Information about all aspects of Antiques. We answer all queries that you may have

Scroll Down for more info...........
& our physical address.............or............

Go to Contents

Art & Antiques cc

23, 8th. Street, Parkhurst, Johannesburg, South Africa.


Tel: 027- (011)-788-7612

Go to Contents


If you would like us to e-mail you a digital picture of an item of interest please let us know by e-mail.


Go to Index

E-Mail (Click Here)



Click on the HEADING HEADING to get there

Protect your Purchase

The origin of Regency sabre legs

Antique Coffee Tables?

Posy Pin

Is there value in a Marriage?

French Polishing


Desks (Georgian with cabriole legs)

Desks (other)

Extending Dining Tables

Mismatched Marriages

New Tops on Old Tables

Incorrect Valuations


How to look after your Antiques

Restoration! Not Repair





Suggested Contemporary Periods


and many more questions.



Protect your Purchase

Many of us need help with the choice and arrangement of furniture. But not all suppliers are experts in the field of investment and hard assets. Nor are they necessarily schooled in assessing the authenticity of an Antique. When purchasing Antique furniture it should be from well established long standing dealers whose credentials are impeccable. These are the people who have the expertise to assure you of the value of your purchase and who will supply guarantees. If you buy through a third party make sure that their source fits the above criteria. It could mean the difference between paying for and acquiring a valued and appreciating heirloom or being the disappointed owner of a non-authentic article. I quote a paragraph from my last news letter. "An erstwhile customer recently paid me a visit and was amazed as to how much things had appreciated since she last bought from me a few year's ago. We started a conversation and it appeared that she had recently obtained a Valuation from a non-trading valuator and using that valuation as a basis, had vastly undersold some of her furniture." In similar way one can acquire something of no value thinking that it has great worth. In order to ensure that your purchases are authentic only deal with honest, knowledgeable professionals.

The origin of Regency sabre legs

Regency ChairThe style of this Regency Trafalgar chair is not contemporaneous with its early 19th Century date. Sabre legs were seen on the stone thrones in the Temple of Dionysus in Greece which dates from 340 BC. Architects who travelled with Napoleon during his campaigns brought many artistic ideas to France which subsequently found their way to England.

Antique Coffee Tables?

The concept of a low coffee or side table was totally alien to our ancestors. If they "took tea" they did so around a normal table in the drawing room. Wine or drinks were usually taken by the men in the library, and if they sat in their easy chairs (Wing or Grandfather) the glasses would be placed on a small round or oval table of normal height. The only naturally low antique article that can be used as a coffee table is a stool or bench or commode. Because our design for living is different today central or end column tables have been cut down to coffee table height (these are the only type that remain aesthetically pleasing). The demand for these over the last forty or so years makes this acceptable and because of that demand, cut down tables do retain their value and appreciate in the normal way.


Back to Top / INDEX

Posy Pin

Posy HolderA posy pin is a miniature silver vase used to carry a small bouquet of flowers. It is pinned onto clothing as a brooch. Remember the old nursery rhyme. "Ring a Ring of rosies a pocket full of posies." Rosies were the marks that the plague left on ones skin. Floral posies were used as amulets to ward off the the plague known as the black death that occurred in the 1300's and the plague that killed 150000 people in London between 1603 & 1665. "Hush a, Hush a, we all fall down" They all fell down as they died from the disease. Wearing posies as decoration or as a brooch was renewed during the 19th century.

Is there value in a Marriage

A good marriage is made up of two pieces put together to form an entity, where one of the original pieces has been lost or damaged beyond repair. Only good marriages are acceptable and should emulate the original very closely.

One should not be nervous about buying married articles of Furniture provided that they are identified as such by the dealer

Price ought to relate to the condition of the article and to the degree of restoration. This does not affect the rate of appreciation of the item as the cost is compensated for in the degree of restoration or in the extent of the marriage.

One should always exercise care and only buy from reputable and knowledgeable dealers. 


French !! ........... Polishing ??

The term French Polishing implies that this type of polishing originated in France. This is not the case. It was used in England in the 17th Century and was a mixture of resin, shell-lac and seed-lac each dissolved separately in spirits of wine. However its use was not prolific, the preferred method of polishing being oils or beeswax repeatedly rubbed into the wood to protect it and to increase its beauty. French Polishing as it is known today was indeed invented by the French, in fact by a Mr. Martin in 1740. It was only used as a matter of course from the end of the 18th century. The real art of lacquering was invented by the ancient Chinese and consisted of applying numerous coats of exceptionally thin lacquer or spirit shellac to the finished article.

Back to Top / INDEX


How to look after your Antiques

* Many proprietary Antique furniture waxes contain beeswax. This is a good wax that gives a fine finish but is extremely hard. When these waxes are applied they tend to leave solid streaks. In order to remove them one needs to rub vigorously. This repeated force is likely to make your furniture rickety and loose. We recommend a soft wax such as COBRA floor paste.  (NOT STOEP OR HEAVILY COLOURED COBRA)   Wax about once a month. NEVER USE SILICONE SPRAYS OR CREAMS ON FRENCH POLISHED SURFACES.

* Use adequately insulated mats on French polished surfaces in order to protect the surface from heat damage The unpolished and hidden areas and under sides of furniture can be oiled if one is worried about warping and cracking. Use a thin oil such as Teak oil or Flurit or even Raw Linseed oil. This need only be done once or twice a year NEVER OIL THE POLISHED SURFACES.

* Silver can be cleaned by dipping into Goddards Silver Dip. If the silver becomes dull after a while then Goddards Silver Polish or any other mild abrasive polish can be used to brighten it again. NEVER DIP ON A STAINLESS STEEL SURFACE AND TAKE CARE WITH YOUR KNIFE BLADES AS SILVER DIP STAINS STAINLESS STEEL. Take care to protect the Hall marks as damaged Hall Marks=Loss of Value. The best method of cleaning is to wash in soapy water regularly and just before tarnish sets in.


Restoration! not Repair

The Oxford English dictionary defines Restoration and Repairs

Restoration: Bring back to former condition.

In order to fulfill the above definition we try our best to RESTORE the article to its original condition using the methods and materials that were first used, if possible; without detracting from any of the enhancements that age has given to the item. French polish means meticulously applying shellac by hand. This shellac has a natural Gloss. So once RESTORED the article will have this natural gloss, which will gradually tone down with waxing and dusting. Contrary to common belief French polish was used in Shakespearean times. The formula was tree resin dissolved in Spirits of Wine. It was then applied by hand as we do today. It is virtually impossible to restore without French polishing because the wood nearly always needs some touching up after having been worked on.

Repair: Mend by replacing or refixing parts.

This definition is a far cry from restoration. To Repair an Antique is not acceptable and implies that inferior woods, replacements and finishes are used. More often than not plastic (reaction lacquer or polyurethane) is sprayed onto the article instead of the hand application of Shellac (French polish). Often no attempt is made to adhere to original design. Spray finishes have a glassy, artificial look and are cold to the touch. French polish has a crystal ball effect. The surface has depth and the wood grain shows through. It is relatively warm to the touch and looks friendly.

Repairs can drastically devalue a piece. Restoration can only increase value and enhance aesthetics.

Back to Top / INDEX

Writers Credentials

Selwyn Mendelsohn

I started life as a budding Antique dealer at the age of 13, in 1956 with a passionate dislike of Antiques. My late mother owned the prestigious antique business, Precious Pieces (Pty) Ltd, in Pretoria. She bought two very pretty chairs that year, upholstered them in a tasteful fabric and advertised them in the Pretoria News. The response to the ad was overwhelming and thus Precious Pieces was born and my dislike of Antiques.

Later, I went to London and lived there for six years working and studying in the Accounting profession. There, I was surrounded by antiques. Although still employed, my natural enjoyment of business awakened my latent appreciation for the finer things in life and I started to trade. I bought on cheap markets and sold on the more expensive ones, like Portobello Road where I had a stall on Saturdays.

Towards the end of 1969, every Friday morning, I regularly arrived late for work with the excuse that I had suffered a severe Migraine headache. This was not the case. I had been trading at an antique market.

I also used to do my own restoration and sold to the parents of my friends.

In August of 1969 I returned to SA for a holiday and decided to open an Antique business, but not immediately. I returned to the UK where I spent a full year studying all aspects of Antiques at the renowned Inchbald School of Design. I also studied certain aspects connected with the restoration of Antiques.

I opened Art & Antiques in 1970 and three years later became a member of the South African Antique Dealers' Association. I served as treasurer of that body for six years. 

I am one of the longest trading second generation antique dealers in South Africa and over the years, combined with my academic training have acquired an above average knowledge of all aspects of Antiques. I am always willing to help. Please phone me .......027 (011) 788-7612.......or........ E-Mail......(Click Here)..... me if you need any kind of assistance or advise or queries about any aspect of Antiques at all.

Back to Top / INDEX


Value Increase

#Amounts Excluding VAT

South African Rand

South African Rand

Walnut Pier Cabinet



Walnut Pedestal Desk



Mahogany Elbow Chair



Georgian Flame Mahogany 10 Seater Extending Dining Table



Pr Matching Elbow Chairs



Mahogany Writing Table



Back to Top / INDEX


Recent Stock / Inventory

Back to Top / INDEX

Click here to view illustrations


Our Activities

Back to Top / INDEX


Antique Alert

The diameter of the feet at the base, in 99% of cases, (rent or drum tables are often the exception) should be the diameter of the table top, in order to keep proportion. Stand next to the table with your hip touching the edge. Your foot should now just touch the foot of the table.

Round tables mostly have 3 feet and rectangular and ovals 4.

Back to Top / INDEX

Antique Furniture Periods











The Regent


William IV




George IV
















Suggested 20th Century Periods




Modern Jugensteil


World War I


Art Deco


World War II




Back to Top / INDEX








Louis XIV








Louis XV


Louis Philippe


Louis XVI


2nd Empire




3rd Republic




1815-1848 (although loosely used as late as 1870)

Back to Top / INDEX

Identification of Antiques

Used 1842 to 1883

The illustrated icons / logos were stamped on to the articles as a means of patent or copyright thus preventing illegal imitating. They were used on Wood, Metal, Porcelain & etc. as indicated by the "Class of Goods".

The Registry of Designs was similar to a Patent Office where designs were registered and could not be infringed.

Alongside is the format used from 1842 to 1883. After that registration numbers were placed after the RD sign.


Type. e.g.. Wood or Metal or Glass etc.


The date registered.

BUNDLE: Batch Lot.



An article produced between 1842 and 1847 would bear the above marks.

(12th November 1842)



An article produced between 1868 and 1883 would bear the above marks.

(22nd October 1875)

Date & Letter Code

Jan C

Feb G

Mar W

April H

May E

June M

July I

Aug R

Sept. D

Oct B

Nov K

Dec A


1842 X

43 H

44 C

45 A


1847 F

48 U

49 S

50 V

51 P

1852 D

53 Y

54 J

55 E

56 L

1857 K

58 B

59 M

60 Z

61 R

1862 O

63 G

64 N

65 W

66 Q

1867 T

68 X

69 H

70 O

71 A

1872 I

73 F

74 U

75 S

76 V

1877 P

78 D

79 Y

80 J

81 E

1882 L


From 1884 the lozenge fell away and marking looked like this: RD2058673

Back to Top / INDEX



For Great Info on French Antiques
Click Here

Search EngineWood Types

Important Motto

Back to Top / INDEX


Strive for a culture of pride in EXCELLENCE


Visiting South Africa?

Tourist Guide

Back to Top / INDEX