blown glass bottle comprising four panels each with a floral star design cut into the glass. Between the panels rise four beveled columns giving form and texture to the design.

The silver top is a beautifully designed piece of silver-smithing. A standard collar and ball lid – one supposes, but there is a twist…literally. The lid is secured by turning the cap anti-clockwise. On the underside the cap twists in a second collar and has two prongs which slip into recesses on the main collar. By turning the cap, the prongs enable the cap to lock into place.

The cap is cork lined so no internal stopper here. The suggestion is that it is a travelling scent bottle – enabling the lady of leisure to take a huge quantity with her on the grand tour without fear of it escaping en route. Of course it could just as easily have carried brandy!

The silver is stamped with a well defined hallmark bearing the flag logo of Walker and Hall – perhaps one of the best known of the Sheffield silver companies. The date mark is a lower case “q” in a shield denoting 1933

Dimensions
A little under 21 cm tall
About 11 cm at its widest point
7.5 cm base diameter

If you are interested in this piece, please complete a contact form quoting stock number AP2023

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Gold Topped Scent Bottle

Here we present a gorgeous little scent bottle in its original shaped, folding case. The bottle itself is of cut glass (probably crystal) but is simple and elegant. Inside, the bottle has the world’s smallest stopper but the piece-de-resistance of this lovely bottle is its cap. Made in 14 carat gold and etched with a Greek key border and similar ring on the top. It is further imprinted with little four point designs in rows. The work is very fine and beautifully executed.

There are a few marks, quite hard to make out but showing an oak leaf in oval cartouche. Though we thought the bottle may have been 18th century, this oak leaf mark was used in the Netherlands from about 1850 onward. Although stylistically, the Greek Key was more common in the late 18th century; information on the oak-leaf mark prior to 1850 is scant so the bottle may still be earlier but hedging our bets here on mid-to-late 19th century.

The case is leather and is shaped to fit the bottle exactly – even down to having notches for the hinge on the lid. The case is further lined with blue silk and velvet (though the velvet has lost some of its colour. There has been a small amount of damage which means the top section of the case doesn’t meet fully but given its age, this is forgivable.

Dimensions:

Case:
A little over 10 cm x 4 cm,
Leather with swing hook clasp
Top lined in blue silk, base in blue velvet
Bottle:
9 cm tall, 2.5 cm base diameter
14 carat gold top with Greek key design
Marked for Netherlands

If you are interested in this item, please fill in a contact form quoting the stock number AP2024

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Too close for comfort

ATTENTION
ATTENTION

It escaped my attention somewhat.

Now there’s a leading statement if ever there was one. “What? something vitally important escaped your attention? What was it? do tell” OR…”what? your attention escaped?” Even with some cleverly managed punctuation, actually its both. My attention certainly did escape for a while, last seen roaming the Sussex countryside, and in doing so, several things escaped my attention. A sort of online ouroboros concentration loop.

Its all to do with a particularly nasty case of sciatica. I’m not angling for sympathy here, after nearly 4 weeks I’m over the worst and have finally been able to stop dosing myself up on various combos of painkillers. But it was the aforementioned painkillers which did for my attention.

It seems that during this period (which we shall call my “high” period) we bought lots of lovely antiques, did a few fairs, sold a few lovely antiques and woah hang on…only three weeks until we hit our first stand fitted fair of the year!!! (This is what escaped my attention while my attention was otherwise distracted) but I haven’t broken any clocks yet, or slopped French Polish on the carpet (don’t tell business partner) or even stood on any valuable Victorian ceramics.

Not long now
Not long now

It also seems that over a pint or two of scotch whiskey, we agreed to do a few more stand fitted fairs this year than planned AND ramp up our smaller fairs. We need to move house for myriad and complicated reasons and we’re not going to do it on our current “salary” (for anyone who still thinks self-employment is an easy option, you could not be more wrong)

So in my usual, rather round-a-bout way I have used this entire soliloquy to tell you, the wonderful buying public that to give us some chance of respite and comfort from these too close fairs, we’re having to close our Etsy store on the 10th April.

Defintite. For good. Finito. Nada. Enchilada.

Bye-bye baby
Bye-bye baby

Its sad for us because we invested a lot financially, emotionally and physically into it but we simply do not have the time to keep it curated.

There will be more items listed on this site from time to time, which can be purchased directly so worth keeping eyes peeled and ears pinned to the internet AND in the meantime, you lucky, lucky people you can get 10% off anything still listed on Etsy with the checkout code CLOSE10

Our social media will be changing too with more fun and fewer links (I’m so distracted I nearly wrote LESS links there) so you are still welcome to join us and keep up to date with our fair diaries, information, how to’s and other snippets of antique goodness.

Clever punctuation?
Clever punctuation?

If on your travels you spot my attention span, please bring it to a fair or follow one of the links below where a generous rewar………oh look, a butterfly.

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Behind the Rickety Table…or Tips for Surviving Antiques Fairs…Part 2

Have to be paid somehow
Have to be paid somehow

Yesterday’s post (which it is recommended to read first) took a sideways look at some of the errors made from behind the counter and I’m sure regular visitors to antique fairs will recognise some of the despicable behaviour mentioned. Today though we turn the tables (sic). Regular sellers will spend many frustrated moments lamenting these traits – but maybe the aforementioned “regular visitors” are not so aware what a looooong day said traits can make.

BUYERS.

Most traders are there to make a living, even the hobbyists always have the advantage of a bit of beer money. For us and many like us however, it is how we pay the bills, eat, put fuel in the car and occasionally have pest control remove the rodents from our beards.

Its a livelihood like any other shop except we are not bound by bricks and mortar – and the average customer (no, not you madam, you’re perfect) would, and this is a constant, treat us very differently if we were. BUT, because we are often found loitering behind rickety tables in leisure centres, we are often only given the same respect as our stubble-shrews.

Taken around 6.00 a.m.
Taken around 6.00 a.m.

On fair days traders get up at 5 a.m. load cars and vans, drive hundreds of miles, unload cars and vans, display our beautiful wares, spend 8 or 9 hours on our feet talking till our throats feel like sandpaper, eat lunch on the move, pack up our beautiful (unsold) wares, load cars and vans, drive hundreds of miles, unload cars and vans, and finally flop like dehydrated flat-fish into bed. Oh and then…get up the next day and do it again.

What we encounter along the way can feel genuinely insulting – no-one would tell a plumber how to plumb but they feel perfectly comfortable telling antique traders how to antique.

Traders are knowledgeable and have spent years buying and researching to get the right stock for their field. They  get up in the middle of the night to traipse round draughty fields to find stock and sit up till the small hours, cleaning and researching. Traders know their stock, their bits of history and (for the most part) their prices.

Though you may think a trader is expensive, please, please, please NEVER ask for “The absolute death” – We’re not all “off the telly” and can’t usually afford to discount more than 10% (see paragraph 2).  And no, you can’t find it cheaper on ebay! Good quality antiques sell for good quality prices – even online. I suggest watching a few of these items and seeing where the price ends up before asserting the cheaper online catchphrase…we have missed out on some great items for last minute price wars.

Talking of catchphrases: We know its like Aladdin’s cave, a trip down memory lane, that you are just browsing, that you want to know what yours is worth, that its old fashioned, that no-one wears brooches any more or that your gran used to have one and that if you’d known it was worth that you wouldn’t have thrown yours away. We believe you when you say that you wouldn’t know where to put it or that you have so much you could set up a stall yourself, that you have one just like it (except yours is blue, bigger, and is a completely different shape with handles…oh and its made of glass not ceramic).

The same is true of 90% of customers – and not one of that 90% is afraid to tell us. All day, every day. Antique dealers have 2 loops: an eye loupe to examine their goods and a feedback loop of repeated platitudes.

Platitudes often offered to make conversation (or avoid releasing the wallet-bats) but egg stains and beard dwelling

Someone opened their wallet
Someone opened their wallet

rodents excepted, we don’t bite. By talking to us like people, you may find some hidden gem or new interest BUT remember… after twenty minutes of talking to a customer, for them to walk away is disheartening to say the least. We can’t make you spend your hard earned cash but we are not there for a “nice day out” or for the good of our health.

I hope I have kept to the lighthearted side of this subject but at times it has been hard so apologies if it has sounded a bit ranty. It all boils down to a few salient points: It IS a real job for most  traders, we work hard to price fairly, and we’ve heard it all before. But if you don’t believe me, ask the next time you go to a fair.

Talking of boiling down, I’m off to boil some eggs to get my jumper the right shade of “oueff-de-nil”. Find out where we are selling in 2016 on our Fairs and Markets page or follow us for up to the minute treats

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Fair Trade…or Tips for Surviving Antiques Fairs…Part 1

IMG_20160214_102218913Its a rough and tumble, rag-tag bag of miscellany and confusion this world of antiques and whether at the lower end of the market or the fine arts end there are many pitfalls and mistakes made from both sides of the counter. So I thought a few tips might be in order. I do want to make it clear that I have been guilty of many of these mistakes myself, so I hope I am speaking from experience.

This is part one and aimed at sellers. Part two for buyers will come tomorrow. So for now, pull up a chair, pour yourself a cuppa and if you’re sitting comfortably…I’ll begin.

SELLERS:

Whether you are a hobbyist or a full time seller, you are still “in retail” therefore standards and customer service shouldn’t be too far removed from the high street. A smart, fresh smelling you is much more appealing than a you with beer gut hanging out of holey trews, rodents in your beard and this morning’s egg stains on your jumper. (I do have a couple of people in mind here)

Fresh from an antique dealer's beard
Fresh from an antique dealer’s beard

A gentle approach and smile works better than a scowl – and yes, customers can be frustrating (buyers please read on) but they are more likely to be persuaded by a friendly face: you can’t force anyone to let the bats out of their wallets but you can suggest how they might!

Presentation and knowledge is key. Junk hunters may not be put off by trays of rusty stuff tipped onto a table but most customers will be. Where appropriate, cleaning stock also helps – no-one wants to go home after a fair to have to soak their hands in bleach; cleaning also helps identify damage and/or provenance.

If you don’t know your stock how do you expect to sell it?

The words “erm, don’t know really” are a massive turn off. Clear pricing and general information will help to draw a customer in. You don’t have to wow them with your knowledge of what colour undercrackers Josiah Wedgwood was wearing when he threw that pot but a general date, range and background will always help (especially if, as we frequently do) you find yourself having to justify your pricing.

Pricing is another game to be sure. Sadly, there is an expected level of discount but know what your policy is and stick to it. If someone wants something enough, they’ll pay without you having to sacrifice your profits for a quick sale. If not, they are probably in the wrong place. Oh and don’t tell a potential customer what you paid for an item. Therein lies madness and unsustainable discounts. Sellers who under (or over) price are damaging to the rest of us.

I could be yours
I could be yours

Get to know your customers, someone who feels they are appreciated will come back and buy again. Talk about other things – the weather, cats, TV. Whatever! but build relationships with them and soon you will have a relationship with their portraits of the Queen (or President Lincoln etc etc)

Of course nothing is guaranteed but we can all help ourselves a little. We all have bad days when it seems no matter what we do, we can’t sell but we always have to keep striving.

 

To find out where we will be selling this year (after I have rehomed the shrews in my beard) check out our fairs and markets page or follow us on:

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Lens, Roamings, countrymen

Mists of time, or time of mists?
Mists of time, or time of mists?

In the dim and distant past (cue swirling mists of time, tumbleweeds and the shcraaaape, shcraaaape of the Tardis),  about six months ago, those of you who check in regularly may remember my camera lens was involved in a vacuum cleaner hit-and-run incident.

NO?

Well it was. The poor thing suffered major internal injuries and despite some instant remedial care, macro surgery and a weekend visit to the NHS (yes, apparently doctors DO work on Saturdays) slipped on to the great photoshop in the sky. Unlike a person or a dog though it was replaced almost immediately. Since when, other commitments have meant said replacement has sat gathering dust. This week it has finally seen action.

As part of our re-brand a whole new batch of photos was needed. This, was how I whiled away yesterday while Business Partner went a-galivanting to learn all there is to know about underwater archaeology. The lens, you’ll be pleased to know, is excellent. Such definition and clarity even on a macro setting. Things which should sparkle, do. Things

Country Carnelian
Country Carnelian

which should have detail, do. Things which shouldn’t be blurry, aren’t.

This has all happened after a long process getting my all singing, all dancing beast of an Office Management System up and running. Thousands of items of stock have been found, lost, and found again – roaming in herds through the rooms of the house, bleating for the simple comforts of two weeks ago and their comforting dusty corners. (Some are still AWOL but we’ll get the gamekeeper to sort them out next week) but after the mass culling of our online stock, much of which has not survived, we are nearly ready to relaunch.

The aim is to give our online store (Etsy) more of a “country house” feel, though achieving this affair may take a little time. The place was run down for sure, crumbling architecture, tatty furniture and some quite frankly questionable jewellery and ornaments but we are working on bringing it up to National Trust standards. Etsy is a village which may not suit country living all the time, it has become urbanised and swollen but we hope to provide a bijou oasis in a sea of kitsch.

I can hear you wondering if I am going anywhere with this. In all honesty not really, I just wanted to drop in, say hello and reassure all our antique and vintage” countrymen” out there that we will be up and running again soon. New logo, new brand and (eventually) new stock. There are still more photos to be taken, still more dusty relics to be rounded up and still more wellies to be worn but we’re on the road. This site will also be getting a make-over, though quite when I’m not sure.

Oh yes, there may be some complications. We are in fact changing our name. Easy enough on Etsy but not so here (wordpress), or other social media sites, so we’ll keep them the same but make sure its the same theme so no-one gets confused (I am already) so here are the  social media links…if you fancy. Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest

Keep an eye out though, apparently I promised something about an Instagram account???

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A long story, made short and then lengthened again

flatback
Flatback to the drawing board

How time flies…and other such bon mots of clicheville. I hadn’t realised it had been over a month since my last post but it has, it seems, and as the minutes, hours, days and weeks headed south for the winter, so my attention was turned to other things.

Anyone in business will understand that if something isn’t working it needs changing. Cue some hefty decision making and sacrifices on our part to try and head in a more profitable direction. Our main aim (that’s business partner and myself) is to be able to find ourselves a bigger place to live. We currently occupy a shoebox. One where the architect’s aim was to capitalise on the ground space available rather than the living conditions. There is a slight similarity with Victorian living for us: cramped conditions and too many ornaments, though thankfully we do have running water and an inside toilet.

We’re not after a jet set lifestyle (though a holiday would be nice), or loose cars and fast women; there are no ambitions towards rock n’ roll hedonism just a second bathroom, a kitchen with more than a metre of worktop space and a workshop for me so I don’t have to sand furniture outside in the rain.

The first part of realising this ambition began in November with our “Posh Fair”. Our relative success has spurred us on and we have now booked for four more this year. We have revamped our stock: collecting together beautiful objets d’art, fabulous jewellery and rare collectables (ouchies for the bank account). To clear out some of the bits n bobs which have been hanging around for so long they are, quite frankly, starting to hurt our eyes with their lingering, mouldering presence, we are also operating as wholesalers – let someone else deal with all the Staffordshire flatbacks, broken snuff boxes and bright copper kettles ( really not one of my favourite things).

This is a sweeping change. In one corner – top quality antiques, jewellery and fine art and in the other, old bits of brass, diamante and poorly executed daubs. Really? who can tell the difference I hear you ask. Well the discerning collector for a start. One who won’t quibble over price, who will expect to pay what an object is worth and who think the E in Ebay stands for evil.

I actually do, even after a week of cell blindness
I actually do, even after a week of cell blindness

As part of this business partner and I have decided to clear out our Etsy store by having a bit of a sale. Most of the stock will be removed and the shop will retail only the best quality (we may even move to Ruby Lane) Its hard work as there is a lot of sorting involved but we’re closing next  Monday for a complete revamp. So yes there is only one week to grab a bargain with a 25% discount.

All this, plus building the ultimate in office management suites (it should have been done in MS Access but quite frankly that sent shivers down my spine so I’ve ended up creating a rather magnificent, if I do say so, beast in Excel), has torn me away from the interwebs – a rent, I must confess , which has not been so difficult to bear.

So please, forgive our absence for a wee while longer. We will be back with a new name, new branding, new stock and of course our world beating Office Management Suite…if I ever get it finished. Now where did I leave that macro?

Follow us on social media: Google+, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest  for more on these exciting developments as they happen.