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

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

From Negative To Positive

Shortly it will be 25 years since that devastating day, 28 January 1986 when the NASA Challenger space shuttle broke into pieces over the Atlantic Ocean. I can still remember today the horrifying event shown on television and not believing it to be true. Could it be possible that just over a minute into the flight, the shuttle disintegrated with its seven crew members aboard. Can anything in our lives be as devastating, but there is an important lesson to learn from the incident - how to turn a negative into a positive.

When a bad thing happens, it is so easy to feel defeated, depressed, hopeless, and wonder why does it always happen to me. But we can also use it as a learning experience, to grow, redefine, and improve. NASA may have been beaten down by their failures that day in 1986 and again during the pursuing years, but when you are dreaming big and tackling what seems the impossible, you are bound to have some setbacks along the way. The same is true when you are dealing with antiques and conservation products, not every day is going to be a good one. Not every experience is going to be positive, but with every negative experience or display of bad behaviour from a difficult customer, an opportunity presents its self to correct it and turn it around into a learning experience.

Negative experiences serve as a reminder to ways in which we can improve, because without weakness you do not know strength. 

Several years ago I had an old lady visit my stand and I tried to convince her of the benefits of using my eco friendly metal polish. After demonstrating the product she still remained unconvinced, but reluctantly bought a bottle on the basis that she would go home and try it and if it did not work she would come back the next day and get her money back. The next day there were a number of people watching me demonstrate the product, and low and behold the old lady arrived, joined the crowd but never said a thing. At this point I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me, because my efforts to sell the product were just about to evaporate before my very eyes. None of the people were convinced and were beginning to move away when the old lady spoke. She told her story and the money back guarantee and said she had returned again not to get her money back but to buy another bottle because it was the best she had ever used and she was afraid she would use it all up before she saw me again. I have told this story many times at shows, because older people are usually more difficult to convince because they are set in their ways and change is difficult for them to accept. 

As you consider the problem behaviour of your customers, do not get frustrated or down if you have some setbacks along the way. If customers never exhibited bad behaviour, how would it be possible for you to improve your customer handling techniques? Take every negative experience and look at it as an opportunity to correct and grow – turn it into a positive! 

I cannot tell you how many times I thought it would be better to sell non eco-friendly products and make more money, but if I do not help planet earth – then who will !!!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Conserve The Future

In this busy selfish world of ours, it seems that personal gain is the only thing that really matters. Until the time comes when inter-planetary travel and cosmic colonisation becomes a reality, then planet earth remains our home. It therefore makes a lot of sense to make sure that we keep our home in good order. There are many views about how to achieve this, and even some that still say it is not necessary, so what are we to believe.

We keep our houses clean and tidy, we cut the grass and weed the flower beds, we paint the house and fence surrounding our property, but still we allow planet earth to be turned into a global rubbish dump. Whilst some of the issues require governments to solve, there are many self help remedies that we the consumer can remedy now.

Recycling, going green, reducing carbon footprints are just some of the initiatives that have gained popularity. I am sure some of these things will fail and others will take their place, but that is no reason for not trying. What many people fail to see and accept is that the humble antique is the oldest green product bar none. 

By definition, an antique is an item that is 100 years or more in age, and during that time it will have been recycled several times. By conserving and re-using these items we are reducing our impact on planet earth. That alone should be sufficient, but as a bonus the antique piece has a unique provenance that future generations can look back upon with pride. 

There are many products that can be used to care for antiques, and indeed many of them are household names. Make sure the product you use is an eco-friendly pH Neutral product. They may be a little more expensive to purchase initially, but usually work out cheaper in the long run and more importantly do no harm to the environment. By using these products, not only are you giving the antique piece you are trying to conserve the best chance of survival, you are also helping planet earth and all those that rely on her the chance to survive as well.

I hope I am ready for the question my grandchildren will most likely ask "Grandpa, what did you do to save planet earth". 


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