Tips for Meissen Porcelain Collectors

Meissen has always signified quality in German porcelain. Wide range of objects can be found in Meissen, from figurines to clock cases, mirror frames, vases etc.

Genuine Meissen Porcelain wares go as far back as the 18th century. It is rare to find products that old in the market and even if you do, they cost a lot due to lower supply and higher demand amongst collectors. 19th and 20th century pieces, on the other hand, are available in abundance. They can be often spotted in auctions and vintage galleries. These items are not only aesthetic but also attracts the attention of the onlooker with minimal effort.

But the question is, how does one choose the right pieces to buy and how to care for these antiques? In this article, we will cover important tips for Meissen porcelain collectors.

Density and weight

The most reliable indicator of Meissen porcelain items is their density and weight. High density and heavier items are often a sign of great craftsmanship and use of quality materials. This is especially apparent in dinner wares but can be applicable for figures as well. Meissen porcelain wares have been used by royalties for more than two centuries. They can now grace your home if you choose wisely!

Look for crossed sword mark

Did you know that the maker marks his Meissen porcelain wares with crossed swords indicating authenticity? However, it is important to note that German manufacturers trying to capitalize on this rare collectible often score copied Meissen designs and stamp it with vaguely similar mark that can confuse a rookie collector. You should also look out for quality to verify if these pieces are genuine or not.

Condition and Restoration

Condition is one of the most important factors to consider when collecting ceramics. Even the smallest chip or crack can drop its value significantly. While most of these items are mostly stored behind glass cabinets with minimal handling, most collectors are already apprised of the likelihood that the item they are buying has probably restored in some capacity.

Be careful when cleaning

Cleaning and washing Meissen figures are always such a huge challenge. However, you can reduce the need for cleaning if you store the figures in a closed cabinet. Trying to dust and clean too often can lead to discoloration or accidental chipping.

Learn about Meissen porcelain

There are many good books out there that teach about different styles and marks of Meissen porcelain. However, the best way to educate yourself about this rare item is at the auction previews or vintage shops.

Even though the market for collectibles is rather cold, Meissen porcelain has managed to maintain interest in its wares. They still demand high value and are preferred by most novice collectors. The large collector base means that they are likely to stay for years to come! If you are a new collector, be sure to read these tips before you take the plunge into collecting antiques.

Tips to Decorate Homes with Figurines

We all love to decorate our homes. It is, in fact, one of the things we do with utmost care, adding intimate touches to it to make it feel like a personal space. There are many things that one can do to decorate their homes minimally but still make a statement.

If you love figurines, then this is going to be incredibly easy for you. All you have to do is look for something that is effective without overwhelming its overall décor. Figurines can add a delicate touch to your design element. At the same time, they can also make it look cluttered if you do not position them properly. So if you really want your new Ivory Figurines to fit into your home décor, then use the tips in this article.

Spread Them Out

Want your figurines to look naturally embedded in your home’s design? Don’t just use them to decorate one spot. Instead, spread them out around the house so that your entire house is woven together in a common design theme.

Display Them in a Cabinet

You can also also invest in a glass cabinet that can be used to display all your antiques, including the figurines. This cabinet can be the focal point of your room, keeping everything else minimal. This will also protect the figurines from gathering dust.

Rotate Your Collection

We often feel bored with the same décor after some time. So the best tip to bring a noticeable change in the design without spending too much is to rotate your collection. Display only a few at a time and keep rotating them with each season with small edits. This one small step alone will bring significant change in the way your home looks.

Group Them Together

Another way to create a focal point in your room is to arrange the figurines by a specific style. Like you can place all the women figurines together. Just place them together as per a common theme and let them draw the visitor’s attention to their unique formation. It will not only look aesthetic but also get rid of the cluttered appearance of figurines strewn all over the room.

Keep Them Out of Children’s Reach

It goes without saying that you should place the figurines away from where your kids or even pets can reach them easily. In most homes, people choose to place the figurines on a center table or low shelves. However, this may not be an option for you if you if you have hyperactive kids or pets. In that case, either display your expensive figurines in a cabinet or decorate your home with cheaper alternatives.
Decorating your home with figurines may be an old idea but it certainly timeless. With so many designs and options to choose from, one can easily find something that aligns with their personalized taste to give their home an intimate and familiar feeling.

How to Clean A Porcelain Figurine the Right Way?

Porcelain figurines are priceless and precious belongings that you should handle with great care after buying them. Porcelain made for figurines isn’t hard as you might think at first; it is very fragile and can break with pressure from just two of your fingers.

With that said, we advise all Meissen porcelain owners to keep their figurines and other goods inside a mantle, curio, china closet, or cabinet, so that not only do they have the least likelihood of breaking, but also they can be protected from dust buildup over time.

If your figurines ever do get dust on them, we are pleased to let you know that there are safe and easy ways to clean them without breaking them or removing their paint. Here is what you should do to properly clean your Meissen porcelain figurines.

Get a table ready.

All figurine cleaning should be done by hand and done at a table. You should always sit in a chair while cleaning a figurine, as standing up can pose a threat to the figurine. If you drop the figurine from a certain height onto the table, there is a very good chance that it might break. With a table, you can clean the figurine more easily and prevent it from dropping.

Remove dust with a hair blower or soft-bristled brush.

Surface dust is dust that is visible on the figurine. You should be able to remove this dust with a hair blower. Direct the hair blower towards all corners and sides of the porcelain to blow off the dust. This should not remove the paint from the figurine.

If you do not have a hair blower, then a brush with soft bristles can also work. Be sure the bristles are soft, as hard bristles can scratch the figurine up and damage it.

Clean thoroughly with a cloth and towel.

If light dusting is simply not enough to make the figurine look cleaner, you can also try to clean the piece with a towel. Place the towel on the table and place the figurine on the towel. If the figurine is knocked over accidentally, it should land gently on the towel.

Next, fill a bowl up with warm water and mild dish detergent. It must be mild so that the colors on the figurine do not run or peel off when cleaning. It is also very important to not use any cleaning solutions that contain ammonia or bleach, as they can permanently tarnish the item. Simply just use the products that we suggest.

Then, get a lint free cloth (not the towel that the figurine is placed on) and submerge in into the water. Use the cloth to carefully clean the figurine so that any and all dirt is removed.

Remove any water and soapy residue as soon as you can after cleaning. If left wet and soapy, water can cause mold to grow on the figurine, as porcelain is a porous material. Mold can damage the figurine and discolor it permanently, so there are no good ways to remove mold on a figurine after it appears.

Get another dry cloth and carefully wipe the figurine clean until dry. Do not use the towel your figurine is placed on to dry it, as its large nature can snag on any irregularly-shaped parts.

With all that said and done, you should have a clean porcelain figurine again that can be returned to where you display or store it. It should look noticeably different when displayed and no damage should be done to it.

All You Need to Know About Russian Silver

Russian silver antiques are highly valuable collectibles that can grace any corner or honor your classic vintage collection. These beautiful pieces of art may speak volumes about impeccable craftsmanship. However, they are not immune to blemishes and scratches that can make them look unfashionable. In fact, many buyers often make the mistake of cleaning these fragile items intensely that can tarnish its surface. That being said, if you are someone who is planning to buy Russian silver for their antique collection, then we would like to share some useful tips about to how to buy and prevent them from damage.

Let’s start with tips to buy authentic Russian silver.

Start Late

When you are a beginner collector, you can start with 19th century collectibles as this is when huge volume of art was created that is now available for buying. At the same time, you do not need exceptional knowledge to buy these as one needs for 17th or 18th century silver.

Buy in person

Don’t trust the person on phone who is promising you genuine Russian silver. Only buy from reputed dealers in person. You can also purchase these fine pieces from auctions and museums.

Don’t Just buy as an Investment

The prices for Russian Silver have varied wildly for years. But the experts recommend that you should buy it for the love of it and not as an investment piece. It is better to hold on to your prized possession for a few years before selling it off for a profit.

Beware of Forgeries

All antique markets are rife with forgeries. This is especially true for Russian Silver because of its exorbitantly high prices. However, now that the prices have started coming down, it is a good time for beginner collectors to get your hands on it and join the club.

Tips to Clean and Care for the Antiques

After using Russian silver flatware for a while, you will notice that it has developed patina gradually. This patina is not to be treated as tarnish. In fact, it enhances the beauty of antique pieces and give them the vintage appearance. So if you are consuming aged flatware, then be sure to clean it right after its use, especially if it came in contact with acidic foods.

Additionally, make sure that you never submerge your antique flatware in water overnight. This prolonged soaking can damage the metal. Use hot water to clean the flatware and carefully scrub the crevices with the help of old toothbrush. At the same time, it is important to never put stainless steel and Russian silver antiques together as it can react with the metal and cause irreparable damage to your expensive vintage flatware. Always clean using soft cotton cloth and allow it to air dry.

These simple tips are helpful in not only buying the best silver but also preserving it for years to come! Who knows, you may even be able to pass your vintage collection as heirloom to your family members!

Great Tips for Developing Gifting Ideas

Finding the perfect present for someone can be a difficult task filled with uncertainty, trepidation, and frustration at the lack of ideas that usually surmount during such an occasion. It is especially hard when the person concerned is a loved one, and thus the item chosen is intended to express a show of intimacy and endearment.

Unfortunately, not everybody likes the same thing, and thus no particular object can please every single person who receives it, thereby negating the need for panic and worry during upcoming birthdays, weddings, and similar occasions. There are a few great tips however that can be implemented by individuals seeking to enhance the eccentricity of their choices, and some of these include:

Avoid Procrastination

Putting things off till the last moment is an unfortunate habit exhibited by a large number of people when it comes to the procedure of buying gifts. Hundreds of people can be seen rushing about stores on the eve of holidays as they try to catch up with items that should have been checked off their list a long time ago. Looking for a suitable gift well in advance can lead to pleasant discoveries such as rare Meissen porcelain figurines during an exploration outing.

Think Outside the Box

Some people may be afraid to expand their search beyond the realms of certain products such as electronics, books, and clothes. Although all these items are good suggestions for a gift, they are somewhat predictable and have been reenacted time and time again by people all over the world. Opting for something that they would never expect can be a great way to enhance the value of a present, as well as potentially introduce the individual concerned to a new experience.

Take a Hint

In some cases, the search for the perfect gift might not be necessary as the receiver-to-be has already hinted at a specific item they want. These suggestions may have been delivered indirectly at times, and thus it is essential that an individual does not miss certain clues that might be passed during casual conversation. Others choose to ignore these hints as it would mean that the present is not a surprise, but this element does not matter in cases where one might be looking forward to receiving Meissen porcelain figurines for their birthday, for example, and does as the excitement will still be present.

Ask for Help

In cases where one might not be too sure about the individual’s particular preferences, getting a close friend of the receiver to make suggestions can provide helpful information which can be implemented towards the shopping process. The person chosen should be able to remain discreet about the activity, and should be close enough to be aware of the likes and dislikes of the individual concerned. Should one want to maintain high levels of privacy, they can simply take the suggestions offered within stride without divulging what they have finally decided on getting.

The art of gift-giving is not a practice that should involve unwarranted pressure, and one should note that the value of a present does not necessarily represent its worth if the person’s heart is in the right place.

How to Take Care of Your Antique Porcelain Collection

When you have to take care of porcelain figurines, you need make sure you take into consideration their fragility. Remember, Meissen figurines are delicate and great attention has gone into the details of these figurines, and that is what makes them special as well as valuable.

When you keep your porcelain collection in a closed cabinet, you minimize chances of damage, and you also reduce the chances of your precious collection getting exposed to dust. Nonetheless, Meissen figurines can still collect dust and that is why you should make an attempt to clean them regularly. Here are some tips to help you clean your Meissen collection without damaging them:

Removing Dust from the Figurines

When you want to dust your figurines, do not stand and hold them in your hand to dust. Instead, take each figurine, sit on a table and then clean it. This way, you reduce the likelihood of the figurine slipping and dropping from your hand.

Take a soft-bristled artist’s brush and gently remove the dust from every visible surface of the figurine. You can also use a hair dryer to blow off the dust. Remember not to use hot air as it could damage the dye or other elements of the figurine.

Thorough Cleansing for Your Porcelain

Sometimes, just dusting will not be sufficient to clean the porcelain. You will have to adopt a more thorough method of cleaning. Here, be extremely careful, as the porcelain figurines are delicate. Place the figurine on a soft towel so that if it falls, it will have a soft landing!

Fill a bowl with warm water and mild dishwashing liquid. Dip a lint-free cloth into the water and use it to gently clean the porcelain figure. Keep wiping until it is dirt-free. Do not scrub or use anything abrasive as it will damage the figurine.

Make sure you don’t get any water into the hole at the base as you will be unable to take out the water completely, and this will result in mold formation. Instead, after washing let the figurines air dry and then use a soft, lint-free cloth to buff the figurines until they shine.

Things to Note

  • Do not use towels to wipe the Meissen porcelain figurine as the fabric can snag some part, causing it to break
  • Wipe the figurines thoroughly with the damp cloth to get rid of the residual soap. If you don’t do this, the soap residue will act as a magnet to attract dirt.
  • Rather than taking your Meissen to the sink, bring the water to the figurines. While these figurines are durable, but a knock against the tap could damage them irreversibly.
  • When drying the Meissen, keep the figurines away from sunlight, as it can adversely affect the natural dye.
  • Always open the doors of the cabinets regularly so that the retained heat can escape. Heat can wreak havoc with your collectibles.

By using the methods highlighted here, you will be able to clean your porcelain collectibles regularly and ensure they last a lifetime and transform into family heirlooms.