The Chinese Ding Bowl: Could It Happen To You?

Three years ago in March, the world was fascinated to learn that an incredibly rare Chinese Ding bowl sold at auction for $2.2 million after being discovered at a local yard sale for $3. The now famous Chinese bowl was crafted 1,000 years ago during the Northern Song dynasty. “Ding” wares are celebrated among collectors for their delicately thin carved walls, feather light weight, and fluid naturalistic...

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Art Glass Paperweights by Paul Stankard

Paul Stankard art glass paperweight
We recently came across an art glass paperweight by the renowned American artist Paul Stankard. These paperweights are masterpieces of glassblowing and command very attractive prices in today’s market; we’re always pleased to see one of these beautiful works of art. Paul Stankard is considered by many to be a living master in the art of the paperweight. Born in 1943, Paul Stankard began his...

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Chinese Jade: Prized Gemstone of Imperial China

Antique Jade Jewelry
Jade is a beautiful gemstone often used for jewelry and sculpture, but is there more to jade than meets the eye? For centuries, cultures around the world have associated jade with spiritual and healing powers. Because of its green color, jade is also a symbol of good luck and friendship. The English word jade is derived from a Spanish term meaning “loin stone” because it was used by traditional...

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Victorian Halloween Postcards

Victorian Halloween Postcard
We’re taking a look at Victorian Halloween postcards today! In the late 19th century, Halloween was an increasingly popular holiday for young adults and children. Halloween’s origins date back thousands of years to the Celtic festival of Samhain (“Sow-in”). The Celts believed that on the night of October 31st, the veil between this world and the next would thin, allowing...

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Hidden Mother Photographs – Behind the Scenes of Early Photography

"Hidden Mother" tintype photograph
We recently came across this “Hidden Mother” tintype, just in time for the Halloween season. At first glance, the tintype is simply a charming portrait of a baby. On closer inspection, you can see the half-hidden form of the child’s mother crouching behind the chair. Some people find Hidden Mother photographs a little creepy, but they’re also a really great look behind the...

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The Sharon Springs Harvest Festival

Are you heading out to the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival on September 19th and 20th? Our last event in Sharon Springs was an Antique Appraisal Clinic for the Rotary in 2010, and we love seeing the renaissance that the area is currently going through! Sharon Springs is located west of Albany and is surrounded by a beautiful landscape of rolling hills and winding valleys. The town is named after...

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The High Rock Spring Flows Back to Life

Stereoview of the High Rock Spring in Saratoga Springs
The High Rock Spring is one of the oldest and most enduring symbols of Saratoga Springs. According to local lore, healing properties of the mineral-rich waters drew the Native Americans of the region to take advantage of its strengthening properties. Some time during the 1700s, white men added their own part to the spring’s legend. The first documented white man to take the waters was Sir...

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A Brief History of Antique Japanese Swords

Antique Japanese Swords: 19th Century Japanese Katana
Inspired by swords imported from China and Korea, Japanese swords first appeared after 200 CE, the finest of which emerged in approximately 700 CE under the direction of Amakuni, a legendary swordsmith from the Yamato Province. In reaction to civil wars, skirmishes to attain and retain leadership, invasions from Korea and China, and Japanese invasions of Korea and China that necessitated exceptional...

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