As you can see from the images here, we have had another busy month at Snelling Associates!
Indeed, I am delighted to see that people still treasure their antiques as much as ever and continually bring them to us for restoration. That may seem an odd thing to say but over the years I have seen many trends come and go and I have heard time and again that antiques have ‘had their day’ and that now most people only want modern furniture and no longer like objets d’art. This was certainly the feeling amongst many people in the 1960’s and, to some extent, was true of the 1980s.
However, anyone who is dismissive of antiques (whether furniture or objets d’art) rather misses the point, to my mind.
After all, what makes antiques so precious (and worthwhile!) is the fact that they were so well made and, invariably, designed and constructed by highly trained and gifted craftsmen. In fact, many items that I have restored over the years must have been made not just by craftsmen but by people who could fairly be called artists – even if they may have been surprised by this description of themselves.
Of course, for an antique to be special it really does have to have at least one of two characteristics. The first, needless to say, is quality. This is sometimes difficult to define and can, in fairness, be in the eye of the beholder. However, real quality is about a fusion of design, fine materials and workmanship and is generally recognizable as such by virtually anyone. If this is enhanced by age, rarity and a beautiful patina then the item concerned will always have value – and a value that is likely to increase over the years (even if the antiques market dips occasionally).
The second characteristic is not necessarily the same as the first and is when something is greatly loved. Indeed, the item concerned may not be an antique as described above and may, in fact, not have (or ever achieve) real inherent value. Nonetheless, it may have great emotional value and be something that has been handed down through a family – or is something that is intended to be passed on. It may represent someone (or an event) and be of the first importance to the family (or possibly club or association) who owns it.
Certainly, at Snelling Associates we are as careful of emotionally important pieces as we are of ‘genuine’ antiques. Indeed, at times, we take greater pleasure in restoring something that is truly emotionally important to someone than a lovely and valuable antique!
So, if you have something that you could not say was an antique but that is nonetheless important to you, then bring it to us – if it needs repair or restoration. We will exercise as much love, care and attention on it as other beautiful pieces that are brought to us.