Category Archives: Antiques Business

A little information about Quartette Tables…

A little information about Quartette Tables…

Better known to us today as nested tables, quartette tables are sets of four small tables that are identical in design but which gradually decrease in size, enabling them all to be stored by sliding them underneath the largest table – quite convenient.

Quartette tables date from the mid-17th century and it is thought that famed furniture maker Thomas Sheraton may been the first to use this design, calling them quartetto tables.

Nested tables remain popular today but tend to come in sets of just two or three, rather than four. Most houses you visit will contain some form of nested tables!

The Queen Anne Style Furniture

Here’s a little about the Queen Anne style furniture…

Queen Anne reigned from 1702-1714 and gave her name to a style of furniture that reached maturity during this time. Queen Anne furniture is most easily recognised by one or more of its characteristic features:

  • Cabriole legs – legs that curve outwards at the top and inwards at the bottom
  • Claw and ball feet
  • Made from walnut – during this period, walnut replaced oak as the dominant wood used in English furniture
  • Decorative motifs such as shells and scrolls were very popular
  • Specialised items of furniture such as card tables and writing tables became popular for the first time
  • The technique of japanning (lacquering) furniture was popular, thanks to the growing popularity of imports from the Orient

Queen Anne style furniture should not be confused with Queen Anne architecture or with the Queen Anne revival style that became popular in the late 19th century.

Pottery Valuations & Appraisals

Just to keep you all up to date on what’s happening on the Perfect Pieces website I’d thought I’d let you know that we are no longer offering a Pottery Valuation & Appraisal service.

Over the years that we’ve offered this service we’ve had a lot of demand for a mixture of items we were able to help with and quite alot of enquiries about pieces that didn’t really fit into out field. The combination of filtering out what we could help with, the time required to do the valuations, and the time responding to people who weren’t willing to pay the very small fee for the service (£6.95), we came to the conclusion it was taking too much of our time up!

I’ve updated our website and have included details of how you might go about finding further information about pieces yourself – you’ll find it’s not a quick andnecessarily easy process!

If you have any comments or suggestions for our other readers on how they can go about sourcing information and values for their items then do drop us a line and we can always add it to the Perfect Pieces website.

Antique & Collectable Pottery Books

We often get asked for all sorts of information ranging from identifying pottery marks to more information on certain collectables and potteries – so, we’d thought we’d share our views on the books we have in our collection and have created a new page – Recommended Books.

There are so many pottery books on the market from books covering pottery marks, silver marks to specialist books on collectables, potteries and price guides we thought it might be handy for you to read personal accounts of some of the books on the market to try and help you when considering purchasing one.

You can view this page by clicking on the link in the top navigation bar of the Perfect Pieces website. Alternatively, click on the link below.

To view our Recommended Books page…click here

If you’ve got experience with any books not mentioned then do please get in touch and let us know what you think – What does the book cover? Is it value for money? Do you find yourself using it often? We can then add it to our list so other people can read about it.

Tennants – Antique Valuation Event, York 27th May 2009

This Wednesday, 27th May 2009, Tennants Auctioneers are holding a free antiques valuation event at The Bar Convent on Blossom Street in York.

Tennants will be their to value antiques, jewellery, militaria, ethnographica and general collectables. The event starts at 11am and runs through the day until 3pm.

This is a free valuation event so if you’re in the area and have some items you’re interested to know more about then why not take them along?

For further information please contact Tennants Auctioneers.

How to identify pottery marks…

I get many emails regarding the best books available to identify British pottery marks, and the kinds of guides that are good for taking with you when out hunting for items, so I thought I would run through some of the pottery mark books that are out there.

One of the main books available is the Encyclopaedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks by Geoffrey Godden. This is a hard back, very thick and very heavy book – however it is comprehensive and if you have lots of pottery marks you’re wanting to identify then it’s definitely worth having at home.

If you’re looking for a guide you can carry around, for instance if you want to take it with you when you visit antique fairs, antique centres or car boots then you can’t go wrong with either Geoffrey Godden’s New Handbook of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks or the Miller’s Pottery and Porcelain Marks guide. These are both small enough not to weigh you down but should provide you with all the basic information you might need to check out any finds!

Miller's Pottery and Porcelain Marks

And finally, if you’re a collector of Studio Pottery then the British Studio Potters’ Mark book by by Eric Yates-Owen and Robert Fournier is for you. This is a hardback book with many pages (672 in total!) so once again is very heavy but is very comprehensive and always worth a space on any book shelf.

British Studio Potters' Marks

Good luck with any identifying you’re trying to do and don’t forget if you get stuck with a particular pottery mark then why not post a message here to see if any of our other readers can help you!

Hirer or Buyer? Antiques Transport Choices

From travelling around the various antique and collectors fairs and auctions we attend, it has become apparent that some dealers own and some dealers rent.

I refer of course not to their stock but to their means of transporting it – the indomitable van.Luton van

It’s a choice we’ve been faced with in the past, as it gradually became completely impossible to fit all our stock, shelves and tables into even a large car. This left us with two realistic options:

  1. Sell the car and buy a van
  2. Hire a van whenever we needed one and keep the car for everyday use

In the end, we decided to sell the car and buy a van. This had two advantages – unlimited usage and lower costs. The question was question of cost was determined by considering whether the extra fuel costs of a van would exceed the costs of renting one when we needed it. For us they didn’t – making it cheaper to buy a van and run it as our only vehicle.

Of course, this does have some restrictions – car parks with height barriers are out, it only has three seats (including the driver’s) and it’s a bit thirsty and agricultural to drive compared to a car.

Ford Transit white vanThese downside – plus the sometimes thorny issue of residential parking – are probably the reasons why some dealers obviously just rent a van to use when they are standing at a fair and manage without the rest of the time.

Sometimes I’ve felt tempted by that path too – but for now, I’m going to stick with my trusty Transit. What do you do?

Note: If you are not sure where to start with vans, these links might be useful:

The Taxman Starts Hunting On eBay

An interesting article in The Guardian on May 19th (got a bit behind and only found it today!)… It seems that HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs – the UK’s taxman) is starting to look in more detail at online auction activity.  According to this article, tax inspectors will be trawling through many thousands of online auction sales and looking for any UK eBay sellers who are especially busy. They will then investigate whether these sellers should be classed as traders or not.

The article provides a detailed set of examples explaining who qualifies as a trader and who does not, but in essence it depends whether you are buying to sell or whether you are simply selling surplus possessions. Capital Gains Tax can also come into play on larger sales.

The article is here and is well worth a read for anyone who trades on eBay.