Antiques Magazine, June 2013 - ANTIQUES.CO.UK

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    Antiques Magazine Archive, June 2013

    Antique Rings

    Not everyone is excited by jewellery, while others decorate their hands and wrists like Liberace. Other than wedding and engagement rings I am not particularly excited by it. I wear family heirlooms, but rarely purchase anything of interest. Modern jewellery is not my cup of tea.

    Antique rings on the other hand do excite me somewhat. I think it must be the sense of history and character each ring possesses, the story behind each one. Heartache or happy endings, each ring has its own unique story. I wear my own mother’s ring and other than reasons of sentimentality, antique rings often have stones of much higher quality, are often far more sophisticated and much more detail has gone into the making of them.


    Chippendale Chair It was the anniversary of Thomas Chippendale recently; the man whose name is synonymous with a certain type of furniture, famous the world over. He has spawned many a reproduction, and furniture is still crafted in his style today. He was born June 5th 1718. Born into a relatively modest little town in Yorkshire it appears that wood working was in the Chippendale family for years. He would have learnt about the intricate nature of wood, its foibles and vagaries from an early age, how to work with it, how to bend and shape it to his will. He would have learnt over many years woods’ possibilities. His own father was in the timber trade and young Thomas would have worked as his apprentice before moving to York to work with an eminent furniture maker. He worked his way up as a cabinet maker and designer, moving to London in the mid-1700s where he was to marry and have a large family.


    I love the idea of collecting coins, although I never seem to find the time to start. I never seem to be in the right place at the right time to find a coin worth collecting and I care little for the specially created commemoration coins that are sold every time there’s something to celebrate, usually royal. I can’t quite understand the logic of paying a large amount for a coin that’s brand spanking new and has never been in circulation. But that’s just me.

    Old coins however, have a totally different effect on me. I wish I could start up a collection of my own, but I’d be tempted to carry them around in my pocket like loose change, hoping to capture some essence of the previous owner, perhaps the last person that would have carried those coins around in their pockets, perhaps hundreds of years before, rubbing their fingers over the rough edges, mulling over minor problems, gazing into the middle distance turning the coins over and over in their hands, working their way through various day to day worries. If you were to hold one in your hand for more than a few seconds, would you be able to capture one of those memories?

    Copper Kettles

    You may be thinking to yourself after reading the title, what could you possibly have to say to me about kettles that I would find remotely interesting, and my answer to that would have to be, quite a lot actually.

    I love copper kettles; they have far more personality and character than the soulless stainless steel descendants we have inherited, thanks to the discovery of electricity and new materials. The kettles we have today do not convey the domestic warmth and conviviality that surrounds the copper kettle. One imagines the hustle and bustle of a large and busy household at the centre of a busy working kitchen. The copper kettle sat at the centre of everything, suspended above the hearth or sitting on an iron hob; it was efficient, attractive, the very picture of domestic perfection. You may be forgiven for thinking this was the birth place of the copper kettle, but it has a far longer history than that.


    Welsh dresser

    Welsh DresserWelsh dresser always brings back fond memories for me. Both my mother and grandmother had one and they were the centre of family life. We talked around them, leaned on them; placed things on them and the drawers were full of various pieces of paperwork, pictures, pens and other sundry items. The top shelving was always for showing off the best china. This was really the part about Welsh dressers that people loved most of all; you were able to show off your very best dinner service, regardless of how poor you were. The Welsh dresser had multiple functions; at least in our family, ours had my favourite record player on it, which I would listen to of an evening while my parents were working in other parts of the house. 

    I’ve often wondered why it was exclusively referred to as a Welsh dresser; I have often assumed it was because it was a purely Welsh invention. This is almost true; the Welsh dresser was originally built in the 1600s, but by both the English and the Welsh. Popular in farmhouses and serving kitchens, it served as a place to store plates and serve food. They were usually made of oak, maple or pine. They were often painted or stained and sometimes varnished.