Box House Antiques Blog

/Box House Antiques Blog/

Objets d’Art / Vertu


  Objets d'Art can also come under the general heading of curio, ephemera or (objets de) Vertu. This word is from the French for 'virtue' carrying the meaning of 'merit'. Origins of the Terminology Objets d'Art The French translation literally means works of art but it is use to describe items that are not [...]

Objets d’Art / Vertu2016-11-09T09:33:47+00:00

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 [...]

Antique Chairs2016-11-09T09:33:48+00:00

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 [...]

Waxing antiques2016-11-09T09:33:48+00:00

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 [...]

Furniture Restoration – some tips2016-11-09T09:33:48+00:00

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 [...]

History of the Plague, The Crossrail find and the Plague Pan2018-08-10T14:47:09+00:00

Antique Clocks History


Antique clocks history The earliest antique clocks for measuring time would have been water clocks and sundials. These were replaced later with such inventions as calibrated wax candles and the 'hourglass'. These in turn were to be ultimately replaced in the mid 17th century by the 'pendulum' clock.   The word clock has its origins in the [...]

Antique Clocks History2016-11-09T09:33:48+00:00

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 [...]

Antique Mirrors‏ – A brief history2016-11-09T09:33:48+00:00

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: [...]

Earliest recorded gaming tables2016-11-09T09:33:48+00:00

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 [...]

Late 18th Century French Furniture2016-11-09T09:33:48+00:00

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 [...]

Lacquered Antique Furniture2016-11-09T09:33:48+00:00



The usual definition of a 'secretaire' is a piece of furniture with an enclosed writing surface. Antique mahogany Secretaire circa 1790. For more information on this item view our website Secretaires, asthey are known in England, are a chest of drawers, the top drawer being fitted with a writing section behind a [...]


An antique – what is it worth?


The rise in value of antiques, and the opportunities this has presented, has spawned a large number of 'experts' recruited into the front desks of auction houses and TV shows. 'Personalities' have emerged dispensing knowledge acquired from goodness knows where, but who are certainly highly skilled in boosting viewer ratings. A depth of knowledge in [...]

An antique – what is it worth?2016-11-09T09:33:48+00:00