Box House Antiques Blog

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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

Bizarre cures for the Black Death


The Plague or Black Death was first recorded in England in the mid 14th century. There was little contemporary medical understanding of the disease which resulted in many obscure and bizarre suggestions as remedies. The disease seems to have originated in China and the far East and brought to Europe in trading vessels which contained [...]

Bizarre cures for the Black Death2016-11-09T09:33:48+00:00

How to remove scratches from polished wood


Here are some tips from an old time furniture restorer on how to remove a scratch on polished wood. Not for the faint hearted! This procedure is recommended for deep scratches - minor ones can always be filled with wax. The assumption is that anyone embarking on this procedure should have basic DIY skills and [...]

How to remove scratches from polished wood2016-06-13T04:18:23+00:00

The evolution of the writing desk in England


Before William Caxton's (1420-1492) Printing Press appeared in England, purpose-made furniture directly associated with writing was virtually unknown. Writing was undertaken on a raised surface, simple table or lap, and confined mainly to ecclesiastical subjects written by monks on parchment. Then with the rapid development of printing and interest in the written word in England, [...]

The evolution of the writing desk in England2016-11-09T09:33:48+00:00

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California, USA.


Hearst Castle While completing a furnishing project in southern California recently, I took time out to visit Hearst Castle. I had been working for a customer in Los Angeles on a project which was a loose interpretation of the 'Petit Trianon' at Versailles. I had always had mixed feelings about 'pastiche' revival historic monuments [...]

Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California, USA.2016-11-09T09:33:48+00:00

A brief introduction to the evolution of the antique chair from early times to the mid 18th century.


EGYPT : The earliest recorded use of furniture dates back to at least the Early Dynastic period in Egypt Ca. 3500 BC. We know this from contemporary wall paintings. Beds/recliners seem to have pre-dated most other furniture, and some rare fragments survive, excavated from dry desert tombs. Few tables are recorded, mostly they are low [...]

A brief introduction to the evolution of the antique chair from early times to the mid 18th century.2016-11-09T09:33:48+00:00

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