by: Mark Fynn
Antique Lamps have become very collectible over the past few years. Certain styles such as Art Deco and Victoriana have assisted this popularity along with certain makers such as Tiffany that will never go out of fashion.
Some of the most collectible lamps are oil and kerosene lamps. They can still look as beautiful and stylish today as they did 100 years ago when they were first manufactured. There is something romantic about these lamps when they are lit and show off their glow to perfection in even the most uninspiring rooms.
Be very careful when purchasing lamps with glass shades. This is the place where most of the damage is done. Slight burn marks are normal and should be accepted with any lamp with an age. Run your fingers around the rim of the shade very carefully and check for hairline cracks.
Be also very careful when purchasing supposed Antique Lamps due to the number of reproductions on the market. Where a certain area is very popular as it is with Antique Lamps then it is just a matter of time before the market is flooded with reproduction pieces
This does not mean that reproduction antique lamps are a bad thing. If you do have an original piece which has a slightly damaged shade it would be easy to replace this with a reproduction if it was for your own use and not for resale.
The only problems come when the reproduction lamps are passed on as originals either by unsuspecting sellers or by unscrupulous dealers. Check the lamps like you would any other antique. Look for normal wear and tear on the shade. Brass fittings would be worn away due to frequent use along with the base. Owners would often polish the lamps so this would also show on a genuine antique lamp. If you suspect anything regarding the lamps true age then don’t buy it
Antique watches generally refer to mechanical watches that were made more than fifty years ago or more. Antique watches are not very useful in keeping accurate track of time, and instead make good gifts or a nice piece of decoration.
The antique watch business is a multi-billion dollar business. However there are a lot of fakes out there so buying an antique watch requires careful research.
A Brief History of Time
Some knowledge of mechanical watches will help a lot in judging the approximate date of manufacture of the antique watch:
1500s Peter Henlein of Germany created the first pocket watch
1660s Christian Huygens invented the remontoire
1680s Repeating mechanism for bells and sounds patented
1700s Rubies used in watch movements
1750s Enamel used on watch dials
1760s Lever escapement invented
1800s First self winding watch invented
1840s First watch to have winding and setting through crown
1914 World War I popularizes the wristwatch
1914 First wristwatch with alarm
1926 First water proof wristwatch
1956 First watch to display day and date
1960 First watch to have scratch-proof dial
Sources of Antique Watch
Antique watches of many established companies are available such as Rolex, Omega, Universal Geneve, Angelus, Vacheron & Constantin, Seiko, Benrus, Breitling, Gruen, Zodiac, IWC, Movado, TAG Heuer, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Shakosha (Citizen watch company of Japan) Gallet, Wittnauer, Bulova etc. There are a lot of sources on the internet selling watches online. Good buys can be found at auctions and second hand markets but the authenticity of these antique watches are doubtful.
Maintenance of Antique Watch
Maintenance of an antique watch is very difficult. The parts are not easily available and antique watches cannot be repaired at all watch shops. So do make sure that the seller also guarantees their repair if the need arises. Most antique watch sellers also provide maintenance and care manuals for the antique watch. Be sure to follow the instructions.
Cost of Antique Watch
Antique watches are available anywhere between $300 to millions of dollars depending upon the make, the date of manufacture, the history of the watch and the jewels in the antique watch. The market price of the antique watch is determined by its snob appeal and social acceptance.
Antique watches make wonderful gifts and give the wearer a distinct and artistic look. Antique watches combine artistic appeal and nostalgic charm. However, antique watches are costly in general and need a lot of maintenance and care.