Thursday, February 27, 2014

What makes glass valuable?

The discovery that a simple mixture of sand (silica) and sodium carbonate could make glass is attributed to the Mesopotamians 5,000 years ago. We still depend on this formula today, exploring its versatility and beauty in countless ways.

Age is not an accurate barometer of value when assessing glass. A colourful 1950s Murano vase might be worth more than a 2nd century AD Roman glass phial. The assumption that a roughly made piece must be old, or that glass full of bubbles is an antique, isn't necessarily true either.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Antique and vintage dance cards

Dance cards became popular items at balls and assemblies during the early 19th century. They were created as a way for a lady to keep track of the gentleman to whom she had promised dances in the course of the evening, and afterwards served as a momento of the occasion.

Dance cards were generally made of paper or card, although sometimes had elaborate covers of bone, ivory, silver or wood, and were small enough to be readily portable. They were generally given only to ladies.Often a small pencil was attached by a cord to the card. The cord also allowed the card to be suspended from a lady's wrist or belt.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Antique textiles: History of English carpets

The history of English carpets is surely not as rich and old as the Asian, but you can still find some of the facts fascinating. English rugs were not produced until the late 16th century and early 17th century. Main centers for production were located in Axminster, Wilton, and Kidderminster. Distinctive patterns on these antique rugs include deep golden coloration and asymmetrical designs. This was the first place to specialize in new innovative forms of weaving, so people started to call it the carpet capital of Britain. The first steam powered carpet mill was called Stourvale Mill and was build in the early 1850s by Henry Woodward. He and Benjamin Grosvenor, who joined later, operated the mill for a first time. The firm called Grosvenor Wilton Company Ltd. is still a major weaver of Brussels and Wilton carpers with 200 years in business and over 10 000 patents.

But let's take a closer look on the various carpets, which made this historical company. They are marked as the "Stourvale Mill Collection".
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