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, 19 April 2011

Save The British Hallmark

The sterling lion may soon become an extinct species. 

 Typical British Hallmarks

This particular lion is not protected, and its habitat is under imminent threat by an axe wielding government based in Westminster. In a bid to cut red tape and hence money (no not their lucrative expense accounts – silly) the trusted lion must go. After almost 800 years the UK government now wants to remove this most coveted of all consumer protection. Hallmarks on new items made of precious metal may be scrapped under a UK government bid to reduce red tape. 

 Sterling Silver Mark - England
Now the Assay Offices in Birmingham and London have launched an appeal to persuade as many people as possible to object to the proposals, which form part of a consultation called The Red Tape challenge. Launched on April 7, comments are invited online until May 5.

Sterling Silver Mark - Scotland

"The Red Tape Challenge aims to reduce regulation which stifles enterprise and industry," said an Assay Office spokesman.

 Edinburgh Assay Office

"The message from the Government appears to be that every regulation highlighted will be abolished – unless visitors to the website express sufficient good reasons to convince ministers that this particular regulation must be kept."

 Sheffield Assay Office

Hallmarking is one of eight key topics under scrutiny.

"We believe it is imperative to the British consumer for the current and future UK jewellery industry to maintain hallmarking as a statutory independent service," the Assay Office argues.

 London Assay Office

The British hallmarking system is the standard to which the rest of the world hope to reach, so what can be done to help protect this lion? 

 Birmingham Assay Office

The UK Assay Offices want people to log on to www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/hallmarking and register their objections.

Unless people express their concerns, the lion will shortly be as dead as a dodo.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A Burning Light

Today we switch on an electric light to drive away the darkness, but just over 100 years ago fire and light were not so readily available and held in high regard. Similarly the items associated with both fire and light were both elaborate and practical.

Georgian Brass Chamberstick c.1820

Candles come in all shapes and sizes, and so similarly do the holders that held them in their working position.

William & Mary Cast Brass Candlestick c.1690

Today when many items are within the reach of most people, we are apt to forget that they were once the items of the rich and powerful. For the ordinary worker, a brass candlestick was simply beyond their means so they would drip some candle wax onto a flat surface and then stick the candle into the wax until it hardened. At best, a small piece of flat wood would be used to make the lighted candle portable.

George II Seamed Brass Candlesticks c.1740

Silver was once the preserve of royalty and their favourites so it fell upon the shoulders of brass, copper, bronze and pewter to provide the items of the growing and affluent middle class. It is for this reason there are many affordable surviving examples of these items from which the collector can choose. Many people like the typical Victorian brass candlesticks. By this time production techniques had advanced such that the cost of the item fell at the expense of individuality but more importantly these items came within the reach of the ordinary person. Candlesticks of all types of shapes and sizes were made for all purposes.

George III Seamed Bronze Candlestick c.1770

My personal passion is for candlesticks from a slightly earlier era. Examples of candlesticks from 1650 to 1750 are in regular use in my home. They tend to be less tall than and more individual than their Victorian counterparts, and even now I feel it a privilege to own and enjoy these beautiful items. Each piece could tell a very long and interesting story about their experiences gained from over 350 years of existence. Were they silent witnesses to plots, intrigues, romantic liaisions and murder, or just an item in a rich merchants home? Their silver counterparts were and still are more valuable and have generally survived the years better. However a lot of silver items have been melted down and destroyed throughout history including modern times. Kings were always short of money to pay for wars and in recent times the scrap value of silver was higher than the market value of the item.

George II Seamed Brass Swirl base Candlesticks c.1750

To own these items is a responsibility that cannot be taken lightly. They have survived 350 years and with the correct care they can survive another 350 years or longer. It is our heritage, our gift to future generations so we are responsible to make sure they survive. Correct polishing and handling are essential to ensure longevity. Environment friendly products are available to help preserve both these items and our planet.

Easy Shine Environment Friendly Metal Polish

Environment Friendly Micro-Crystalline Wax
For more information about these and other products please use the links shown below:


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