Newcastle Antiques and Collectables Fair

We are all packed ready to go to the Newcastle Antiques and Collectables Fair this weekend at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre.

Friday 27 July 2018 at 3:00pm
Saturday 28 July 2018 at 10:00am
Sunday 29 July 2018 at 10.00 am

These are some of the items we are presenting.

Absolutely Amazing Sale

I need to rationalise my stock, so am having a very special sale.

This is your opportunity to find that special something at a very special price. 85% of Annie’s stock will be on sale at 40% off. We are unpacking the boxes and clearing the storage area and everything you can see will be on sale. Crystal, glass, crockery and cutlery. Pewter, silverplate, copper and brass. Lamps and cushions.

Saturday 23 January to Tuesday 26 January and

Friday 29 January to Sunday 31 January.

11.00 am to 4.00 pm daily.


Uranium Glass

We have some stunning glass pieces at the moment, some of which are a beautiful green uranium glass. To the general public the word uranium is synonymous with nuclear weapons, nuclear power stations and radioactivity. But the term uranium glass, to the collector, will always be associated with that yellow, green, transparent glass which glows vibrantly under a black, or UV, light.

Uranium glass is a coloured glass, made by adding a small amount of uranium into a base glass. It has a typical colour tone, either light yellow or light green. The glass has a unique and beautiful shine due to the fluorescent effect of uranium contained in the glass. Uranium glass has been sought after for more than 200 years. The radioactivity of uranium glass has been well researched and it has been found to be about the same level naturally contained in the human body.

Uranium glass was once made into tableware and household items, but fell out of widespread use when the availability of uranium to most industries was sharply curtailed during the Cold War. Most such objects are now considered antiques or retro-era collectibles, although there has been a minor revival in art glassware. The normal color of uranium glass ranges from yellow to green depending on the oxidation state and concentration of the metal ions, although this may be altered by the addition of other elements as glass colorants. Uranium glass also fluoresces bright green under ultraviolet light and can register above background radiation on a sufficiently sensitive geiger counter, although most pieces of uranium glass are considered to be harmless and only negligibly radioactive.

But who first thought of using uranium to colour glass? The use of uranium glass dates back to at least 79 AD, the date of a mosaic containing yellow glass with 1% uranium oxide found in a Roman villa on Cape Posillipo in the Bay of Naples, Italy by R. T. Gunther of the University of Oxford in 1912. Starting in the late Middle Ages, pitchblende was extracted from the Habsburg silver mines in Joachimsthal, Bohemia (now Jáchymov in the Czech Republic) and was used as a coloring agent in the local glassmaking industry. Some authors give the honour to Josef Riedel at his glassworks in Bohemia in the 1830s. It may be that he was the first to produce uranium coloured glass in quantity with his Annagrun and Annagelb – green and yellow glasses named after his wife – but it is unlikely that he was the first to add Klaproth’s discovery to sand and alkali. We know from records held by the Museum of London that Whitefriars used uranium colouring in 1836. There is good reason to believe that the British scientist, William Vernon Harcourt, started experimenting with glass compositions in 1834. He did not publish his work but it would appear that by 1861 his work had included uranium. There are reports of a uranium glass beaker cut with a portrait of the famous German poet and dramatist Friedrich Schiller. He died in 1805 and it is thought this beaker commemorates the 20th anniversary of his death, as it is inscribed with the date 1825. Between 1800 and 1809, Thomas Cock, brother-in-law of P.N. Johnson of Johnson Matthey, working at the laboratory of William Allen at Plough Court in Lombard Street, studied the extraction of uranium oxide and its application to the colouring of glass. An early English reference to uranium in glass also comes from C. S. Gilbert’s Historical Survey of Cornwall (1817). From all this we conclude that the colouring properties of uranium were known early in the 19th century, but it was not until the second quarter of the century that it was marketed


Everyone seems to be talking about recycling. Thankfully the era of the disposable everything seems to be drawing to a close. There was a time (that I can still remember) when resources were so scarce through either availability or affordability that everything down to the shortest piece of string was jealously hoarded for reuse. It didn’t matter if plates had a chip or a scratch or, heaven forbid, didn’t match, if they were useable, they continued to be used. If they were repairable they were repaired. As the eldest of six children we handed down and recycled everything. I still ‘save’ all sorts of things ‘just in case’ I might need it one day.

Which leads me to admire the skill of the craftsmen who made some of those repairs. I have several items which I have purchased purely to allow me to do this, and to show other people and use as a chatting point. The first is a stunning hand painted Royal Staffordshire hexagonal shaped dessert set of six small bowls and a larger serving bowl. The set was made by Arthur J Wilkinson (Ltd) operating at the Royal Staffordshire Pottery in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent between 1886 and the early 1990’s. The pottery mark on this set would date it to the mid 1940’s, making the set about 65-70 years old and thereby classifying it as ‘vintage’. One of the bowls has had a corner broken. As high-quality glues were not available in the past, old time pottery and porcelain was repaired using staples or rivets. Rivets on porcelain (or metal clamp repair as it was once known) has its origins in China. Ceramic restoration was once the work of metal smiths and jewelers. It was a preferred method of repair in Europe from the 1600’s up until the 1960’s. It actually lasted longer in the West than it should have. With the advent of epoxy and polyester resins restorers were able to bond vitreous materials (porcelain and glass) without the aid of rivets or wire laces.

In my dessert bowl, holes were drilled on both sides of the break to insert the staples which hold the broken edges together. The repair is a work of art in itself. Two staples have been inserted from the front of the bowl through the purposed drilled holes, and bent around at the back before being soldered so that there is no visible join. While showing this repair and discussing the craftsmanship with an older couple, they mentioned that they had heard about staple repairs where you couldn’t see the staple at the back of the piece.

This led me to search for my next talking piece which is a Royal Worcester fine bone china egg cup. I would say the cup has been dropped as it was badly broken into five pieces. This piece has been repaired with staples which are only visible from the outside of the piece. Even though you can now see the adhesive on the inside of the cup, the repair itself is just beautiful.

A unique way of recycling has been taken up by a friend who loves the patterns and the history behind antique and vintage china. She has almost completed a setting for eight, calling it her ‘exquisite dinner service’. Each six piece place setting of large plate, smaller plate, side plate, soup bowl, and cup and saucer is from a different dinner set, but matches in tones. They all have a cream base, with different patterns with colours that blend with each other – it is exquisite.

Beautiful antiques and collectables