What To Look For

Victorian Homes - - A Lady's Sanctuary -

1. HALL­MARKS.

If you are col­lect­ing pieces with sterling sil­ver tops, or sil­ver mir­rors and brushes, look for the hall­marks. Al­most all sterling will be marked Sterling, or have the lion pas­sant, the mark for sterling. You can find sterling marks from other coun­tries on the In­ter­net.

2. CHIPS.

Check all glass for chips, cracks and nicks. Run your fin­ger around the bot­tom and top. Open the jars and bot­tles to look for dam­age. But re­mem­ber these were of­ten used daily, so you should not ex­pect a like-new piece, and a small lit­tle nick un­der the lid shouldn’t keep you from buy­ing a piece.

3. PATINA.

Buy from some­one you trust if you are not well-versed in iden­ti­fy­ing true an­tique pieces. If a piece looks in mint con­di­tion, just like new, be cau­tious. While it’s pos­si­ble to find a piece over 100 years old with­out dam­age, it should not look new. Any­thing sil­ver should have patina, and pieces cov­ered with gilt should have a slight dark­en­ing and not be too bright and shiny.

4. DAUBER.

When col­lect­ing an­tique per­fume bot­tles, check the dauber, if there is one. This is a long glass wand that fits in­side the top and is used for ap­ply­ing per­fume. This piece should be in­tact.

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