The rebirth of Japanese enamelling is widely credited to the samurai Kaji Tsunekichi of Nagoya. Like many Samurai in 19th century Japan, he was haunted by the menacing spectre of modernity – that, and the meagre stipend. To address this he took apart one of his own pieces (not recommended) and by studying its construction felt suitably confident to have a go himself. Presumably, after a period of great frustration and toil, he emerged with a small cloisonné dish.
The King’s Porcelain Manufactory, Berlin was established in 1763 as, amongst other things, a way of King Frederick the Great financing his many wars. Previous efforts at creating ‘White Gold’ in Prussia had been plagued by war, competition in the market and ‘technical difficulties.’
We recently acquired some pieces from the Robbie Wilson estate. A renowned collector and exponent of military history, Wilson sought to create a freely accessible and lasting resource, cataloguing rare examples of military headgear.
I guess there’s something in a shop that sells cigarette cards, Russian sabers and everything in between for all levels of peculiarity. And as a result is we get more than our fair share of oddness.
When it happens, I’ll share it, before this world of Facebook and Twitter scare away eccentricity for good, though that could just be the rain? Eccentrics hate rain. Also judging by other antique dealers, it’s possible that I’ll be sanitised to the madness within a decade; existing in a cosy land of tweed blazers and bow ties.
The other day, Rob and I were speculating over what horn a walking stick was made from. Commenting on its ivory inlay, an old chap of around 60 appeared, peeking his head around the corner.
Sorry for the delay in getting out the latest entry of Maurice Southgate’s diary, we have spent the last week working tirelessly(ish) to build a raft robust enough to fit us all on and not sink (a feat of engineering some thought to be impossible).
The good folks over at Worthpoint have published our article, ‘Getting it there in One Piece: Tips on Packaging and Shipping Antiques’, written by Rob. It can be found at: http://www.worthpoint.com/article/getting-one-piece-tips-packaging-shipping-antiques
It describes some cost-effective methods to protect your fragile, unique and often valuable pieces when sending them all over the world. Postal services and couriers are often unwilling to properly insure antiques and collectables, so good protective packing is very important for anyone selling antiques online, for your customer’s satisfaction and your piece of mind. A must read guide for those looking to start posting antiques.
For those who don’t know, Rob is Parade Antique’s packing sage. He once blew a bubble using fairy liquid and water, packed it and sent it to the moon. It arrived unharmed.
Working in an Antiques Shop (or any shop), you are obliged to talk to the customers, conversation rarely progresses beyond the pleasantries, or The Weather for that matter. Every conversation concerns The Weather. In Britain, it seems that The Weather is so ingrained in our psyche that ones thoughts and sentiments rarely stretch past it. The result is: that for the large part, words are already pre-packed and ready to go – that convenient line: “rubbish weather today…” is always there, should we need to use it. And we almost always do.
Unfortunately, there comes a time in any antiques career where one must leave the light of the shop and delve into the dark obscurity of the storeroom, what is there… well who knows?
The Crimean war remains one of history’s forgotten wars. With it’s causes; intentions and even its location remaining a bit of a distant blur. Ultimately though, its legacy is prominent in the modern world and has had a larger effect than most care to mention.