Antique and collectible history

Richard Woodman Burbidge & Harrods Silver

Richard Woodman Burbidge & Harrods Silver

Most of us have heard of Richard Woodman Burbidge and seen some of the wonderful silver creations that bear his mark. Richard Woodman Burbidge’s name is synonymous with high quality silver and it is inextricably linked with the world’s leading luxury department store, Harrods, which is located on Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. At this time the Harrods silver workshops were located at Trevor Square. Richard Woodman Burbidge was also the president of the Incorporated Association of Retail Distributors. In 1919 Burbidge was awarded Commander, Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) From this time he was known as Sir Woodman or Sir Richard. 
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Victorian Jewellery & Symbolism

Victorian Jewellery & Symbolism

Victorian jewellery is immensely popular today. The superb craftsmanship, artistry, beauty and charm ensure that this genre is highly collectible. Queen Victoria (1837 - 1901) reigned for sixty four years and during this era fashions of jewellery changed considerably, usually as a response to trends that Queen Victoria started. It is helpful to divide the Victorian era into three parts - Early Victorian or “Romantic”, Middle Victorian or “Grand”, Late Victorian or Aesthetic periods. 

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1950s 1960s 1970s & Beyond Sterling Silver Charms & Pendants Trends

1950s 1960s 1970s & Beyond Sterling Silver Charms & Pendants Trends

By the 1960s it seemed that sterling silver charm bracelets were the must have item for most little girls and young ladies. Traditionally a little girl would be given a starter bracelet whilst still at primary school. Her subsequent birthday gifts would include solid silver charms to add to the bracelet. Often milestones such as her sixteenth, eighteenth and twenty first birthdays would be commemorated with the additions of charms that had meaning and relevance. This very personal type of jewellery continued to be fashionable right up until the 1970s.
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Silversmith William Neale & Sons & The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter

Silversmith William Neale & Sons & The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter

The firm was established by William Neale in 1850 in Birmingham. His mark was entered at the Birmingham assay office in April 1862 and in the Chester assay office in September 1882. Later the firm was known as William Neale & Sons as a partnership of William Neale senior, William Neale junior & Arthur Neale. The partnership required new larger premises and so a purpose built premises was erected at 29 Warstone Lane, Birmingham (1896). In 1905 the firm became a limited company - William Neale & Sons Ltd. In 1910 they relocated to 34 Cox Street, St. Paul’s Square, Birmingham. In 1942 the firm was absorbed by Suckling Ltd.

 

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The Stratton Piccadilly Four Leaf Clover Shaped Compact Mirror 1959 / 1960

The Stratton Piccadilly Four Leaf Clover Shaped Compact Mirror 1959 / 1960

The Stratton “Piccadilly” is one of our all time favourite powder compacts. It is  as beautiful as it is so elusive. We have only seen this model finished with turquoise, red and maroon enamel. There were only two known years of production 1959 & 1960 & this is the only Stratton compact with the lucky four leaf clover shape. It has the most beautiful enamel with gilt accents - the elegant quatrefoil design so splendid to see. The lid decoration shows work of the highest calibre. Tiny flowers surrounded by cream enamel set off by gilded borders, the red borders are the perfect colour / color contrast. This model is noted in the 1959 catalogue as “clover leaf shape”. 

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A Little Known History Of Jarrett, Rainsford & Laughton (Stratton & Co.)

A Little Known History Of Jarrett, Rainsford & Laughton (Stratton & Co.)

In 1860 Stephen Jarrett and Charles Rainsford joined in partnership. Jarrett was a pin manufacturer and jeweller.  Rainsford was a commercial traveller. The partners took on premises at 7 Broad Street, Islington, Birmingham. The success of the venture enabled Jarrett & Rainsford to move new premises at 48 Broad Street in 1870. In 1898 the firm took on an office boy who exhibited much promise. This young man was named George A. Laughton. The partners were so impressed with him that by 1904 he was rewarded with the position of assistant manager. 

 

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Ciner Jewellery & Compact Mirrors History & Heritage

Ciner Jewellery & Compact Mirrors History & Heritage

In 1892 Emanuel Ciner established his jewellery firm. Ciner specialised in making fine jewellery / jewelry. The premises were located on Maiden Lane in Lower Manhattan. A small and highly skilled set of jewellers, artisans & artists created pieces that would have been described today as high jewellery. Ciner was a remarkable man and his work ethic propelled the company to be one of the most well known in America. Emanuel Ciner was still working until 1958 when he was aged 92. In the 1920s Emanuel’s sons, Irwin & Charles joined the business as apprentices. Their children would go on to follow in their footsteps. 

 

 

 

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Gucci A Brief History

Gucci A Brief History

Guccio Gucci was born in Florence on 26 March 1881. Gucci was an Italian-British businessman and a legendary designer and it is said that he became fascinated by the stylish guests at the Savoy Hotel in London, where he worked as a lift boy in the early 1900s. It was not just the high quality clothes of the wealthy guests that inspired Gucci but also their well made luggage. On his return to Florence, Gucci created travel bags. The House of Gucci was founded in 1921. Originally it was a small family-owned leather goods shop. As the business grew so did Gucci’s reputation for high quality craftsmanship.   

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A Brief History Of Charms Fobs Amulets And Talismans

A Brief History Of Charms Fobs Amulets And Talismans

This post will give you a brief history of how charms have been cherished through the ages and used as powerful talismans. In the middle of the post the various categories of charms are described and illustrated. The last section gives details of how to care for gold and silver charms.
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All About Celluloid Vanities & Collectibles - History, Values & More!

All About Celluloid Vanities & Collectibles - History, Values & More!

This post will answer these questions:

1. What is Celluloid? 

2. Who invented Celluloid  - when & how?

3. Are Celluloid powder compacts and accessories valuable?

4. How can I find the value of my Celluloid collectibles?

5. Where can I find vintage & antique Celluloid powder compacts?

6. How should I store Celluloid items?

7. How can I tell if an item is made from Celluloid?

8. How do I clean Celluloid accessories?

 

 

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Lucite Powder Compacts History & Heritage

Lucite Powder Compacts History & Heritage

What is Lucite?

Lucite is often used as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. It is not technically a type of glass, the substance has also been referred to as  acrylic glass. Plexiglas, Lucite & Perspex are registered brand names for what is known as acrylic glass. The Kigu archive regularly refers to vanities having been fitted with a 'Perspex insert'. Lucite acrylic was invented by the Dupont Corporation in 1931. When not coloured it is a clear material with high transparency. Lucite is a high quality product which will retain its clear appearance even when subjected to UV rays. It is expensive to produce and highly versatile. This superior quality acrylic can be embedded with many beautiful colours and carved into a wide variety of shapes. Hence it popularity with manufacturers of accessories.

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Yardley Compact Mirrors History & Heritage

Yardley Compact Mirrors History & Heritage

Yardley is one of the oldest cosmetic companies in the world. It is said to date to a time earlier than the Great Fire of London (1666). Although this statement can not be proved, there is no doubt that the company was established a little before 1770 by Samuel Cleaver. On the death of Samuel Cleaver in 1805 in his wife and four sons inherited the business. They traded under the name of Cleaver Brothers. Notices declaring bankruptcy were issued against the four brothers in 1813.  William Cleaver managed to obtain the wherewithal to keep the business afloat as William Cleaver & Company until 1823, when he was again declared bankrupt. WilliamYardley, who was related by marriage, to the Cleaver family purchased the business in 1823.
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