Antiques and collectables are enjoying renewed popularity, with more and more people discovering the joys of collecting and realising the value of investing in beautiful things
Q I have visited the Antiques Faire at Nelson Mandela Square in Joburg and I am curious about the unusually shaped silver utensils and servers. What are they used for?
A Here are some examples to help you:
- The berry spoon was used in the 1800s when serving berries;
- The marrow spoon was used by the Victorians to delicately spoon the marrow out of bones;
- A caddy spoon was used to measure tea and at Victorian dinner tables;
- Special tongs were used to serve asparagus;
- A silver wine cooler, bottle or glass coasters and silver liquor labels for bottles are all high collectables. Silver domes were used by the elite at dinner parties to cover food.
These days they can look great placed strategically on a dining room wall.
Q I am fascinated by antique collectors. Why do they do it?
A It could be sparked by something from childhood – a dinky car or doll that was treasured; the pattern on a tea set that belonged to grandma; the memory of sitting through dad’s painstaking photo shoots with an old camera, or grandpa’s stories about the war years. Seeing that item again brings back nostalgic memories. Finding out those items are highly collectable and have value can turn you into a collector. Not only are items highly collectable, depending on their date and maker, they also keep alive traditions long past. The chase to find a piece to add to a collection is what makes it fun. Any collector will tell you they never miss an antiques fair because they might miss the one time a dealer has the piece they’ve spent years looking for. Collecting might give you a handsome pay-off in the long run.
Q It is almost holiday season. What are great antique gift ideas?
A A first edition book for a book lover, or a silver, glass or porcelain memento that looks good and has investment value. Antiques and collectables are enjoying renewed popularity as gifts. Why not look at adding a stunning vase, a new tea set or silver candlesticks to your home. For those wanting to start a hobby, consider collecting silver miniatures, thimbles or coins. You can also consider clothing such as a vintage steampunk dress or accessories. If someone loves everything from the 1950s to 1970s, pick up a dinky car, an old typewriter or an advertising signboard.
*EXPERT: Clyde Terry, antique dealer