Much of the pleasure to be derived from both dealing and collecting comes from the discovery, very often by chance, of unexpected minor treasures such as the Victorian porcelain christening mug illustrated here. Although unmarked, this little gem was almost certainly made in Staffordshire in the Mid 19th Century, commissioned by no doubt proud parents to celebrate the baptism of their son in 1853.
Acquired in Shropshire, it was unearthed during a regular trawl of the stock offered for sale in a local antiques market, where it sat unloved and apparently unappreciated on a shelf among much else that afforded neither beauty nor value. It’s discovery brought to mind a long forgotten small volume, “ These Minor Monuments”, published in 1970, which is filled with tales of such pleasing finds made during expeditions to London’s street markets.
Whilst admittedly, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” this incident serves to illustrate how, even in today’s world, it is still possible to stumble upon that elusive “bargain”, whether viewed aesthetically or from a financial perspective. Indeed, we would maintain that, for those with “eyes to see”, there is a bargain to be found in every antique shop or fair, from the smartest to the scruffiest, remembering always that “Knowledge and Taste are the keys”.