Virum Extuli Mari – A Pair Of Mystery Cufflinks

If I don’t find anything I want when I’m browsing antiques shops and fairs, I’m fond of hunting through glass cabinets for cufflinks. Whether or not I take any home depends on how much they cost. Last time I did this, I found this intriguing pair of brass cufflinks, that looked like they had been […]

I Love Ephemera!
A Rare Ticket

I love ephemera! By that term, I mean things that were produced for a single use, or for short term enjoyment, before being discarded or thrown away. They are literally ‘ephemeral’, which is where the term is obviously derived from. Good examples are tickets, flyers and similar promotional material, or even things like ‘sample cups’ […]

Charity Shop Bargains – A Peggy Angus Print

Although they’re far from being the sources of great, inexpensive pieces that they used to be (I blame eBay and people who write books…), I still can’t resist popping into any charity shop I walk by. A quick browse at the ceramics and glass shelves comes first, followed by a scan of the jewellery counter, […]

A Rare Communist & Soviet Terracotta Plaque

One of the aspects I love about my job the most is finding objects I love but don’t know anything about. It’s almost like a challenge – the piece taunts and teases me. Who am I? Where was I made? Who designed and produced me? When? What do I mean? Often looking at them periodically […]

Stuff With A Story…

The other week I had an interesting conversation over dinner with one of my Roadshow colleagues at the first Roadshow of the most recent, and 37th, season. It’s one that held great resonance for me personally, as I’m a believer in synchronicity and this isn’t the first time this subject had come up. This particular […]

Would You Like To Come Upstairs And See My Etchings…?

That isn’t a line I’ve ever used before, but I certainly could. Anyone who knows me knows that I hardly keep my love for etchings a secret. And, as there are over 150 of them, they’re downstairs as well as upstairs. I’ve been buying etchings (often generically called prints) since I was a schoolboy in […]

New Antiques Buyers – The Next Generation

There he was, in a tent in a park at London’s top decorative antiques fair. Standing in funky trainers, Tom Ford glasses, designer jeans and a Prada jacket. A successful City banker friend of my boyfriend, trying to look at least ten years younger. A mid-life crisis and an attempt to stay relevant maybe? It […]

A New Zealand Artist’s Identity Revealed!

We were lucky enough to spend this Christmas visiting family in New Zealand who I hadn’t seen since I was five years old. Looking for suitable souvenirs of my travels, I found the prices for much good and worthwhile contemporary art or Maori crafts that I also liked to be beyond my meagre budget, especially […]

Is ‘Antiques’ The Right Word?

“Antiques. I can’t afford them and I don’t understand them.” Much has been made recently about the difficult state of the antiques market. In an increasingly fast-paced world led by interiors magazines and the pure, hard drive of commerce from high street and retail park retailers, some say antiques have fallen by the wayside. Even […]

The origins of Art Nouveau iridescent glass?

Most glass collectors will know the eye-catching iridescent glass in the Art Nouveau style (see left) typified by the production of the great glass companies Lötz (or Loetz) in Austria and Tiffany in the US in the late 19thC and early 20thC. The recent discovery of the Loetz pattern books in 1989 and work undertaken […]

A Mystery Solved on Summer Holiday

Since writing my book on Mdina Glass & Isle of Wight Studio Glass (which is now out of print), I’ve encountered a number of vases with coloured swirly patterning like this. People have brought them to me at BBC Antiques Roadshows and other events to ask whether they’re Mdina Glass, or which range of Isle […]

What Happens If You Cross A Jam Pot With A Spacecraft?

Regular readers of my blog will know that, every now and again, something catches my eye and mind and I simply have to have it, regardless of whether I collect it or not. The last one was the intriguing ‘Internet Radio‘ and this time I got snared by a jam pot. But a jam pot […]