Monday, April 12, 2010

Fake Gramophones

I have mention in my previous post that I will be sharing regarding the recent increase in fake gramophones in the market. As I have shared, gramophones are getting more and more popular this days and it is easy to fool a beginner with an imitation gramophone. Most of this imitation gramophones usually comes from both China and India. This imitation gramophones are often found or sold through the internet auction sites and mail order catalogue. Most of the time, they will be advertised as original antique gramophones.

The interesting part is that this type of imitation gramophones comes in all funny shapes and sizes. Some cases are octagonal and round. Trust me, no matter what they tell you, these are just not original production of gramophones. Some even have the HMV (His Master's Voice) Lookalike logo. Pls refer below for the fakes logo and gramophone production from both China & India.

This a an imitation label for most gramophones from India
          This one is the imitation label for most gramophones from China. It is a fake Victor Tag from China.

This type of gramophone might look like a normal gramophones to a novice but upon closer inspection, you would notice that the horn are offset from the tone arm. An original gramophone horn is not separated from the tone arm. You can also look at the fake victor tag. The imitation gramophone on this picture is normally produced in China.

Finally, a lot of fake gramophones are made together from original wind-up portable and new parts. Do look out for poor castings and poor fitting parts in the horn elbow, torn arm and bracket. If the motor comes from a suitcase portable, you will be able to see a "plate & pillar" motor as shown on the picture on the left.

Well, I guess I have shared some things to note when you are interested to buy an antique gramophones. Do drop me an email if you have any further queries or would like to know more about antique gramophones.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Antiques Gramophone

Today I will be sharing about Antique Gramophone as I believe that this piece of antique is one of the best item to collect besides antique clocks. Not only will it helps to make your house unique itself but it will also be a conversation starter for guests who come to your house. Trust me, your guests will be amaze and curious about your new collection. If you would ask my dad to talk about antique gramophone, he can talk for hours just on this subject.

Anyway, for some history lesson, it is believe that the first person who invented the gramophone was the famous Thomas Edison. He invented the first music playing gadget before he turn his attention on creating light bulbs. He named his first music playing gadget as phonograph that played recorded sounds from round cylinders. The picture on the left is an example of Thomas Edison gramophone. But to be honest, Thomas Edison phonograph's sound was really bad and every recording can only last 1 play.

It was actually Emile Berliner who made Gramophone popular. He was the first person who start recording on flat disks or records and stop recording on cylinders. He founded the famous "The Gramophone Company" that mass produce sound disks for the Gramophone to play them. Most antique collectors will remember his company official trademark, "His Master's Voice" which until today remained one of the most best-known trademark. Its a picture of a cute doggie next to the gramophone.

Antique gramophone is fast getting popular with a lot of people lately. The main reason is the unique sound that is produced from the machine. There are a lot of imitation and fake gramophones in the market and I will be sharing to you some of them so that you can keep a lookout whenever you intend to buy one yourself. In the meantime, if you still have not decided to get an antique gramophone yourself, I hope the clip below will change your mind :) Happy Listening !

Friday, February 27, 2009

Interested in Antique Furnitures?

Today, I will be sharing about antique furniture in case that there are somebody out there who are interested to start a hobby in collecting antique furniture.

I have grew up in a house back in Ipoh full of antiques. My daddy's house was filled with hundreds of acquired pieces of antiques. Whatever you can think of, my daddy would have it in his house including antique furnitures.

Along the years, my daddy have shared the history of each antique furniture to me and also taught me many things to look out for especially when there are a lot of imitation antique furnitures outside. I will share it here for you.

1) What kind of wood was used to make the furniture? You can always determine the age of the furniture by looking at the type of wood used to create that piece. If it is a dressing table, look closely inside the drawers. Are the wood used inside the drawers different from the outside? There are
furniture that used cheap woods for the insides of the
drawers so do be careful on this.

2) Does the furniture still maintain it's original parts? Are
drawer pulls and knobs original? Look carefully at the types
of screws and nails attaching the body of the furniture. Do
they look newer than the drawer pulls themselves? Check
on the wood around the furniture. Sometimes, there might
be some grooves in the wood , meaning that the pulls might
have been replaced with another one.

3) Does the Furniture still have it's original paint? During those years, there were a lot of people who like to refinish their aging furniture. Honestly speaking, if you ever find an antique furniture with it's original coat of paint, do not ever try to modernize it. The old coat of paint is more valuable and desirable than the finish.

4) Look inside the drawers for any dovetails. By looking at the dovetails, you will be able to narrow down the age of the furniture. If the dovetails look very perfect with no defects, they were cut by machine. On the other hand, uneven dovetails means that that furniture is handmade. Some of the drawers will not even have any dovetails at all. This is a sign that you have got a rare piece of furniture.

5) If the antique furniture is a bench or chair, does it still maintain it's original legs? Most of the rare antique benches or chairs have legs that were shaped after a dragon or tiger. For antique benches, one of the rarest antique are the ones with mother of pearl. They look more solid and they are cooling to sleep during hot weathers. My 2nd photo on the left is an example of the rare bench. Trust me....if you come across one of this pieces, and if budget permits, grab it. I promise that you will never regret it for the rest of your life.

6) Look carefully at the saw cuts on the edges and the back of the antique furniture. For your information, circular saws were only invented after the mid 1800's. This will roughly give you a benchmark to start determining the age of the furniture. If the cuts are rough, chances are this is an old antique furniture.

Well......these are some advice I can share with all of those who are interested in collecting Antique Furniture. In fact, antique collecting is really fun to begin with. As I have mention previously, I do hope that through this blog, more and more younger generation will learn to appreciate this industry and hobby.

Let me tell you a secret. Collecting antiques are like solving a mystery or putting together a puzzle. There are so many interesting and exciting clues that tell the story of each beautiful piece of antiques. You will probably realise this when you solve the mystery. Good Luck!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Antique Collecting For Beginners

This post is written to share with anyone who is interested to collect antiques but do not know where to start and unsure what type of antique to collect. Well, although a lot of people started collecting antiques due to an inheritance (like me), there are some who are inspired by a period of time and a feel of a textile.

Well, for a start, you might want to consider what type of antiques you are interested to collect. Ask yourself what type of antiques are you interested in (furnitures, clocks, porcelean, pottery, jewellery, etc)? By asking yourself this question, you will save a lot of time during your search as well as a narrower focus will be able to help educate you on the going rates for your selected collection's acquisitions.

After you have selected the type of antique you wish to collect, you must make a decision on where you wish to buy your antiques. There are various ways to do this. You can go through some online auctions on antiques and also go through a local dealer. Besides that, you can also visit the flea markets and garage sales for your antiques. There are a few flea markets in Singapore that sell antiques. There is one flea market that is just opposite China Central Square that has a lot antiques. They are open almost every Sunday. Besides that, there are also a few shops on the 2nd floor of China Square Central that sells various types of Antiques. I would suggest that you pay a visit to that place when you first start to decide which type of Antique you may wish to collect. As for myself, my preference is always antique clocks.

One very important thing to note is that when purchasing, especially online, that your antique item is authentic and not an immitation. You must also learn to educate yourself on the prices of what the item should sell for and also remember of any special hallmarks, maker's or studio marks commonly associated with that particular brand and design(manufacturer) to ensure that your antique is genuine. Do be very careful if you happened to see any antiques that is sold online from Malacca. Most of the antiques produce in Malacca are basically immitation although they look almost identical to the original antiques. There are a lot of beginner collectors that bought antiques from Malacca online realises that they have paid a huge sum for an imitation antique. So.....just be very careful. I know it is not easy to differentiate the genuine antiques to the imitation ones but never ever buy an antique piece on impulse. Always check around first. I will try my best to share with you in this blog how to differentiate between genuine and imitation antiques.

The final thing to note is after you have bought an Antique piece, do not attempt to clean anything as cleaning sometimes does more harm than good. Always follow all care and instruction guides you are given as you wish that your antique piece value will increase over time.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Antique Clocks in General

In this post, I will share with you some brief information regarding Antique Clocks. Among so many types and kinds of antiques, I regard antique clocks as the best creation that I have ever known. As I have posted earlier on, my daddy is a part time antique collector. In fact, in my house back in Ipoh, you can practically find anything to do with antique inside it. There are so many types of antiques that you might not even seen before. I promise to post some of the rare antiques pictures later on for you to view. It is my intention to create interest among people especially the younger generation to come to appreciate antiques in future.

Well, as I have mention, among all the antiques, my favourite are antique clocks. In fact, one of the main reason why they are my favourite are their unique chime. Every antique clock have their different type of chime. Some of this chimes produce sound that you might not get to listen anywhere else. The other reason why antique clock are the most unique is because of the variation of clock itself. Some antique clocks chime every hourly, some every 30 mins and the rare ones will chime every quarterly.

So, if anyone out there that happen to have some old antique clocks that you think are worthless, never ever throw it away. You'll never know how much it might be worth in future. I know that some of my friends used to have some old clocks which were passed down from their grandparents or great grandparents that they thought are worthless and so they either threw it away or give it to other people. Later on, when they happen to passed by some antique clock shop and realise that they have the same clock as the shop owner. They were surprised that their clocks were actually worth thousands of dollars. How they must have regret throwing their clocks away.

Anyway, I have a link on the right side of my blog to help you to check the value of your old clock just in case you want to throw them away. If you have extra time, I would strongly suggest you visit that link as it gives you a lot of information on antique clocks from the history, to the differnet types of clocks and the extremely rare clocks around the world. Who knows, you might actually have a piece of the rare antique clock stuck inside your store room :)

My One and Only Dad

This will be my 2nd blog that I have created this year. I choose to dedicate this blog to my daddy.

Well, just to give you some background about my daddy. He used to be a primary teacher in Ipoh (now already retired), in a small little school called Cator Avenue. For you guys out there that ever study in this school, I'm sure you have come to know my daddy as this school in Ipoh is a small little school and I guess every student will know every teacher.

Even though my daddy was a teacher throughout his life, he has this very unique hobby, that is collecting antiques especially antique clocks. The reason that I say that this is a very unique hobby is that a lot of people associate antiques with old junks, smelly and rusty ornaments or pieces.

I have never like antiques in the very beginning although I was born in a house full of antique clocks. I used to think that my daddy's antique clocks were noisy and they used up a lot of space especially our house walls.

Well, you see...... if you have ever come inside my house during those days (bout 30 years ago), you will realise that you can see more clocks hanging on the wall than you can ever see the colour of the actual wall itself. My house at that time have at least 200 antique clocks.......amazing right ?? Until today, I have never seen a house or heard of any house that has so many antique clocks. Sometimes, even a shop selling clocks will not have so many clocks hanging inside the shop.

Another reason that started this blog is to share with all the people out there how to appreciate antiques. As I have mentioned earlier on, I have never like antiques in the very beginning but I soon get to understand and appreciate what antiques are all about. Through this blog, I will share with all of you the sentiments as well as the nostalgic feeling that antiques can bring to a person.