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    Antiques and Thanksgiving: ideas for your home

    Posted by Chris on 17/11/2023

    Antiques and Thanksgiving: ideas for your home

    If you’re celebrating thanksgiving, you may be preparing yourself for the onslaught of family and friends who will be arriving at your home in their droves for food, a catch-up, and of course to give thanks for all that you’ve prepared.

    Aside from Christmas, Thanksgiving represents one of the most important moments in the year to dress and decorate your home with seasonal antique and vintage pieces. 

    In this article, we discuss ideas to make your home Thanksgiving ready.

     

     

     

    Thanksgiving: a history

    Image: GPA Photo Archive on Flickr

     

    This year, Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving on November 24. The holiday is a very special time of year, with families and friends coming together to celebrate what they’re thankful for. It’s a non-religious holiday that symbolises peace, gratitude, connection – and marks the start of the ‘holiday season’.

    The food is a huge part of Thanksgiving, and that reflects the origins of the celebration. Back in 1619 in Virginia, and 1621 in Plymouth, MA, the very first Thanksgivings took place, to give thanks to the Native Americans, honouring them for their help in ensuring a healthy harvest in arguably the toughest time of the colonists’ early years when settling.

    It’s appropriate then for antiques to play a valuable part of this feast, given the 400 year history they share.

     

    Candelabra: setting the scene

    Lustre Candlesticks, Circa 1860

    Lustre Candlesticks, Circa 1860 (£1,800 / $2,235)

     

    You’ll be setting the table, and no doubt brought out the best dinner service, at the centre you may have a table runner, but what else? It’s a little early for a Christmas garland so you may be scratching your brains for inspiration.

    What you could do is place a candelabra at the centre, or perhaps even a few smaller ones. They’re the perfect dinner accompaniment, offering ambience and mood, and so much less stark than ceiling lighting.

    The candle itself dates back thousands of years and were an obvious necessity before electricity. Candelabras are made from a wide variety of materials including gold, copper, silver and brass.

    In the 19th century the silver candelabra was the most popular type used at most evening dinners, providing decoration as well as much-needed illumination for diners. Later, with the invention of the light bulb, the candelabra’s popularity waned, but it has had a renaissance with the popularity of antiques, and the appreciation for vintage and industrial décor.

     

    Featured candelabra

    17th century bronze candlesticks

    Beautiful Large Pair of 17th Century Bronze Candlesticks (£3,750 / $4,655)

     

    We have a very interesting and versatile selection of candelabra. Some date back as far as the 18th and 19th centuries (or even the 17th century, like the ones above), and all are made from a variety of materials, some decorated lavishly and some less ornate. There’s a candelabra set or single set piece to suit every taste and they have a long and fascinating history.

    These gorgeous lustre candlesticks feature a stunning pair of patinated bronze lustres, the brass sconces over domed open work, with faceted drops and prism lustre drops, on support in the form of French horns. The stems display lovely winged mask and leaf decoration on ball feet.

    We also love this beautiful Large Pair of 17th Century Bronze Candlesticks (pictured above) from the Netherlands, and dated around 1650. Still with the original beautiful bronze patination, it’s very rare to find a pair of 17th century candlesticks in the original condition, with the original screw threads to take them apart. They are in wonderful original used condition and would make a great accompaniment to your Thanksgiving setting.

    This rather impressive single columned, marble Victorian candelabra is also one of our top picks.

    > Browse all candelabra

     

    Centrepieces

    Georg Jensen Sterling Silver Centrepiece

    Georg Jensen Sterling Silver centrepiece (£12,250 / $15,205)

     

    Candelabra are a lovely idea for your Thanksgiving table, but you may like to pair these with some other centrepieces to impress your guests.

    This mid 19th century (circa 1840) Sheffield plated and cut glass centrepiece features four scrolling acanthus feet and the trumpet shaped centre stand has acanthus decoration – great for garden lovers.

    Dating to 1850, is this alternative: a superb quality antique Victorian centrepiece, with a fantastic shaped cut glass centrepiece raised on a circular base.

    For something very special, take a look at this Georg Jensen Sterling Silver centrepiece No 285 B (1925-1933) Oyster shell shape (pictured above).

    Finally, we suggest this absolutely stunning antique table centrepiece: a German pewter 'lady of the lake' decorative tray, dating to roughly 1920. Wonderful nymph iconography with Art Nouveau overtones, quality pewter presenting silver-grey tones, and a fantastical scene – a female figure sits at the lake edge, a serpent entering opposite.

    > Browse all centrepieces

     

    Plates & services

    18th Century Chinese Qing Kangxi Plate

     

     

    18th century Chinese Qing Kangxi porcelain imari pattern plate (£350 / $435)

     

    Refreshing your dinner service and crockery might also be appealing at Thanksgiving.

    Try this early 19th century Staffordshire Pottery Meat Plate, ‘Wild Rose’; this lovely autumnal Royal Copenhagen Antique Saxon Flower Fruit Plate, dating circa 1800; and this early 20th century Scottish Wemyss ware pottery plate.

    For something a little more exotic, try this 18th century Chinese Qing Kangxi porcelain imari pattern plate (pictured above).

    > Browse all plates

    > Browse all service

     

    Serving tables

    Georgian mahogany three drawer serving table

    Georgian mahogany three drawer serving table (£1,850 / $2,295)

    Why not take the opportunity to add another beautiful piece of furniture to your dining room? We particularly like this Georgian mahogany three drawer serving table – with beautiful deep browns, it can be used throughout the year for service, or as a sideboard.

    We’re also very taken with this lovely Pair of Chippendale Style Serving Tables.

    > Explore all serving tables

     

    Napkin rings

    Mauchline Ware napkin rings

    Mauchline Ware napkin rings (£150 / $185)

     

    Often it’s in the detail that you find the real joy in furnishing a home. Napkin rings are probably one of those things that are overlooked most, which is why we love these late 19th century boxed set of six turned wood Mauchline Ware napkin rings so much – they’re numbered, too!

    We currently have a lovely selection. > Browse all napkin rings

     

    Bonus item: a Thanksgiving Turkey

    Stone-Cut Miniature Turkey In Faberge Style

    Stone-Cut Miniature Turkey in Faberge Style (£2,185 / $2,715)

     

    We couldn’t go a whole article without mentioning something that’s completely synonymous with Thanksgiving... the turkey!

    This stunning Stone-Cut Miniature Turkey in Faberge Style, whilst small, displays stones which change colour depending on the lighting, and shows the spectacular figure of a turkey with a fluffed tail.

    Perhaps not quite the right size for a centrepiece, but it'll be something all your guests are impressed by!

     

    Thanks - from us to you

    We hope you enjoy Thanksgiving and that your family are safe and well. From all of us at Antiques.co.uk, please enjoy this peaceful time to give thanks in a world that’s becoming more turbulent, and a year which has been extremely eventful.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

     

    Autumnal inspiration

    Looking to get cosy? See our blog on Ideas for Autumnal Inspiration.


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