Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June! Summer Bliss!

We are into the glory days of summer!  When a young persons mind turns to graduations, love, weddings and other such dreams.  What a perfect way to get that unique one of a kind gift for someone special?

Harry & Annies has so many wonderful things to start a new apartment off with a touch of whimsy and substance! What a way to give a new start a sure fire conversation piece! Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue...You DON'T want to be the sixth crock pot at the wedding do you? 

Just think of all the lovely vintage furniture!  Many times antique chairs and desks were smaller, the PERFECT thing for small dorm rooms or apartments!  A clock or centerpiece that will always make them remember you because it is so different and special!

What about a special set of china?  We have some lovely vintage china in entire sets that cost less than a single place setting of many of the modern plastic stuff!  How cool would that be to unwrap an entire set of vintage china at your wedding?  We would have gotten goosebumps of joy! 

Are you interested in knowing more about the china you might buy?  Here are a few basics to keep in mind that may help you identify what you are looking at.  The back or bottom of the plates is where you will find the most information.

1.  Backstamps.  If they are indented or carved into the body of the plate, you are generally looking at a much older piece.  Think 1850-1900.  If it is printed on the back of the plate with ink it is post 1900.

2.  Registration numbers.  These only tell you when the pattern was registered.  Some patterns are a couple hundred years old, others have had reprinted runs generations after the original run.  So the registration number does not tell you the date the piece was actually made.  Some very very old patterns are still being made new today.  To know if something is really old, look closely at it.  Does it  have crazing?  A lot of antiques will have crazing.  Does it look hand crafted or machine produced?  Older china has more visible yet slight imperfections such as mold marks, dents, painting wobbles, etc.  China making was once an entirely hand done art and true antiques reflect the makers handling vs the machine perfection of the mass produced.

3.  Countries.  If the backstamp on the plate lists no country of creation, it is probably pre 1891 or if it has NO backstamp at all it is probably pre 1891 when they began requiring this info.  If you see "Made in" as part of the backstamp, that is generally made AFTER 1921.

4.  Gold.  If your piece has 14KT or 24KT gold gilding, and is marked as such, you are holding a valuable antique. Unless you are a king or president with a special order, they don't use real gold on china anymore!

5.  Dates.  In the china world, "Antique" is reserved for something 100 years old or older.  "Vintage" is 99-50 years, and "Retro" is 49-29 years.  If you love it- does it matter if it's a 98 year old piece or a 150 year old piece.  Other than pricing/value, the thing mostly effected is the ability to put it in the dishwasher- (look for post 1960 for that!)

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