Saturday, January 5, 2013

Introduction to Chinese Antique Furniture

Chinese antique furniture is a distinct conventional Chinese furnishing that bears oriental design. In contrast to classic Oriental furniture that are designed and built from hard wood, Chinese antique fittings are constructed from softwood and are remarkable illustration of Chinese arts. Just some of the softwoods that are used to create Chinese antique furniture include elm, oak, walnut, camphor, cypress, pine, fir and beech. Based on historians, the history of Chinese household furniture can be traced back to as early as one thousand BC. Chinese antique furniture increased in popularity during the Ming dynasty and is today coming in different designs and builds, for example, chairs, bed, cabinet, stools, doorways, benches, desks, Chinese room divider and tables. But how can you differentiate classic Chinese furniture from antique Oriental furniture? Listed below, are simple methods to identify antique Chinese furniture:

Get in touch with a professional in Chinese antiques in your area. You can find one by visiting your local furniture museum or even neighbouring art store. If there are considerable pieces of antique Chinese furniture items in the museum, chances are that you will find a specialist in Chinese antiques. However, in case the museum has not employed an expert in Chinese antiques, it will be able to direct you to a location where you will find a specialist in Chinese antiques. Nowadays, most museums hold special events ever month where art collectors and antique dealers are invited to seek advice from antique experts for a small amount of money.

Educate yourself on Chinese antique furniture. There are many online resources that you can utilize to acquaint yourself with Chinese antiques furniture. Alternatively, you can visit your local antiques dealer then request him to educate you on a little bit about antique Chinese furniture. Visit your local library and search for books and literature on Chinese antiques. Museums are also good places to learn more about Chinese history, this includes antique furniture.

In case it is your first time to purchase antique Chinese pieces, the information available out there may be overwhelming. As such, you need to concentrate your training on particular forms of Chinese antique house furniture that interest you most, for example, desks, tables, seats or cabinets. Ask as many questions as possible and cultivate an approach of assessing likely antique furniture. Learn to identify particular marks and or features on the furniture you are looking for. Note that, every antique fitting is unique. Consequently, there are features which may indicate to you if the piece is classic or antique. A number of antique Chinese furniture display manufacturers’ signatures. These are often used as icons of authenticity. Then again, just because Chinese furniture bears the manufacturer’s signature does not mean it is authentic. At times, the kind of material utilized in creating the furniture can suggest to you whether it is antique or not.

The differences that exist between Chinese antique furniture to classic Chinese furnishings are slight. Therefore, it is better to invest a little bit of time and money in learning the differences between the two types of furniture so as to ensure a worthwhile investment.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Where To Shop For Chinese Antique Furniture Pieces In UK?

Chinese antique furniture provide you with a broader view of an ancient, ordered and structured society that does not exists. In comparison with other types of home furniture, including Oriental classic accessories, antique Oriental furniture bear an overriding charm that can be categorized into two specific classes. These are aesthetics and construction. In building Oriental furniture, carpenters strictly adhere to architectural carpentry. The systems and joint parts used are interchangeable. Additionally, glues and metallic nails are utilized in the construction technique. The entire fabrication process depends on the expertise as well as skills of the craftsman. Perhaps, it is the main reason why majorities of interior designers prefer to use Oriental antique furniture in modern western residences. When shopping for antique Chinese furniture, there are several online stores from where you can make your purchase. Listed below, are antique and oriental Chinese online shops:

  • Online Stores: There are many online stores from which you are able to buy antique Chinese furniture. To find out which online stores sell antique Chinese furniture items, you need to surf through various such engines. The good thing regarding buying antique Chinese furniture online is that most online stores are run by individual persons. The furniture in these types of online stores is hand-picked by the store owners during their frequent visits to China. Before being shipped to the UK, the pieces of selected furnishing are refurbished to their former conditions by professionals in Chinese antiques. Therefore, no matter what you are looking for when shopping for Chinese antique furniture, you should be in a position to find from most online stores.

  • Online Auctions: If you happen to be unable to find the kind of antique Chinese house furniture you are looking for from a good number of online stores, think about buying from an online auction. Online auctions are popular with art collectors as it allows them to obtain antique Chinese furniture that is rare to find from local antique stores and even most online stores.

  • Art Collectors: The other place from which you can purchase your Chinese antique piece is from art collectors. Art collectors are known for owning all kinds of antique items. Whilst you are most likely to find what you are looking for from an art collector, be ready to spend more. Because of the time and effort that art collectors spend while searching for different antique pieces, they are likely to over price their merchandises. The advantage is that the piece purchased is authentic.

The advantage of shopping for antique Chinese furniture online is the variety the web provides you with. At the click of a button, you can surf through several sites on the net. Nonetheless, you must actually do a little bit of study before stepping out into the market. Visit different online websites selling Chinese antique furniture and try to determine what is on sale. Doing an investigation is important because it aids you in determining which online stores offer antique Chinese furniture at discounted prices. Apart from discount and offers, research helps you in understanding more about the different features of antique Chinese furniture.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Antique Collectables Gallery - The Definitive Guide to a Real Antique Collection

When you can see the style of an antique piece and then match or associate it with the actual antique marks that the maker used, you are adding a new dimension to the knowledge you need to acquire in order to know what antique collectables to buy or invest in.

Viewing the antique manufacturers markings as they are stamped, painted or impressed on an antique item can help you learn more about how the maker marked their pieces and where and what to look out for. The gallery is where you can view a range of antiques and collectables from our own antiques collection and if you are a Google Plus user you can add your own comments or ask questions about the items.

You can view the full Antique Collectables Gallery here or watch the slideshow, clicking on one of the images below will take you to more details for that specific item. The antique collection items featured here are just a small preview of the full antiques gallery.

A makers mark that will provide the collector with an indication of the maker, the decorator and the approximate date of manufacture. However the marks on antique collectables can and have been faked, so the collector must then rely on the quality of manufacture, the quality of design and the quality of decoration to confirm that what they have is genuine.

The antiques collector can only do this by making sure they are familiar with the quality and style of a particular maker and by understanding the various elements within a makers mark as well as how and when those elements were introduced and utilised.

Most antique collectors, particularly those that specialise in one maker or one type or style of antique will be able to tell instantly whether an item is genuine. Most will be able to spot an antique in their particular area of expertise from a distance.

They learn to do this by becoming familiar with items and makers they are interested in. By handling those items and scrutinising every little detail about them to learn makers and designers individual inconsistencies and idiosyncrasies

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Is Collecting Antiques Still A Good Investment?

For some antique collectors, the true value in an antique lies in its sentimental worth rather than in its ability to increase in monetary value over the years. Nonetheless, the question,'Is collecting antiques a good investment?' is worthy of a word or two, especially for those particlularly avid antique collectors who hope to make a living from it or create a retirement nest egg from their financial investment in antiques and collectibles.

Without those individuals who hold a great deal of sentimental value in the antiques that they collect or continue to hold onto, the monetary value of collecting antiques might, more often, falter greatly or diminish drastically.

After all, many antique collectors invest in their cherished antiques for their sentimental value as well as their inherent financial value. Wanting to purchase an antique simply because you desire to own it often creates a much stronger pull or attraction toward it than wanting to purchase that same antique simply because you believe it will increase in value greatly over the next ten years.

For many antique collectors, the reason behind the desire to purchase an item is often a blend of true appreciation for its appearance and history as well as its potential value. What's the point in collecting something that you don't appreciate aesthetically? Of course, there is always the monetary value of an item, and that should be worth something in and of itself. However, the true pleasure that an experienced collector enjoys is often intricately interwoven with an intrinsic appreciation of the specific collectible genre.

Collecting antiques provides their owners with countless moments of visual appreciation, a feat that the ownership of stocks and bonds cannot possibly provide. While no guarantees can be given as to the continued financial worth of a specific antique, as long as collectors exist (which is likely), antiques will continue to hold monetary value at some level.

For some antiques, the financial value of a specific piece may increase, while for other items, the monetary value may decrease. There are no hard rules that a collector can use to accurately predict whether a specific antique will go up in value or not. When an individual collector is interested in a specific antique, the item may appear to be more valuable to him.

Nonetheless, people like to collect things, especially antiques. It's nice to own a piece of history that you can sit on, serve dinner on, store items inside of, or look at in appreciation. The value of an antique is realised by the collector who owns it as well as the collector who wishes to own it.

If you don't understand the heading for this section, "Today's Cup of Tea Is Served in a Different Antique Teapot," then you might have difficulty understanding the concept that it posits. As each new generation comes into existence, the popularity of some antiques will rise as the attraction of other antiques will decrease. Why is this?

Well, for some collectors, the desirability of certain antiques is intrinsically linked to the furniture, jewellery, paintings, or other paraphinalia that they grew up with as a child. Fond memories lead to the desire to own familiar pieces of the past and to place them within the antique collectors apartment, home, or office.

At one time, hot tea was served in sterling silver teapots. Eventually, porcelain and ceramic teapots became more popular and more affordable. Today, many individuals have never even seen a real teapot, let alone had a cup of hot tea from one. The saying, "It may not be your cup of tea," suggests that not all antique collectors are looking for the same type of collectible, a fact that directly influences the value of any piece of antique furntiure, ceramic or other artifact.

And, with each new generation collecting antiques, the search is on for some new variety of antiques. As modern themes emerge in home decor, many previously popular antiques will not fit with these new decorative themes, and this leads to the selection of a different type, style or period of collectibles. Hence, the monetary value of one style of antique may increase while another will remain stagnant or even decrease slightly.

The value of antiques is also influenced by the number of collectors actively searching for specific antiques along with the available supply of the items. As collectors age and begin to sell off their cherished collections of antiques, the market becomes flooded. As the law of supply and demand dictates, the value of the items may decrease in direct relation to the number of collectors searching for specific antiques.

Does this scenario mean that collecting antiques is not a good investment? No, in actuality, this type of situation simply suggests that the antiques market experiences ups and downs, in a similar way to other markets. However, as long as antique collectors are avidly searching for their favorite style of furniture, paintings by their favorite artists, or specific trinkets from a particular period, antiques will continue to hold their value and remain worthwhile investments.

The collector searches for the perfect find, hoping earnestly to purchase it at a reasonable price; and all the while hoping that his antique treasure will increase in value over the years to come. But sometimes, it is the other cup of tea that brings about the largest increase in value of an antique collectable twenty or thirty years down the line. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but the value of an antique is in the heart of the antiques collector.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Antique Rattan Furniture Collectors - 1870s to 1930s

Antique Rattan furniture evokes contradictory impressions: Casual, but Victorian-formal; Classic, but linked to the 19th century; Ephemeral, but timeless. Today, reactions to rattan furniture range from those owners who can’t wait to get rid of “that old stuff” to furniture collectors who cheerfully troop through endless yard sales to find treasured pieces.

Rattan furniture itself can range from battered, half-broken painted thrift store junk to pristine museum-grade furniture displayed in a place of honor. What makes collecting and owning antique and vintage rattan furniture so interesting, and occasionally frustrating, is the vague history of this class of collectibles. Almost every attempt at defining this class of furniture, first gives a quick bow to ancient Egypt (tomb pieces dating to 3,000 BC), before launching into 1930's Art Deco styles.

There’s a lot of vintage & antique rattan furniture that was produced between those dates, and much of it is still there, ready to be discovered. Indonesia (particularly Borneo), the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh account for the bulk of the world’s production. The wood is solid, unlike bamboo, which is hollow, but it does have section joints.

Larger pieces have been used for Malacca canes, beloved of London gentlemen, for centuries. It is the bark stripped from the canes, however, which was soaked and woven into wicker pieces. This bark was also used to wrap around wood (often the stripped core of the original rattan) to make frames, legs and backs.
Because rattan is so flexible, it can be bent and shaped into ornate designs, which fitted the Victorian sensibilities exactly.

A quick break in the story, here, to talk about wicker. The term “wicker” just describes any woven furniture, usually made from plant materials. A wicker piece can be made from bamboo, rush or even straw. So, rattan furniture is a type of wicker, but not all wicker is rattan.

Although it was used to make furniture in India and China, it was the building of the British Empire in India and Malaya during the early 19th century which really brought rattan furniture to the notice of the British, and later the Americans, who lived and traded in Asia.

They came to love it. And why not? It could easily be woven into almost any style, it was light and cool – perfect for the tropics – and it was cheap. Very, very cheap.

The Wakefield Rattan Company began to produce rattan furniture and sell it all over the United States, where it was soon finding its way to the conservatories, porches and summer parlors of the rich and the well to do.

In the 1830's it was a fad; by the 1850's it was a boom; by 1900, it was as common to find rattan furniture in a home as it was to see a cast iron kitchen stove there. Although there were other manufacturers, Wakefield was the largest. In fact, it absorbed its largest competitor, the Heywood Company, in 1897.

The manufactured range of wicker furniture (most of it still rattan) was tremendous, and included chairs, tables, love seats, beds and even wheeled chairs used on the boardwalks of popular resort towns such as Atlantic City.

By the beginning of the 20th century, however, tastes began to change and Victorian styles went out of fashion. The Heywood-Wakefield Company, as it was now named, then began to produce wicker furniture in what was called the “Mission style,” but the classic age of rattan ended during the Great Depression.

And another blip in the record during the 1970s when a style sometimes referred to as “Tiki Bar” was made.
Aside from those, post 1930s rattan furniture has primarily relied on reproducing pieces from the 19th century, much of it using synthetic reeds. Almost all of the modern pieces made from genuine rattan have been made in Asia, often the Philippines.

Today's antique furniture collectors now concentrate on rattan pieces made during the period 1870-1930. They face the usual challenges of all antique collectors, no matter what is being discussed: repairs, restorations, reproductions and fakes. For rattan furniture collectors, add to that the problem of the material itself.

Is it really rattan? Are other materials mixed in, either during production or afterwards. When was a repair made? It takes experience and careful examination to tell, sometimes. Some collectors are willing to buy pieces which have been carefully repaired, but eschew extensive restorations. Others firmly draw the line at painted pieces, but who can tell when it was painted? Is a rattan chair painted in 1880 less antique?

Other collectors depend on contemporary advertisements or catalogues for identification of genuine pieces, but that might leave out a short-run production or even a custom-made piece. The latter, while harder to identify and authenticate, could be quite valuable.

As you would expect, however, their prices are set at a premium. There are still undiscovered antique rattan furniture pieces out there, but they are becoming more and more difficult to find. What pieces are found in the yard sale jungle have to be considered with a jaundiced eye; they might be genuine, or they might be a reproduction.

Even if the style matches a catalogue from the 1890s, for example, it might be a recently-imported piece from Asia. Without a sure way to judge the age or an article of provenance, it’s often difficult to tell.
You see the problem, of course. But, many would say that this is part of the challenge, even the joy, of collecting antique rattan furniture.

Using a discerning eye, some common sense, a few good reference books and sometimes, just taking a leap of faith is all part of the great collecting game.

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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Antique Minton China Porcelain and Thomas Minton

The Minton china factory production consisted of practical and unpretentious tablewares in painted or printed earthenware or bone china that followed the typical shapes and decorative patterns of the period.
The firm gained it superb reputation when Herbert Minton succeeded his father as head of the firm. Under his management, he enlisted the services of many skilled artists. He introduced new techniques and methods of production. For these reasons, the Mintons was recognized for both industrial enterprise as well as its artistic excellence.

AWN Pugin, Sir Henry Cole, and Prince Albert were close associates whose designs were used by Minton. The painter and sculptor Alfred Stevens, the French sculptors Hugues Protat and Emile Jeannest, and the painter John Simpson were also employed there.

In 1845, Herbert Minton and Michael Daintry Hollins entered into partnership and the tile-making side of the business became known as Minton Hollins & Co. Herbert Minton's successful experiments in making encaustic tiles during the 1840s put him at the forefront of a huge industry supplying the requirments of institutions, churches, and domestic interiors all over the world.

Encaustic tiles are ceramic tiles with a decoration made of different colours of clay inlaid into the surface, a method originally produced in the middle ages. Later, Herbert lead the way in exploiting industrial techniques for producing printed and painted tiles, and for the rest of the century the firm produced tiles in a vast array of styles, many of them designed by leading artists such as Christopher Dresser, Walter Crane, John Moyr Smith, and William Wise. Relief-moulded tiles were introduced to the Minton range from the 1860s.

Parian Ware is a marble-like unglazed porcelain body developed during the 1840s and used most successfully for sculptural pieces.

John Bell, the American Hiram Powers, and Albert Carrier de Belleuse were among the sculptors who produced statuary for Minton.

Popular scaled-down models of larger pieces by contemporary and past sculptors were produced in Parian ware and the material was often used in combination with glazed and painted bone china for display pieces.

Leon remained there until 1892 and among his achievements were the development of Renaissance inspired ceramics such as inlaid earthenwares, pieces painted in the style of Limoges porcelain and in 1850 Minton China introduced the richly coloured and heavily glazed majolica.

Majolica was first shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and used for all kinds of objects from large garden ornaments and elaborate display pieces to dishes and jugs for the table. Arnoux attracted other French artists to Minton, notably the sculptor Carrier de Belleuse, the modeller and decorator Marc-Louis Solon and the painter Antoine Boullemier.

This beautiful but labourious process involves building up a design in relief with layers of liquid slip, each one having to dry before the next is applied. Using this technique, Solon and his apprentices modelled diaphanously clad maidens and tumbling cherubs on vases and plaques with a skill that was unmatched by any other factory.

After Herberts death the firm was run by his nephew Colin Minton Campbell and Colin was a visionary like his uncle. From the 1860's Oriental decoration pre-occupied Minton. Highly original pieces, both in earthenware and bone china, evoked Chinese cloisonne enamels, Japanese lacquer ware and ivories, Islamic metalwork and Turkish pottery.

The art studio was set up under the direction of the painter WS Coleman, in order to encourage both amateur and professional artists to decorate china and tiles for Minton. Although popular and influential, unfortunately the studio was burnt down in 1875 and was never rebuilt.

Even though excellent work continued to flow out of the factory, management languished among disinterested Minton family members and the company narrowly escaped bankruptcy.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Collecting Antique Glass: History of Antique Glass

Basically glass consists of sand with the addition of an alkaline flux to help it melt at a lower temperature and a stabiliser, usually lime, as glass tends to be quite unstable so over time all glass will break down and crumble. How long this takes depends on how well the glass is made and what went into it, in what proportions.

Generally glass has a greenish tint, due to the presence of iron in the sand, so neutralisation is usually accomplished by the addition of its spectrally opposing colour achieved with manganese. Of course some glass is meant to have colour and this is given by adding various metallic oxides such as copper, cobalt, gold etc.

In early times these were probably impurities in the sand and glass makers learned how to use them for decorative effect. Over the centuries people have tried to improve the clarity and brightness of glass and this has been achieved by adding lead oxide as a flux.

George Ravenscroft is usually attributed with this discovery in the late seventeenth century but lead oxide was already being used in Italy in the production of paste jewellery and it is more likely that he had found out this fact and put it to use here and in doing so put Britain to the forefront in the production of glass vessels during the eighteenth century.

Glass is worked in a molten form requiring constant reheating to keep it plastic. It is shaped usually by being free-blown through a rod and then manipulated into the desired shape or blown into a mould a technique used in Ireland and America in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries though this method had been invented in about 25 B.C. In this way decoration can be produced quickly and easily.

Once the piece has been made it then has to be annealed i.e. cooled very slowly so that any stresses can be reduced that might build up causing it to shatter. Even so glass still has stresses within it with handles being particularly prone to damage.

The exact origins of the process of glass making are unsure but it is thought that it first appeared in Mesopotamia about 3000 years B.C. probably as a result of experimenting with glazes for pottery. At first glass was used as an alternative to precious stones as it could be coloured and cut.

Glass reached Egypt by about 1540 B.C. where vessels were formed using various complex techniques of moulding and shaping. By Roman times glass was being blown in large quantities to form containers for liquids and for drinking from. Some beautiful pieces were being made in early times with coloured glass, trailed decoration even double-walled pieces containing gold leaf decoration and by the first few centuries B.C. the millefiore style had been invented. Some of the greatest pieces of Roman glass are the cameo cut examples such as the Portland Vase from the end of the first century B.C.

Glass was produced in the Islamic Kingdom from the seventh century where they continued using similar techniques to the Romans including the invention of one or two others such as the use of lustre decoration.

Until the Venetians became the worlds leading glass producers in the fifteenth century Islamic glass makers led the world with their colourful and innovative designs.

They cut, engraved, gilded and moulded using great skill in the production of intricate and splendid designs.
After the Roman Empire had declined the glass produced in Europe was of a fairly mundane bubbly green type generally of plain and functional form. By the eighth century however luxury glass was again being produced and throughout the centuries that followed techniques improved and some more interesting pieces were being made.

In the twelfth century stained glass windows were being used for churches and by about 1400 colourless glass was being manufactured again on a large scale. Towards the end of the fifteenth century the Venetians had perfected the production of colourless glass and became the leading glass makers in the world. The manufacture of glass brought great wealth to Venice with exports to all over the world and Venice is still renowned for its magnificent glassware.

Glass was being produced all over Europe in Spain, France, Holland, Germany and Britain. Spanish glass having a very much Islamic style and in other countries the Venetian influence can be seen as well as taking on the forms of silver and pottery wares from these respective countries.

Before this time glass was produced on a small scale in woodland furnaces where timber would have been used as fuel.

In the seventeenth century the next great development was the invention of the coal burning furnace by Sir Robert Mansell allowing much higher temperatures to be achieved. Because of this the main centres for glass production moved to areas where coal was mined such as Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Bristol. At this time the Venetian influence was still prevalent but as the century advanced the style became more individual and less flamboyant with the emphasis being on balance of form and refinement of engraving on colourless glass.

With the introduction of lead as a flux in the latter part of the century by George Ravenscroft glass could be produced which had a denser and clearer appearance thus lead crystal was produced. This meant that good quality mirrors and chandeliers could be made as well as wine glasses and consequently Britain manufactured some of the best glassware throughout the eighteenth century. However early Ravenscroft glass had a tendency toward crazing or “crizzling”. And some of the best engravers in the world came from the Low Countries of Europe.

Britians close politically ties with Holland in the late seventeenth century meant that fashions and styles were closely linked and it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between the two as lead glass was also made in Holland.

So called because of the architectural nature of the stem, but as time advanced more and more complex designs were being produced with multi sided stems different shaped knops, tears in the stems, i.e. carefully formed bubbles of air, beaded knops with many bubbles and probably as a development of these the air twist and opaque twist glasses.

Wineglasses in the eighteenth century often had engraved decoration sometimes commemorating causes such as the Jacobite and Williamite glasses. Family crests and armorials were also engraved on glasses. The Beilby family, based in Newcastle, are famous for their enamel decoration on glassware in the second half of the eighteenth century with pieces decorated with armorials a considerable rarity. Other glassware produced in the eighteenth century included decanters, tankards, salts, tumblers and a wide range of tableware. Cutting was employed to decorate glass during the eighteenth century at first it of the flat plane type.

As the century progressed different cutting techniques developed and by the end of the eighteenth century steam power was being introduced so speeding up the process and allowing more intricate cutting styles to be used.

By the early nineteenth century the regency style began to emerge and many of these pieces leave very little areas of glass which are uncut. Many new techniques were being developed France, Germany, Bohemia and America as well as Britain were producing some wonderfully exuberant pieces.

Acid etching, fine engraving, magnificent cutting, cameo and rock crystal style engraving were all being used to great acclaim.

In Britain the Dudley, Stourbridge and Wordsley areas in the West Midlands are renowned for quality items that were produced and there is still much to learn about the manufacture of glass in these areas. In Manchester the technique of press moulding was being used to mass produce pieces and items could be made with a variety of designs on them including some by great names such as Walter Crane.

In the early part of the twentieth there was a continuation of the nineteenth century style and some of the best glass was being made in America and France. In America Louis Comfort Tiffany is particularly famous for his iridescent glassware and for leaded glass lamp shades. In France RenĂ© Lalique was making very high quality pressed glass.

However there were many more producers of fine decorative glassware throughout Europe at this time.
With the First World War there was a decline in quality though some good pieces were still being produced between the wars.

However after the Second World War there was a marked decline with the production of utilitarian designs dominating the glass industry. Many of these pieces are collected and they fit in well with the modern home.

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Antiques Collection - Spatter Glass Basket

From the antique-marks collection we have a wonderful Nailsea Glass Basket roughly formed from various pieces of coloured glass spatter with a clear glass, twisted branch handle. Possibly 19th Century and highly collectable Nailsea glass which included this type of decoration, with white and sometimes colored splashes on a dark green or amber glass.

Spatter glass was extremely popular with Victorians in the late 19th century, along with many other Roman and Egyptian glass styles. Spatter Glass is actually hand-blown glass which has been rolled over a hot steel or iron plate to pick up small chips of crushed or powdered glass on the outside. The glass is then rolled smooth and shaped by blowing

This Nailsea Glass basket is in very good original condition, with some traces of wear. A few small burst air bubbles here and there and typical imperfections found in early glass. No cracks and the bowl rings when flicked with a finger.

Makers marks provide a reasonably reliable dating system but typically, there are no makers or factory marks present on antique glass. Northwood Glass carnival wares are one exception. However, there is an indented and polished pontil mark to the base of this Nailsea glass basket demonstrating the hand blown manufacture and quality.

It is uncertain when glassmaking first started in Nailsea but Nailsea Crown Glass and Bottle Manufacturers "The Nailsea Glassworks" was one of the new factories that opened in the Victorian glass boom. It was set up by John Lucas in 1788.

Nailsea Glass became widely used by the 1830's and the glassworks expanded to become one of the four largest in England. Because of the heavy duty on 18thC. Flint Glass, it became common practice for glassworks like Nailsea to manufacture tableware out of bottle or window glass, and to decorate it very simply with white dots or lines to make it more attractive.

Nailsea Crown Glass and Bottle Manufacturers were just one among many glassworks that manufactured this type of glass, and they gave their name to this style. The flecked and festooned glassware, such as this Nailsea spatter glass basket, included jugs, carafes, vases, bowls, paperweights, twisted canes, rolling pins, pipes and jars, which are now highly collectable items. Collectively they are often simply referred to as Nailsea glass.

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