Tag Archives: antiques



Sorry this offer has now ended.

Don’t leave it to late too do your Christmas shopping. Our last posting date is THIS THURSDAY, 18th DECEMBER 2014.


Offer ends 9am on Wednesday 17th December 2014. This offer applies to UK postage only.

Christmas Shopping At Perfect Pieces

Anyone wanting to purchase a special gift from the Perfect Pieces website for Christmas doesn’t need to worry about their secret being discovered!

To help keep gifts a surprise from loved ones we are able to offer you the following:

  • Communication can be done by email, telephone or SMS if required!
  • Postage to an alternative address be it work, friend or another family member is possible.
  • Parcels can be disguised or contents wrapped just in case “the someone” should open it!

So if you’ve spotted something you think will be the perfect gift don’t hesitate to get in touch – Remember all our prices currently include FREE UK Postage & Packaging as well.

Michael Aspel, the Antiques Roadshow & Lustful Ladies

You’ve got to laugh. Today’s Sun has an interview with Michael Aspel in which he reveals that “There are a lot of lustful ladies on the roadshow – they get very physical.”

The 74-year-old silver-haired presenter goes on to admit that despite having stalkers of both sexes in his younger days, he believes the secret to the longevity of his career has been his blandness, saying that as people didn’t remember him, “they didn’t get bored”.

Aspel has now handed over the reins of the Antiques Roadshow to newsreader Fiona Bruce, but does not admit to being retired, saying that “you only retire when the phone stops ringing”.

How to Check Ceramics for Damage, Restoration & Wear (Part 1)

Buying antique pottery and ceramics can be a risky process. It’s all too easy to get home and find that you’ve missed a hairline crack, a restored handle or one of the hundreds of other faults that might

While there is nothing wrong with choosing to buy ceramics in less than perfect condition, I am sure that you, like I do, prefer to know about it beforehand and make sure the price paid reflects the condition.

Poor saleroom and fair lighting, inaccurate descriptions and even unscrupulous dealers can all combine to make buying safely harder than it should be.

To help you avoid these pitfalls, we’ve put together a guide to checking ceramics – from identity and authenticity through to checking for damage, restoration and wear.

We’ve divided this guide into two parts:

Part 1 – Checking the authenticity and identity of a piece

Part 2 – Inspecting a piece for faults, damage, wear and restoration

1. What is it?

Sounds obvious, but is the piece you are looking at what it’s being sold as?

Check that the shape, pattern and pottery markings are all consistent with each other and with the piece itself. Mis-described and incorrectly marked (when manufactured) pieces aren’t unknown, although
they are uncommon.

Don’t be afraid to dig out a pattern guide or reference book to check a pattern or shape number – no one remembers them all!

Once you are happy with the authenticity of the piece, check it is complete.

Should it have a lid, frog (for flowers), detachable handle (e.g. biscuit barrels) or perhaps an accompanying spoon, knife or box?

It’s a case of caveat emptor, I’m afraid – you need to think about what you’re seeing and ask any questions before you buy. Any reputable dealer should be happy (and able) to explain why something is the way
it is.

2. Have The Years Left Their Mark?

It should always be apparent if a piece has some “age” or not. Even if it is in immaculate condition and has been stored away from bright light, dust and dirt, it should still feel old.

This is a hard one to describe – but if unsure look for small details:

  • Do the pottery markings look old?
  • Is the base a little worn/dirty where it has stood on different surfaces?
  • Is there any crazing?
  • Is there any dirt, discolouration or wear? Look in nooks and crannies or where lids, etc. fit on the main body

If you’ve been through each of the checks I’ve descrbed, you should now have a fairly good idea of the identity and authenticity of your piece – and you will probably already have noticed any obvious damage
or restoration to it.

To learn more about how to spot and understand damage, wear and restoration, check out Part 2 of this post by clicking on the link below:

Part 2 – Inspecting a piece for faults, damage, wear and restoration

Valuations Prove Popular

Throughout the time we have run the Perfect Pieces website we have received regular requests for appraisals and valuations of British collectable pottery. Last year we decided that the volume of requests we received meant that this couldn’t be managed on an ad-hoc basis anymore, so we introduced our Valuation & Appraisal service.

Valuing antiques and collectables is not an exact science and is based on a combination of experience, historical sale data and observation of current market trends.

Although we make all of our past sale prices available freely on our site, we also access other databases of sale results and use our own experience of the marketplace to judge how a piece might sell.

We’ve been very pleased with the response we’ve had on this service – with a steady stream of collectors and other antique dealers requesting valuations and often providing very positive feedback on the service.
In return for a small fee, we provide a one-page document covering the history, identity and retail value of the piece concerned. We are also happy to negotiate a one-off fee for a collection valuation and can advise on auction values if preferred.

Although our service does not provide insurance valuations, it’s also much cheaper than most insurance valuation services and includes a guaranteed turnaround of 5 working days from payment.

If you would like to learn more about our appraisal and valuation service and see a sample valuation, have a look here.

Can You Believe Anything You See On TV?

It would seem not – at least not when it comes to the BBC’s antique programmes.

We’ve had first-hand experience of the way that Bargain Hunt is staged – often (always?) the experts find, negotiate and buy the items for the programme, before briefing the contestants on the items and having the production crew tell them what to say on camera.

It’s hard to see what some of the contestants get out of the experience – other than simply being on TV.

The latest story to emerge regards the way in which auctions are filmed – in this case for Cash In The Attic. The News of the World has a story in which not only was film edited to show a man bidding on an item that he didn’t buy, but the footage used was actually of him bidding at a different auction!

To be honest, I think this story has been dredged up from somewhere, as I first heard about this type of thing some time ago – and the BBC now claim that they use a more honest system when filiming at auctions. Still, you can’t be sure – anyone for a phone-in competition?

You can see the full story on the News of the World website.

All Change At Antiques Roadshow

It seems that Michael Aspel is standing down from presenting the Antiques Roadshow and is likely to be replaced by newsreader Fiona Bruce.

Aspel (and the BBC) insist that it has nothing to do with his age, saying that he is simply ready to “hang up his shoes” in his 50th year of television, as he is feeling “totally fulfilled”.

Fiona Bruce is already well-known as the co-host of Crimewatch and the presenter of BBC One’s 10 O’clock News.

Update: Confirmed here.

New BBC TV Antiques Programme – Treasure

Hot on the heels of my discovery that the BBC has closed the antiques section of their Lifestyle website, I have also found out that they have a new antique-related TV series in the pipeline aimed at collectors and enthusiasts.

The series is called “Treasure” and seems to revolve around the idea of collectors valuing, buying, swapping and selling pieces with other collectors and a selection of dealers. I can reveal that the first filming session is taking place at The Victoria Rooms in Bristol on the 8th July and is aimed at Royal Worcester porcelain and Moorcroft Pottery collectors and enthusiasts.

According to the publicity blurb we were sent, Treasure “takes an in-depth look into the world of collecting antiques”. The premise of the series seems to be to give collectors a chance to receive expert valuations and advice on their collections, at the same time as allowing them to sell, swap and purchase pieces they are missing – hence Treasure, I suppose.

I can’t find any mention of this programme on the BBC’s Antiques website (unsurprising since it has “closed”) but I guarantee it does exist! Should you be interested in going along you can find out more by contacting Emily Green (emily.green@bbc.co.uk / 0117 9746899) at the BBC.

Dickinson Returns

It seems that filming is underway for the latest series of Dickinson’s Real Deal, the ITV1 show hosted by David Dickinson, of Bargain Hunt infamy.

You can find a list of the remaining film dates here, on David Dickinson’s official website.

Dickinson and Bargain Hunt have been widely blamed by some dealers for contributing to falling fair prices and rising auction prices and for dishonestly portraying auctions – which typically have 15% – 20% fees for buyers and sellers – as better value than antique fairs. These fees are rarely mentioned on TV and never taken into account on programmes like Bargain Hunt, giving a very false impression of the potential profitability of selling at auction.

However, the reality is that the auction/retail price divide is no longer as clear cut as it once was – a trend that seems unlikely to change and can’t completely be blamed on one TV show.

David Dickinson’s current TV series, Dickinson’s Real Deal, seems to take a more even-handed and honest view of this trend and is quite entertaining.

If you missed the first series, the show is based around members of the public bringing in their antiques to be valued by experienced dealers, who then offer to purchase the items for cash, with their own money. The contestants then have to choose whether to accept the offer or put the item into auction – the best result is supposedly “Dickinson’s Real Deal”.

Despite the cheesy name, it provides interesting and fairly honest entertainment (the dealers never fail to explain the true cost of selling at auction) – so why not go along if there’s one in your area?