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Choosing Fabric for Display Cases

Choosing Fabric for Display Cases

Wondering what type of fabric is safest for your displayed objects? Of all the factors to consider when selecting a fabric for your display case, fiber content is the most important. Certain fibers, such as silk, are naturally acidic and should never come in direct contact with objects. Other fibers may emit harmful volatiles, such as sulfur compounds. Wool fabrics and felts are an example. Wool is also a food source for pests like clothes moths, carpet beetles, silverfish, and crickets to name just a few. Such fabrics should be avoided altogether. Read more

4 Questions You Should Always Ask an Antique Dealer

4 questions ask antique dealer

We’ve all been ripped off. And if by some chance you haven’t been, your time is coming! The keys to safe, fun, and affordable antiquing comes down to research, experience, and asking antique dealers the right questions. So what are those questions? First, let me briefly address research and experience. Read more

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Civil War Horse Photographer, Alexander B. Foal

Civil War Horse Photographer Alexander B Foals

Alexander Barnard Foal (April 1, 1830 – January 16, 1896) was one of the earliest photographers in American history, best known for his spectacular images of service horses, captured during the American Civil War. His photographs, and those he commissioned, had a tremendous impact during the war, and their reverberations continue to be felt today. He and his employees photographed thousands of scenes, including battlefields, camp life, naval scenes, and portraits of some of the most famous military figures of his time, including Winfield Scott, George B. McClellan, George Armstrong Custer, and of course, their majestic steeds. Read more

Dirty Harry’s Opinion on Opinions

Dirty Harry's Opinion on Opinions

One of the most rewarding aspects of collecting, is sharing your passion for what you collect with others. Sharing comes in many forms, whether it be on social media, online forums, collectible shows, trade publications, clubs, or simply sharing what you love with friends and family. Most people show genuine interest in what you have to share and are happy to indulge you. On the other hand, we’ve all encountered people that are quick to offer less than flattering opinions about you and/or what you’ve chosen to collect. Read more

What Collectors Can Learn From Museum Exhibit Design

What Collectors Can Learn From Museum Exhibit Design

While there are countless genres of things to collect, there’s one common thread that connects them: where and how to display it all! It’s the same dilemma that most every museum struggles with as well. So what can a private collector learn from a museum? I asked myself the same question. Read more

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The Sordid History of the Term Picker

Sordid History of the Term Picker

In the antiques world, when someone says picker, the image of a distinguished, high-end art dealer doesn’t come to mind. Although they serve a critical role within the antiques trade, pickers are often considered to be the bottom-feeders of the industry. But why?

As I’ve come to learn, the term “picker”, and its uncomplimentary connotation, is steeped in the gutters and sewers of history. Henry Mayhew, the author behind the mammoth four-volume study of London Labour and the London Poor, points to two Victorian era (1837–1901) occupations that gave birth to the term “picker.”   Read more

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Civil War Sketches by Adolph G. Metzner

While photographs from earlier conflicts exist, the American Civil War is widely recognized as the first major war to be extensively photographed. Thanks in large part to such photographers as Alexander Gardner, Mathew Brady, and Timothy O’Sullivan, for the first time in history, ordinary citizens could view the carnage of war waged on faraway battlefields. As intriguing as their photographs are, I’ve always found them to be incomplete. They seem to lack the emotion and intimacy of what it was like to be a soldier―both on and off the battlefield. It’s for that reason, that I’ve always been drawn to the artwork created by the men that actually fought the war. Read more

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Valentine’s Day Bizarre Origins

Valentines Day Origins

The origins of Valentine’s Day, its namesake, and the date it’s celebrated on, are all shrouded in a murky cloud of paganism, Christianity, martyrdom, poetry, and a healthy dose of speculation. And here you thought Valentine’s Day was all about sappy cards, heart-shaped chocolates, red roses, sparkling jewelry, and fancy feasts! Read more

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Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Antiques

Cracker Barrel Antiques Blog

Growing up, I was raised on a steady diet of southern comfort food dished out by Cracker Barrel restaurants. To this day, I’m well acquainted with the Fancy Fixin’ menu and the wide array of antique décor that precariously hangs from every conceivable surface inside the Old Country Store. While the food is diabetically delicious, it’s the antiques that have always caught my attention and sparked my curiosity. I’ve often wondered why certain objects are selected for display, where they come from, and if they’re real. Read more

Sniffing Out Antiquities

Sniffing Out Antiquities

Detection dogs have long been used to identify a variety of objects and substances, including illegal drugs, currency, firearms, explosives, fire accelerants, human remains, bodily disease, pests, and agricultural goods to name just a few. Now one organization wants to add another object to that list, cultural antiquities. Read more