In 1905, Hans Wilsdorf founded his own company, giving it the memorable name Rolex. Today, the Rolex name is famous in the world of watches and beyond. The Geneva-based company released the first waterproof and dustproof watch onto the market in 1926. With that, the legendary Oyster watch was born.
The watch with the robust and hermetically-sealed case was proven to actually live up to its promise when British swimmer Mercedes Gleitze swam across the English Channel while wearing one.
Nowadays, the Rolex brand is still associated with the highest quality in watchmaking and absolute robustness, as, no matter what, a Rolex never has to be taken off.
Patek Philippe is today’s most significant independent watchmaker from Geneva, Switzerland.
In 1839, Antoni Patek and Francois Czapek founded Patek, Czapek & Cie in Geneva. In 1851, Adrien Philippe, who had previously worked on new watchmaking techniques, was made an official partner in the company. It was bought by Charles and Jean Stern in 1932 and remains a family business.
The manner in which porcelain symbolizes the consolidation of art and workmanship-perfection is simply fascinating. Porcelain was first created in the Chinese empire around the year 620. From the 13th century onwards, porcelain established itself among the royal courts of Europe. In order to circumvent the enormous cost of importing porcelain, an enormous Europe wide effort was made to discover the secret behind porcelain production.
After numerous failed attempts, success finally arrived in 1708 when the process was recreated in Dresden. The methodology was subsequently perfected in the neighbouring town of Meißen. In the following decades, numerous factories sprang up all over Europe, which contributed to the continued development of porcelain art. To this day, top quality can only be guaranteed through meticulous workmanship, which requires immense patience, experience and the production of self-produced porcelain mass and colours.
These days, pocket watches have unfortunately largely been replaced by wristwatches and are considered to be relics of a bygone era. Their gold chains used to dangle from our grandfathers’ waistcoats and wealthy ladies, such as Infanta Maria Teresa, elegantly wore them on their waist.
The invention of the pocket watch during the 16th century was directly linked to the development of the spring mechanism. The first portrayal of a pocket watch attached to clothing was in Hans Holbein the Younger’s (1497-1543) portrait of merchant Georg Giesze, made in 1530.
James Bond is known to foster a very special relationship with, you guessed it, watches. The British MI6 agent wears a very special timepiece in every film, leaving especially the gentlemen among us gazing on in awe.
This hero of the silver screen is always equipped with the latest in luxury watches, these have become a real media sensation in themselves, adorning the front covers of numerous glossy magazines.
This recurring trend had modest beginnings, the actor Sean Connery simply wore his private timepiece during the first James Bond film Dr. No.
Flow Blue China is a type of pottery that enjoyed widespread popularity from the mid-1800’s to the early 1900’s. Now it is again popular, but as a collectors’ item rather than dinnerware. During the dig at MIT’s biology building, some pottery shards were unearthed that showed the characteristics common to Flow Blue china. The purpose of this report is to give a background history of Flow Blue and to describe the possible origin and history of a few of these shards.
During the eighteenth century, English potters were busy trying to copy Chinese porcelain, which was immensely popular with the upper-crust British. They developed salt-glaze earthenware, which was whiter than other pottery, and which therefore looked more like porcelain. They then decorated it with Chinese-type designs in various colors.
Around 1775, a new technique for decorating pottery called transfer printing was developed in Battersea and by Sadler & Green at Liverpool. In this process, a metal plate, most often copper, was deeply engraved with the desired design. Then paint was rubbed onto the warmed plate and excess paint was cut off with a palette knife. After being cleaned with a cloth called a boss, a piece of tissue-paper was dampened and pressed onto the plate. Next, the paper was lifted from the plate and set carefully onto the plate or other piece of pottery. The design was then rubbed in with soft-soaped flannel by “Transferrers,” women who had the job of placing the pattern so that it lined up correctly and placing the backstamp on the piece. After the design was rubbed in, the dish was placed in water where the tissue paper floated off, leaving the design. The piece was first heated slightly to dry the paint, then dipped in glaze. The design disappeared then, to reappear after firing (Williams 1971:3-4).
Often, when researching civil war militaria, you’ll run across acronyms that are extremely cryptic. One of our viewers has compiled this list of common civil war acronyms for your use.
Creamware was first produced sometime around 1760. It’s production continues today. The good old creamware would date from 1760 through around 1810.
It was often unmarked, but if you see marks, they would include ‘LEEDS POTTERY’, ‘WEDGWOOD’, ‘DAVENPORT’, ‘SEWELL’, impressed numbers, and others.
All forms were made. Pearlware was made beginning around 1775 and still continues in production today. Both are Pottery, which means that they are not translucent, i.e. you cannot see through the piece.
Both could be plain decoration, blue and white decoration, moulded, enameled (colors), transfer printed (all colors), reticulated (holes in it).
Zippo lighters are a fast-growing collectible that everyone can afford. You can find them in yard sales, boot sales, auctions, flea markets, pretty much anywhere in the world.
One of the fascinating aspects of this collectible is that it never seems to go out of style, Zippo’s were cool when Bogart used them and they still are today!
Determining the date of manufacture for a Zippo is somewhat like deciphering ancient, mysterious texts. Here is the rosetta stone.
The bottom of every Zippo lighter features a series of symbols which serve as code marks. When matched to the chart below, you can determine what year the lighters were produced.
Often in the excitement of searching for types of engagement rings that will symbolize your love, diamond ring buyers completely forget about the practical aspects of the rings. Keep in mind that diamond engagement rings are going to be exposed to a lot of wear and tear, so finding one that is beautiful but also well constructed is going to be important over the long run.
Engagement ring settings come with several different types that are sometimes referred to as mountings. These settings or mountings form the way in which the diamond is held securely to the ring and can be very visible and part of the overall design or they can be hidden and out of sight on the ring. Each option has its benefits and it is really a matter of both personal taste and overall ring design.
One of the most common types of rings settings found on most types and styles of engagement rings are the prong settings. A prong setting is most commonly seen with larger stones, especially on solitaire rings or rings that feature groupings of larger stones in some pattern or shape across the ring band. Prong settings are literally metal hook-like spindles or prongs that clamp over the surface of the diamond and attach to the band. They hold the stone in place and prevent the stone from dislodging.