Oil Painting

Zanden signed Yellow Roses Still Life Oil Painting 1930’s

Mantle Clock

Hamburg American Clock Company

Silver Enamel Brooch

Norwegian silver enamel leaf brooch from Aksel Holmsen A/S

Ceramic Pot Lid

Mounted Victorian Ceramic Pot Lid

EasyShine Metal Polish

Environment Friendly Metal Polish

Renaissance Wax

Environment Friendly Micro-Crystalline Wax

Model Car

View Vans Collectable Souvenir Glentworth Hall

Lead Shot

Lead Shot From The Shipwreck HMS Crocodile c.1784

Opera Glasses

Brass and Ivory Opera Glasses 1920's

Cluster Ring

Tourmaline and Diamond Cluster Ring

Silver lapel Badge

Sterling Silver and Enamel Lapel Badge

Silver Cream Jug

Walker and Hall Sterling Silver Cream Jug, Sheffield 1910

Tunbridgeware Box

Victorian Walnut Box with Tunbridge Bands c.1800's

Burr Walnut Snuff Box

Victorian Burr Walnut Snuff Box c.1800's

Carved Oak Hippo

Hand Carved Oak Hippo c.1980's

Wooden Desk Blotter

Edwardian Hand Carved Oak Blotter

Blue Enamel Hair Brush

Blue Enamel and Silver Hair Brush, Birmingham 1929

Silver Visit Card Holder

Sterling Silver Visit Card Holder, Birmingham 1876

Open Silver Salt

Swedish Open Silver Salt with Cobalt Blue Glass Liner, 1952

Silver Serving Fork

Silver Handle Serving Fork, Birmingham 1899

Silver Plate Tray

Silver Plated Tray, Elkington and Co, Birmingham 1948

Silver Candlestick

Silver Candlestick, Arthur and John Zimmerman, Birmingham 1911

Silver Sifter Spoon

Sterling Silver Sifter Spoon, Sheffield 1909

Silver Decanter label

Sterling Silver Decanter Label, Birmingham 1970

Silver Button Hook

Silver Handle Button Hook, Birmingham 1939

Silver Pickle Fork

Victorian Silver Pickle Fork with Ivory Handle

Monday, 14 October 2013

How To List An Item

Online selling is subtly different from traditional selling because the buyer does not actually see the item until after it has been paid for and delivered. 
Tips about item descriptions and photographs can be read in our article How To List An Item
It is always a good idea to put ones self in the buyers position and ask the question what do I need to know about this item before I purchase it. If you get a number of e-mails asking for additional information, then either the Title, Description or Photographs are lacking information.
Would you buy an expensive Rolex or Cartier watch from a one-line description and an out of focus photograph?
At any antique fair, the first thing people do is pick up the item, to look at it, feel it, examine it or ask questions about it. When selling online, only your Title, Description and Photographs create the virtual conditions of the antique fair.
What is required to sell a stamp, vintage clothing or an oil painting will vary according to the item and its value. A low value item represents a small risk if it is not as expected upon arrival, but an expensive oil painting, stamp or piece of silver represents a large risk if it is not what you expected.
The Title, Description and Photographs should send a clear message to the buyer that since you have taken the time and effort to describe and show the item including dings, dents and flaws then you are trustworthy since you are not trying to hide anything. Whilst this may not end in a sale, but it takes away a major reason for people not to buy.
Regarding the number of photographs. Most broadband accounts include 4 to 10 MB space for a small home website. Some auction sites restrict the number of photographs you can list per item, but you can host your own photographs and place a link in your auction advert to these photographs, so you are not restricted to a certain number of photographs after all.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Save Me - My Home - Yourself

Are you on the endangered species list?
If you were, what would you do to get off the list?

Please Keep Me Off The Endangered Species List

We humans have several means at our disposal to take action and voice our opinions, but unfortunately the endangered species have no such voice or political influence. Because they represent monetary gain and profit, they are hunted or forced into extinction to satisfy our insatiable greed.

We teach our children about the folly, nay stupidity, of killing the goose that lays the golden egg but then go out and do just that. 
The list of endangered species is depressingly long and not something we can reproduce here especially as it needs constant updating as more species join the list.

So what can be done to halt and hopefully reverse the trend?

If we can not stop global warming and global pollution that endangers our very existence, what chance do the endangered species stand?

Well let us be honest it will not be easy, but that is no excuse for not trying 

Causes Of Endangerment
Endangerment is a broad issue and is one that involves the habitats and environments where species live and interact with one another. Although some measures are being taken to help specific cases of endangerment, the universal problem cannot be solved until humans protect the natural environments where endangered species dwell.

Habitat Destruction
Our planet is constantly changing, and these natural changes usually occur over long time periods causing only minor impact. When change occurs at a faster rate, species have little or no time to adjust to these new circumstances and can cause disasterous results. For this reason, rapid habitat loss is the main reason for species to become endangered and the main culprit in habitat loss are human beings. Deforestation and the loss of the tropical rain forests are examples of human intervention resulting in the loss of habitat. Once cut, it can take many hundreds of years to re-grow these forests where many of the world's most severely threatened animals and plants live.

Please Do Not Take Away My Home 

Over Exploitation
Unrestricted whaling during the 1900´s is a good example of over exploitation, and the whaling industry brought many species of whales to extremely low population sizes. When several whale species were nearly extinct, a number of nations agreed to abide by an international moratorium on whaling. Due to this moratorium, some whale species, such as the grey whale, have made remarkable comebacks, while others remain threatened or endangered.

Please Ask Go Daddy CEO Not To Kill Me

Due to the trade in animal parts, many species continue to suffer high rates of exploitation. Even today, there are demands for items such as rhino horns and tiger bones in several areas of Asia. It is here that there exists a strong market for traditional medicines made from these animal parts. Both the UK and the European Union have recently introduced tougher laws to prevent antique rhino horn trophies from being exported to Asia in an attempt to curb the trade in this endangered species. 

Introduction of Exotic Species
Native species are those plants and animals that are part of a specific geographic area, and have ordinarily been a part of that particular biological landscape for a lengthy period of time. They are well adapted to their local environment and are accustomed to the presence of other native species within the same general habitat. Exotic species, however, are interlopers. These species are introduced into new environments by way of human activities, either intentionally or accidentally. These interlopers are viewed by the native species as foreign elements. They may cause no obvious problems and may eventual be considered as natural as any native species in the habitat. However, exotic species may also seriously disrupt delicate ecological balances and may produce a plethora of unintended yet harmful consequences. 

The worst of these unintended yet harmful consequences arise when introduced exotic species put native species in jeopardy by preying on them. This can alter the natural habitat and can cause a greater competition for food. Species have been biologically introduced to environments all over the world, and the most destructive effects have occurred on islands. Introduced insects, rats, pigs, cats, and other foreign species have actually caused the endangerment and extinction of hundreds of species during the past five hundred years. Exotic species are certainly a factor leading to endangerment.

The rhododenrum, once thought of as an exotic plant, was introduced into Britain many years ago. It has flourished over the years to an extent where it is now considered a weed in many parts of the country and is threatening many native plant species. 

More Factors
Disease, pollution, and limited distribution are more factors that threaten various plant and animal species. If a species does not have the natural genetic protection against particular pathogens, an introduced disease can have severe effects on that specie. For example, rabies and canine distemper viruses are presently destroying carnivore populations in East Africa. Domestic animals often transmit the diseases that affect wild populations, demonstrating again how human activities lie at the root of most causes of endangerment. Pollution has seriously affected multiple terrestrial and aquatic species, and limited distributions are frequently a consequence of other threats; populations confined to few small areas due to of habitat loss, for example, may be disastrously affected by random factors.

Why Save Endangered Species
Plants and animals hold medicinal, agricultural, ecological, commercial, aesthetic and recreational value. Endangered species must be protected and saved so that future generations can experience their presence and value.

Plants and animals are responsible for a variety of useful medications. In fact, about forty percent of all prescriptions written today are composed from the natural compounds of different species. These species not only save lives, but they contribute to a prospering pharmaceutical industry worth over $40 billion annually. Unfortunately, only 5% of known plant species have been screened for their medicinal values, although we continue to lose up to 100 species daily.

The Pacific yew, a slow-growing tree found in the ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest, was historically considered a "trash" tree (it was burned after clear cutting). However, a substance in its bark taxol was recently identified as one of the most promising treatments for ovarian and breast cancer.

Additionally, more than 3 million American heart disease sufferers would perish within 72 hours of a heart attack without digitalis, a drug derived from the purple foxglove.

There are an estimated 80,000 edible plants in the world. Humans depend upon only 20 species of these plants, such as wheat and corn, to provide 90% of the world's food. Wild relatives of these common crops contain essential disease-resistant material. They also provide humans with the means to develop new crops that can grow in inadequate lands such as in poor soils or drought-stricken areas to help solve the world hunger problem. In the 1970s, genetic material from a wild corn species in Mexico was used to stop a leaf fungus that had previously wiped out 15% of the U.S. corn crop.

Plant and animal species are the foundation of healthy ecosystems. Humans depend on ecosystems such as coastal estuaries, prairie grasslands, and ancient forests to purify their air, clean their water, and supply them with food. When species become endangered, it is an indicator that the health of these vital ecosystems is beginning to unravel. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that losing one plant species can trigger the loss of up to 30 other insect, plant and higher animal species.

The northern spotted owl, listed as threatened in 1990, is an indicator of the declining health of the ancient forests of the Pacific Northwest. These forests are the home to over 100 other old-growth dependent species, which are at risk due to decades of unsustainable forest management practices.

Pollution off the coast of Florida is killing the coral reefs along the Florida Keys, which serve as habitat for hundreds of species of fish. Commercial fish species have begun to decline, causing a threat to the multi-million dollar tourism industry, which depends on the quality of the environment.

Various wild species are commercially raised, directly contributing to local and regional economies. Commercial and recreational salmon fishing in the Pacific Northwest provides 60,000 jobs and $1 billion annually in personal income, and is the center of Pacific Northwest Native American culture. This industry and way of life, however, is in trouble as salmon decline due to habitat degradation from dams, clear cutting, and overgrazing along streams.

Freshwater mussels which are harvested, cut into beads, and used to stimulate pearl construction in oysters form the basis of a thriving industry which supports approximately 10,000 U.S. jobs and contributes over $700 million to the U.S. economy annually. Unfortunately, 43% of the freshwater mussel species in North America are currently endangered or extinct.

Aesthetic and Recreational
Plant and animal species and their ecosystems form the basis of America´s multi-billion dollar, job-intensive tourism industry. They also supply recreational, spiritual, and quality-of-life values as well.

Please Let Me Live

Each year over 108 million people in the United States participate in wildlife-related recreation including observing, feeding, and photographing wildlife. Americans spend over $59 billion annually on travel, lodging, equipment, and food to engage in non-consumptive wildlife recreation.

Our quality of life and that of future generations depends on our preservation of plant and animal species. We are only the guardians of this planet and everything therein. We do not and never will own planet earth, so it is our responsibility to hand over the planet in a better state than that in which we inherited. Is it so much to ask?

Ways You Can Help Endangered Species
Endangered species need your help, so here are some ways that you can get involved:

Conserve Habitats
  • One of the most important ways to help threatened plants and animals survive is to protect their habitats permanently in national parks, nature reserves or wilderness areas. There they can live without too much interference from humans. It is also important to protect habitats outside reserves such as on farms and along roadsides.
  • You can visit a nearby national park or nature reserve. Some national parks have special guided tours and walks for kids. Talk to the rangers to find out whether there are any threatened species and how they are being protected. You and your friends might be able to help the rangers in their conservation work.
  • When you visit a national park, make sure you obey the wildlife code: follow fire regulations; leave your pets at home; leave flowers, birds´ eggs, logs and bush rocks where you find them; put your rubbish in a bin or, better still, take it home.
  • If you have friends who live on farms, encourage them to keep patches of bush as wildlife habitats and to leave old trees standing, especially those with hollows suitable for nesting animals.
  • Some areas have groups which look after local lands and nature reserves. They do this by removing weeds and planting local native species in their place. You could join one of these groups, or even start a new one with your parents and friends. Ask your local parks authority or council for information. By removing rubbish and weeds and replanting with natives you will allow the native bush to gradually regenerate. This will also encourage native animals to return.
Make Space For Wildlife
  • Build a bird feeder and establish a birdbath for the neighborhood birds.
  • Plant a tree and build a birdhouse in your backyard.
  • Start composting in your backyard garden or on your balcony. It eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers which are harmful to animals and humans, and it benefits your plants!
  • Ask your parents not to use harmful chemicals in your garden or home. 
I Can Live With You But Can You Live With Me

Recycle, Reduce, And Reuse
  • Encourage your family to take public transportation. Walk or ride bicycles rather than using the car.
  • Save energy by turning off lights, radios and the TV when you are not using them.
  • Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth and use water-saving devices on your toilet, taps and shower head.
  • Ask your parents to buy products and food without packaging whenever possible. Take your own bag to the store. It will reduce the amount of garbage and waste your family produces.
  • Recycle your toys, books and games by donating them to a hospital, daycare, nursery school or children's charity.
  • Encourage your family to shop for organic fruits and vegetables.

Plant Native Plants That Are Local To The Area
If you can, plant native plants instead of non-native or introduced ones in your garden. You do not want seeds from introduced plants escaping into the bush. Native grasses, flowers, shrubs and trees are more likely to attract native birds, butterflies and other insects, and maybe even some threatened species.
Control Introduced Plants And Animals
  • Non-native plants and animals are ones that come from outside your local area.
  • Some parks and reserves, beaches, bush-land and rivers are now infested with invasive plants, and native species often cannot compete with these plants.
  • Many environmental weeds come from people´s gardens.
  • Sometimes, the seeds are taken into the bush by the wind or by birds. Controlling these foreign species is an important step in protecting wildlife.
  • There are many community groups working on conservation activities. Join an organization in your area and start helping today!
Make Your Voice Heard
  • Government conservation agencies are responsible for the management of national parks and the protection of wildlife. They are sometimes supported by public foundations.
  • Tell your family, friends and work mates about threatened species and how they can help them.
  • Start a group dedicated to protecting a threatened plant or animal in your area or perhaps to help care for a national park. Facebook, Twitter and similar have many such groups and causes that you can join and support.
  • Write articles or letters about threatened species to newspapers.
  • Ring up talk-back radio programs to air your concerns, or arrange to talk on your community radio station.
  • Contact your local politician and ask for party support on some of the above issues. Always remember a politician is more slippery than a bar of soap in a bowl of water, so you will need to make sure there is some political capital to be made from supporting the issue. If a politician can gain an advantage from supporting your idea they will go for it, so make sure popularity and votes are at stake.
No matter what you decide to do be it little or large, the important thing is you have done something. It is so easy to sit back and let somebody else do the work, but if we all did that, nothing would get done. So remember, every journey starts with the first step and from tiny acorns mighty oak trees grow. Perhaps your fist step will be the first of many and some endangered species will benefit from your action.

Easy Shine metal polish is an eco-friendly pH Neutral product that does not harm the environment. By using this product, not only will you get a better high lustre shine, you will not be polluting the environment and hence causing no harm to the fauna and flora in your area.

This is something that you can do today so there is no excuse.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

So You Want To Be A Collector

Squirrels collect and store during the summer when food is plentiful, to help them through the long winter when food is more difficult to find. Similarly with collectors, they look for pieces in times of plenty, so they can admire and enjoy their collection during the difficult times when time, money, space and suitable pieces are hard to find.

Collecting anything, antique or modern, is limited by three factors:

the space available
the time available
the money available

Having determined these basic essentials, it is then a personal matter. The taste of the collector may lead to watches or clocks, china teapots, or innumerable other things. The lucky acquisition of an admired piece may lead to a determination to get more of the same, or at least to start a quest to find out what the admiration is all about. 

The Rarity4u website has many helpful guides and tips to help the beginner and seasoned collector alike. The information we publish is intended to help the collector in a number of different ways, including, dating the piece, clues to the original maker, and where possible some background history of the maker. 

It is not possible in a single website to give detailed information about every aspect of antiques and collectables along with the practicality of the time needed for research, writing and publishing the information. However we do publish articles regularly, so bookmark Rarity4u and remember to check back frequently.

Happy and rewarding collecting.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Growing Online Sales

The grand days of clipper ships racing across the world’s oceans to be first home with goods and spices from exotic locations, has been eclipsed by the ubiquitous Internet. Where else can you shop around the clock, around the world without leaving the comfort of your home?

People have for several years, become used to buying smaller, cheaper items online without experiencing any special problems. It comes as no surprise therefore to find there is a growing trend towards the online purchase of more expensive goods. A key criteria people use when selecting a company from which to purchase an antique or collectable item, is the impeccable and respectable reputation of the company. We are particularly proud of the trust our customers have placed in us, that has helped us to continually grow and increase our market share.

Why then with online antique jewellery sales growing at one of the fastest rates, did the respectable ‘Old Lady’, Sotheby’s sell their last jewel on internet at the end of April 2003? Far be it for us to query the action of one of the world’s best known auction houses, but even a world famous company like Sotheby’s cannot ignore market trends and demands. The average price of items purchased online is currently far lower than Sotheby’s standard reserve price. Also internet selling is a totally different discipline that requires a new knowledge base.

Clearly the market is in need of the two separate businesses, the international auction houses to sell expensive antiques and high end jewellery, and companies like Rarity4u who are specialised in the online sale of irreplaceable antiques at affordable prices packaged together with that good old fashion commodity called service.

Whilst the internet is more convenient and increasingly more available, it does not have the romantic appeal of those grand clipper ships racing across the world's oceans.

We wish you continued success with your search for antiques and collectables.


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