Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What to Look For in an Antique

Those of us who collect are always on the lookout for the perfect piece to add to our displays. 
 A larger piece, a smaller piece, a better piece, a slightly different piece, an older piece - any reason to add one more of those items that warm the cockles of our hearts.  

For me, "treenware", or wooden items are the most enchanting.  The soft touch, the mellow tone, the depth of color, the signs of having been handcrafted, (perhaps 100 or more years ago . . . ). 

 These are qualities to look for in an antique.  Was this item well crafted . . . was it well cared for over the years?  Did someone love and appreciate it enough to wax or oil or polish it and protect it from the elements?

Does it feel good to the touch?  Can I sense the many years of use that have worn a permanent "hand hold"? 

 Can I close my eyes and imagine the person who needed this item and how she used it in her home?  

Was it created specially for the user, perhaps produced by an itinerant tradesman who travelled from farm to farm, designing and creating specifically what the homeowner needed? 
 Did a husband or father, wife or mother labor long into the night by candlelight or oil lamp to make this item as a gift for a loved one? 

Does it relate its' story in my imagination? 
 These are the things that bond me to a piece of the past, and make it worthy of my collecting.

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