Art & Antiques Market

Connoisseur’s GUIDE to Shopping for Antiques in London

Written by Aksel Ritenis

antiques-londonAn antique is an old collectible item. It is collected or desirable because of its age, rarity, condition, utility, or other unique feature. It is an object that represents a previous era in human society. Antiques are usually objects which show some degree of craftsmanship, or a certain attention to design such as a desk or the early automobile. The collecting of antique furniture is a particularly popular area of antiques due to the practical characteristics of these antiques. There are a number of different styles of antique furniture depending on when and where it was made. The most common include Arts & Crafts, Georgian, Regency and Victorian.

Another popular collecting item is antique vases. Starting with Lady Head vases that are relatively inexpensive to Fostoria bud vases (Depression Era glassware) and, of course, Oriental vases, including those from the Ming, Qing and Song Dynasties. These are extremely valuable vases and they are difficult to find, mainly because the owners are unwilling to part with such beautiful items. As with most valuable items, there are a lot of fakes which can be identified by searching for some specific marks. Marks of earlier periods have been used throughout the history of Chinese porcelain. Almost at the same time the Chinese invented porcelain, they invented “copies” – either to honour, or to deceive for financial gain. You can any day find a 20th century identical pair of bowls, one marked “made in china”, the other one marked “Kangxi Nian Zhi”. Marks are still one of the best means we have to identify the period during which a certain piece of Chinese porcelain is made, whatever the mark actually says. Correctly understood it is like the fingerprint of the potter and his time.

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Axel is the Editor and Publisher of Connoisseur Magazine "for the Finer Things in Life" and has been the custodian of the magazine for over 10 years and leader of a team of freelance Journalists and Community Members who continue to make it all happen!-Join the Team at Connoisseur Magazine!

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