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Famous Rubies

Rubies are one variety of the mineral corundum. Sapphires are another. Rubies vary in colour from pinks, purplish reds to blood red. Colour is the biggest factor in valuing rubies – the more red the better. Deep red ‘pigeon blood’ is… Continue reading →

The Largest Known Diamonds In The World

Diamonds are known for being the hardest material on Earth, the name comes from the ancient Greek work ἀδάμας – adámas “unbreakable”. Natural diamonds form in the Earth’s mantle, under extreme temperature and heat over billions of years. Impurities and pressure conditions form… Continue reading →

The Art Nouveau Movement 1890 – 1910

Art Nouveau’s Origin The Art Nouveau style originated in the 1890s when Victorian ‘fussiness’ became less popular. The name came from the Maison de l’Art Nouveau (House of the New Art), an art gallery originally opened by Siegfried Bing. The… Continue reading →

Arts and Crafts Movement

Origin The movement started in Britain in 1880, when the Industrial Revolution became a concern for its detrimental effect on workers. As well as the impact on learning traditional skills, and design itself. The aim was to reverse dehumanisation in the working-class,… Continue reading →

Late Victorian Style 1870 – 1914

Late Victorian Style Rebellion While late Victorian consumers revelled in the comforts that mass production offered, designers sought the industrial craftsmanship of earlier centuries. They paved the way for the progressive styles that would influence modern furniture. Clutter, heavy curtains… Continue reading →

Mid-Victorian Style 1850 – 1870

The Celebration Of Industry The image of mid-Victorian style remains a sombre drawing room with red wallpaper, heavy curtains and thickly upholstered seating. Ornaments and knick-knacks fill every available surface. Mid-Victorian style is often dismissed as lack of style. As… Continue reading →

Our Guide to Caring for Metalware Antiques

Despite their apparent toughness, metals can scratch, dent or fracture, or may corrode. As always, care for the weakest material in an object. If possible, detach the metal parts and clean them separately. General Metal Cleaning Cover the working surface… Continue reading →

Early Victorian Style 1830 – 1850

Early Victorian middle classes began to influence style in Britain after the regency, spending their incomes on comfortable goods. In William IV’s brief reign (1830-1837)  hints of the more romantic designs to come started emerging. Prosperity boomed, thanks to factories, mines… Continue reading →

Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain in the 1700s, when developments in manufacturing transformed everything. Machines replaced practices previously handmade and production numbers soared. Both the average household income and the population numbers soared. This revolution greatly increased the… Continue reading →

The Rococo Style – 1700AD

Adapted from the original Baroque style, the French Rococo style moved away from the ‘masculine’ elements of the original movement and became more ‘feminine’. The style encompassed architecture, interior design, painting, as well as others. Critics accused the style of… Continue reading →

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