Searching for Vintage Collectibles
The three vesta boxes, or match safes, shown below are currently being sold in England. Price in U.S. dollars in England is $2225 each. All are good quality silver plate; no markings of any kind are on the pieces. The insides of the new pieces have a frosty silver appearance with no sign of use or normal wear. The insides can be tarnished with chemicals, however, and that is not a reliable test of age. A better test is to look down inside the bottom at the tension spring the vertical bar that keeps the lid shut. The bottom of the new tension springs in these three new safes come to a sharp point. Virtually all old tension springs are rounded or squared off. New safes shown about actual size below.
For years, the majority of reproduction American antique furniture was made of traditional stained hardwoods. Recent trends, however, have been towards ever increasing amounts of reproduction painted furniture decorated in country and folk art styles. Most of these painted reproductions are imported from India, Indonesia and Mexico. The low wages paid in those countries allow manufacturers to apply extensive hand painting that can be confused with hand work found on antique painted furniture. In this article well look at how to separate the new from old painted furniture based on paint, construction details and determining if wear is natural or artificial. This article will focus on the country and folk style painted furniture originally made at home or in very small rural furniture shops up till the last quarter of the 19th century. The formally painted furniture from master cabinet makers in large cities is not included.
A sewing bird is a type of figural sewing clamp developed in America in the early 1850s. Original clamps helped hold large folds or lengths of fabric during hemming. A modern reproduction sewing bird was reproduced in the 1950s and was made again in the late 1980s.
Marks 1 & 2 below should not be confused with the Tiffany marks they resemble. They are used by Paul Sahlin's Tiffany's Inc., a current manufacturer and importer of leaded, bent panel and other period lighting reproductions.
The rapidly escalating prices of cookie jars has brought many reproductions on the market.
Perhaps no other piece of equipment can do collectors and dealers so much good for so little cost as pocketsized magnifying lenses. Surface textures that might indicate a repair may go undetected by the unaided eye but will show up clearly when enlarged. Decals can be distinguished from hand painted brush strokes, flaws in gemstones can be spotted and marks and signatures can be examined for authenticity.
The original Cambridge Glass Company of Cambridge, Ohio made a number of electric lamps based on flower frog figures. One of these original lamps used a figure called Draped Lady.
additional material by ACRN
tests for age, authenticity
Genuinely old porcelain door knobs continue to be made with newly etched trademarks of collectible companies and brands. As first reported in ACRN in December 2001, the etching is about one-sixteenth inch below the surrounding surface. Etched areas are then colored to match colors used on the original trademarks. Sinclair, Texaco, John Deere, Dr. Pepper,