Friday, 16 October 2009

Research and detective work


One of the nice things about loving old and secondhand things is that you never quite know what you are going to get. I consider myself to have quite a good "eye" for collectibles and things of that ilk; I'm one who scans what's on offer and can often tell at first glance if it's worth picking up and taking home, or looking underneath for a mark, etc. I've had some quite valuable pieces from the tip, lots that could be sold on E-bay, car boots, etc; I'm sure if I put my mind to it I could make a decent amount of money out of it. Over the years I've dabbled in ceramics and china, vintage bits and bobs, linens, books, etc, and I know quite a bit now. I have a couple of large boxes of bits amassed that I'll get up on E-bay in the next week or so; when sold, they should hopefully fund my knitting habit for a while lol.
A huge part of the fun and interest, though, is in doing the research, especially since the advent of the internet - you never know where the next click will take you, it's invariably interesting and I always learn something to add to my knowledge and awareness. You just need a name to go on - an artist, an author, a mark on the bottom of a piece of china, a date...........infinite possibilities for pondering over. Who owned it? How did it end up where it was? How old is it? Where was it made?Ofcourse, the often wondered - is it worth anything? lol. Well, sometimes it is, and I make myself a bit of money; sometimes it isn't, but I'll keep it if I like it, pass it on to someone else who would like it, or return it whence it came. I certainly don't profess to be an expert on any of this, and would never put on some of the patronising airs and graces that some self-styled "experts" do; they just make me smirk and roll my eyes a bit............. However, you can be assured that I've enjoyed finding out as much as I can about it - there's something to be learned and remembered, wondered at and pondered over at every turn.
This is what I came home with today:

I picked it up because I really took a shine to it; it's destined for the bathroom when I've finished redecorating in there. Cost me about 30p at the tip; when I got home, I noticed that it was signed, and had details of the artist on the back. I looked up the name but found absolutely nothing at all. No matter, I think it's a particularly pleasing flower painting, and I'll hang on to it regardless of the fact it'll never get near an Antiques Roadshow! lol
We never stop learning, do we?

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