Here at Beautiful Heirloom Home, one of our favourite activities is looking for vintage and modern treasures, which are exquisite and beautiful.
We also love that items purchased earlier in our lives, often become rarer and more valuable over time. For example purchasing Troika pottery in St. Ives, in Cornwall, when it was first produced, and loving it because of the designs, colour and texture and then finding out years later that it had a value and was highly collectable.
Or being left a Shelley tea set by my grandmother, is so exquisite and beautiful it can take centre stage today.
Or recognising that the curtains, which I loved because of the beautiful and unusual designs when I was growing up, were actually a famous Lucienne Day design.
We have built our collection over many years seeking out the unusual, the exquisite and the beautiful, storing them away knowing that one day they could be shared and now the time has come to share some of our very special pieces.We love searching and discovering items which have been a labour of love in the past, or recognising something that will become an heirloom of the future.
Some people develop specialist knowledge in particular types of ceramics, glass, paintings, but for us it’s almost the opposite. When we find a piece that looks unusual, we love the thrill of the research trying to identify what it actually is. It isn’t about the value of the item it is more a curiosity about what it could be, who the maker is, and the story behind it.
For example at a recent Antique Fair, we saw a very little tile, almost covered by the price label, it was unusual because of the size 3.5 x 3.5 inches, but it was also beautifully decorated and it depicted a yellow cable car/tram, our initial reaction was to think that perhaps it was from San Francisco, but the buildings didn’t look right, then we turned it over and on the back it said Portugal. Intrigued we bought it and came home and researched it and found it was created by an artisan artist called José Carboila, who specialized in creating miniatures. It’s just a very special little piece.
In our modern day lives styling has become very important, every time you look at a beautiful image in a magazine or book someone has created it. Someone has painstakingly sourced the items, found the right background, thought about the textures, lighting, from the smallest accessory to the angle of the camera. It can take hours to create just one perfect shot. These images often include vintage or antique items which combined with a modern subject add depth of interest.
It’s not just professional photographers, many of us are seeking to create beautiful images in Pinterest and Instagram for our own businesses, or to add to the decor in our own homes. With a natural curiosity, many a happy hour can be spent exploring charity shops, car boot sales, artist galleries, vintage and online shops, or spotting something that may over time become a special collectable.
The most important thing, as with any purchase is to buy what you like, if you are buying a vintage, or antique item it is also important to either limit your budget to what you can sensibly afford, or at least research the item so that you understand its true value. Also recognise that some items may be a copy of the original, so again do the research before you buy.
However, buying vintage or collectable items can bring a uniqueness that is hard to replicate, and something that can in time become a family heirloom for you to hand down to future generations.
There are so many places where you can join in the search for your own curiosities,
One of our favourite magazines is Homes & Antiques, which as well as always having fascinating information, also has the latest listings of antiques and vintage fairs. www.homesandantiques.com
You can also take a look at our lovely items in our Shop!