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Antique Cabinets


Antique cabinets refer to furniture containing one or more doors, often with drawers, shelves and compartments. Cabinets can be partially glazed. Initially cabinet makers were provincial estate carpenters working mainly in oak and walnut. In the 18th century their trade became more of an art form, especially in London. Several eminent cabinet makers emerged in [...]

Antique Pictures


Antique pictures created by humans date from pre-history, some cave examples date from 40,000 BC. Probably most at that time were associated with tribal rituals. Few early paintings survive, some for example on Roman murals and on Greek Attic vases. Medieval and early European painting focused largely on religion. During the Renaissance in Italy, 14th [...]

Antique Chairs


In early times we all sat on the ground gradually elevating ourselves onto low stools or benches. Around the end of the 14th century the first of the chairs as we would recognize them today evolved. They were initially reserved for the clergy, nobility and prominent people who required to be seated at a 'superior' level. The simple bench, of [...]

Waxing antiques


A pure and simple waxed finish for antique furniture is what we should aim for. Either you can buy your antique wax, or you can mix your own, which is the method I recommend. It takes a little time and effort but will produce the results you want. The only advantage to buying ready prepared [...]

Furniture Restoration – some tips


Cleaning and restoring antique furniture : The best advice is to employ a good restorer for complex restoration but there is no reason why even the most amateur among you should not try your hand at some basic surface cleaning. If done following simple guidelines, you should not get into trouble. Surfaces of antique furniture [...]

History of the Plague, The Crossrail find and the Plague Pan


As an antique dealer I am most interested in history including the history of the plague. One of the rarest items in my collection is a steel handled plague pan with a hinged,  perforated lid. It has an intriguing Latin inscription that has so far eluded successful translation. A Brief History of the Plague [...]

Antique Mirrors‏ – A brief history


Man has always been fascinated by his own reflection. The earliest forms of antique mirrors were fashioned out of polished surfaces and mysterious black obsidian used ritually around 4000 BC. The Chinese developed polished bronze mirror surfaces about 2000 BC. Antique Mirrors The discovery of glassblowing techniques in the early Christian era was further developed in [...]

Earliest recorded gaming tables


Backgammon was first recorded as a 'table game' some 3000 BC in Persia. Later games tables and backgammon spread to Egypt, Mesopotamia, Rome and China in various guises. In medieval Europe the first 'gaming tables' appear in the 11th century as simple versions for the game of backgammon. Below is an illustration of a 14th century game in progress:  Board game 1628: [...]

Late 18th Century French Furniture


The tragic Queen Marie-Antoinette loved all forms of interior decoration, and furniture, in particular. Allegiance to her domineering and politically interfering Austrian mother, the Empress Maria Teresa, necessitated much of Marie Antoinette's correspondence to be kept secret, hence the term 'secretaire'. She was known to have commissioned several exquisite examples. Having guillotined their King and [...]

Lacquered Antique Furniture


Lacquered antique furniture demonstrates a highly complex and time consuming method of decorating. Lacquer (gum'lac) is derived from a tree which originates in central and southern China, the country considered the 'birthplace of lacquering'. By the Shang Dynasty (Ca. 1766 -1027 BCE) the Chinese had recognized the protective qualities of the thick substance that they extracted from the lacquer [...]

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