Saturday, September 28, 2013

Antique 20th century Rodenstein Mettlach Beer Stein

Rodenstein Mettlach Beer Stein
15 3/4" high 

Price: $7,350

A wonderful Mettlach beer stein by Villeroy & Boch of Germany, adorned with a wonderful landscape of the village of Beerfurth, and topped by a figural finial of Rodenstein Castle, both located in the Odenwald Mountains of Germany. The rare and quite large 3.8 liter stein retains its original pewter thumb hinge and is in excellent condition.

The stein bears the incised Mettlach abbey mark above the form number "2038" and the date mark of "07" for the year 1907.

Located on the Saar River in western Germany, close to borders with Luxembourg and France, the Mettlach factory is housed on the grounds of a former Benedictine Abbey dating to the 10th century. The factory was founded on this site in 1809 by Johann Franz Boch-Buschmann, and the company of Villeroy & Boch resulted from a merger with Nicolas Villeroy in 1836.

The object of the day: 18th century Italian Blackamoor Busts

Italian Marble Blackamoor Busts, Late 18th century

This exceptional pair of 18th-century blackamoors is crafted of hand-carved marble
21 1/4" high 

A very rare and desirable pair of 18th-century Italian marble blackamoor busts of exceptional quality and condition. These male and female figures are exceptionally hand-carved and rest upon a circular, turned pedestal. Blackamoors, often referred to as Moretto or Moor's head, have been used in heraldry, jewelry, and the decorative arts for centuries. The forms represent the historic emblem of Venice, dating from the medieval period, when Saracen pirates plagued the coast of Dalmatia.

Their use in decorating interiors spread quickly to the royal courts of Europe, where they were considered exotic symbols of wealth, luxury and good fortune. The popularity of blackamoors soon spread to the European aristocracy, who commissioned beautiful figures such as the current examples as a way to bring courtly fashion into their homes. Seldom do original pairs of marble blackamoors come on the market, as most were carved from wood or crafted of ceramics.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The object of the day: Heroes Tapestry, 15th century

Heroes Tapestry, ca. 1400–1410
South Netherlandish

Wool warp, wool wefts 

168 x 250 in. (426.7 x 635 cm)
Munsey Fund, 1932 (32.130.3b)
Gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1947 (47.101.1)
Gift of George A. Douglass, 1947 (47.152)

These tapestries, among the earliest Gothic examples to survive, bear the arms of Charles VI, king of France, his uncle Jean de France, duke of Berry, as well as those of the duchy of Burgundy. The set originally consisted of three tapestries, each measuring more than twenty-one feet by sixteen feet. Both Charles and his other uncle, Philip the Bold of Burgundy, are known to have owned similar sets, and it has been suggested that Jean de Berry commissioned this series.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

How to recognize true Sheraton furniture?

Sheraton-influenced furniture dates from about 1790-1820. It’s named for the London furniture designer and teacher Thomas Sheraton (1751-1806), who trained as a cabinetmaker, but is known for his written guides, especially his first, The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing-Book. His designs and ideas influenced entire generations of furniture-makers, especially in the young U.S., as seen in the works of early American masters such as Duncan Phyfe, Samuel McIntire, and John and Thomas Seymour.

Sheraton Style Legs:In contrast to the popular cabriole legs of earlier styles, such as Queen Anne and Chippendale, Sheraton pieces usually have straight, sometimes tapered, legs; occasionally the back legs would be splayed. They are often rounded (another distinction from Hepplewhite, who preferred a square shape), and frequently have reeded edges, in imitation of Classical columns. They are joined sometimes with stretchers.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Kovsch: Antique Russian ladle

Kovsch is Russian drinking ladle with boat-shaped body and short flat handle, it may be shaped like a water bird or a Viking ship. Made from Middle Ages to the end of the 17th century in silver. base metal or wood. Originally the Kovsh made from wood and used to serve and drink mead, with specimens excavated from as early as the tenth century. Generally made in sets: smaller one engrave with Imperial eagle and name of the owner; larger used only on ceremonial occasions and passed among guests.

A Russian silver gilt and enamel kovsch maker's mark Fedor Ruckert, Moscow, 1908 - 1917 of typical form, decorated in colours with stylised geometric, foliate and floriate designs, impressed marks to base. Length 16 cm.
After c. 1650, awarded for services rendered to state. Revived in 19th century, usually for decorative purposes; richly ornamented with enamels.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Antique chairs: What to look for?

The construction, style and decoration of a chair will reveal where and when it was made. Analyse the clues to work out your antique chair's rarity and possible value.

The underside of a chair holds many pointers to its construction and age. The earliest chairs were held together by wooden pegs; if the components of your chair are joined by screws, pins or glue then it dates from the 19th century or later.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The object of the day: Victorian silver butter dish

A Victorian circular cut glass butter dish on a silver stand with a fitted silver lid embossed with a bead edge and scroll work decoration on a mat background. The base with a vacant oval cartouche, the domed lid with a quatrefoil multi-scroll handle.
Base 7 inch diameter, height 3.5 inches.
Made in Birmingham 1892 by B. J. Keyzor.

Estimated price:

Silver containers for butter uncommon in 18th century, but small silver scallop-shaped dishes with glass liners, and sometimes ball feet, made from c 1725 in Britain, may have been butter dishes. Most 18th century examples Irish; shallow pierced bowl with glass liner and cover, sometimes feet. Also, glass bowl with silver saucer and cover. Sometimes found with cow finial.Type in vogue i early 19th century usually has stand, dish of silver or glass, and cover; other examples are straight-sided, oval, with cob and knob finial, four feet, and with handle at each end. Tub shape also was popular. The butter dishes were also made in Sheffield plate and electro-plate.

Friday, September 6, 2013

What makes textiles valuable?

People first created textiles during the late Stone Age, 40,000 years ago. many of the pieces made since have decayed or faded. As a consequence, textiles made before the 1800s in good condition can be worth thousands of pounds. Attractive and well-made pieces that can be easily displayed command the highest prices.

Before the 20th century, needlework such as samplers were one of the primary means of displaying a girl's skills. Although large quantities were produced, many textiles from the 18th century and earlier have not survived in good condition. Those pieces can be valuable.

In general, 19th century textiles are less desirable than earlier pieces. This is not simply because they lack age but because, as a rule, quality declined during the 19th century. Many Victorian samplers are worth less than £100. 
Late 19th century or early 20th century woven or embroidered textiles by design reformers such as William Morris are often more valuable than early 19th century pieces, although exceptional early 19th century examples can fetch higher price. 
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