Antique Discovery

The history of kites

As the breezes of early spring blow into March, one’s mind turns to flying kites. What is the history of kites, and why do we fly them? It all began in Asia, particularly China, and had many versatile uses through the years. Kites were invented in Asia, most likely...

Sailor’s Valentines

Sailor’s valentines were shells arranged in intricate, symmetrical designs, encased in glass cases, hinged in the middle, so when you opened them, it was a sort of “valentine” made of shells. They were marketed to sailors as gifts to bring home after long voyages in...

The Bayeux Tapestry

The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidered linen cloth that is nearly 230 feet long, and depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England, famous warriors, and the ultimate Battle of Hastings. It is said that it dates to the 11th century, and most scholars...

Victorian Christmas traditions

The Industrial Revolution in England helped Christmas reach more homes in the Victorian Era, an influence we still see today in our holiday decorating, cards we send, and traditions we hold dear. Queen Victoria and her family set the example of the ideal family unit,...

The Gilded Age

The term “Gilded Age” was coined by Mark Twain to describe a period of United States history in the late 19th century, spanning a time period between the 1870s to 1900. Twain was poking a satirical finger into society at the time, describing serious social problems in...

The legend of the Robert the Doll

“Robert the Doll” lives in Key West, Fla. Innocent looking with his sailor suit and toy bear, Robert is said to wreak havoc on anyone that takes his photo or chides him in any way. Hundreds of letters are sent to Robert, begging for forgiveness, as visitors’ lives...

Dresden porcelain: German excellence

Dresden porcelain is recognized in the antiques industry as the hallmark of good taste and fine German porcelain manufacturing. German hard-paste porcelain was produced in the Meissen factory, so Dresden is also known as Meissen, and it began very early, in 1710 in...

Exploring history of the phonograph

The year was 1857 and French inventor, Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville, invented the first “sound” machine that future inventors would take ideas from and expand upon for better machines. Scott de Martinville invented something called the phonautograph, which...

Evaluating antiques using UV light

Ultraviolet light, or UV, also known as “black lights” are used to evaluate the hidden world of antiques. Materials fluoresce under UV lighting, producing light that the human eye cannot see, making the unseen seen. One can tell age, repairs jobs, authenticity and...

How to identify wood types

You come across a beautiful table out in an antique store. It has a nice, dark hue to it, and it matches your chairs perfectly, but what type of wood is it? How do you determine how much it is worth and if it is even real wood? There are many ways to look at a piece...

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