Antiques & Collectables

I hope the Christmas season brought you joy & happiness & that this new year brings us all health, peace of mind & a commitment to treat our own circle of acquaintances with respect & empathy.

Congratulations to all our new councillors, for the Mid Coast. It is hoped they will all fulfil their commitments of integrity, honesty, openness & a need to put this wonderful community & the environment we all share as their main priorities. I’m sure they all will!

A reminder to take all your visitors to our wonderful museum, in Wingham, & also those in Cundletown & Tinonee. They need our support. 

This week a gent came into our shop in Wingham & was asking about Satsuma ware, of which we had two pieces. Satsuma ware is a type of earthenware pottery originating from the Satsuma province in southern Kyushu, Japan’s third largest island.

The first kilns were established in the 16th century by Korean potters, kidnapped by the Japanese for their extraordinary skills. Prior to this, there was no real ceramic industry to speak of in the Satsuma region.

Because of its long history and popularity through time, the price of Satsuma ware can range from less than one hundred dollars to many thousands of dollars.

Generally, later pieces (1912 onwards) will be cheaper. More valuable pieces are signed & have been made in the mid 1800’s. When starting out and learning, it is best to familiarise yourself with the prices of Satsuma ware. Always do your research. 

The best way to start collecting is to look for pieces that you are drawn to. Fine quality objects will likely become very profitable investments for future years.

Step back and marvel at how a human hand could have painted these artworks. Look for pieces that appeal to you personally and then assess the detail, design, colours and condition. If you accidentally end up buying a late piece of little value, at least you have something you find aesthetically pleasing. 

Makers marks started becoming common from around 1870, so very early pieces may be unmarked. If the mark is in English, particularly if it reads “Made in Japan”, it means it will be, unfortunately, a very late piece.

If signed, you may often see a circle mark with a cross on the underside of a piece or sometimes incorporated as part of the design. This is the Shimazu Mon, which is the crest of the family that ruled Satsuma.

Like with all collecting knowledge is everything & you accumulate that knowledge through experience. Everyone of us has made mistakes when we started out collecting.

I recommend this great hobby to all. When we are able to & feel safe doing so, spend some time wandering the markets, secondhand shops, antique shops, garage sales, internet selling sights (ebay, gumtree, marketplace) & local auctions. You never know what you will find. Take the plunge and collect a variety of unique and interesting treasures or limit yourself to just one area. It is always fun & very addictive.

Here are some of my regular local haunts, they might supply a treasure for you. My very favourite collecting place, in Taree, for at least twenty years has been Clancy’s near the MRD Hospital. Phil is into more Office Furniture these days, but my car always wants to call in as I drive passed & some treasures can still be found. Barry at Isadora’s Antiques – at the Valley Fair in Victoria St always has a great variety. Col in Commerce St – near the Pie shop, Sue at Delinquent Funk – Isabella St. in Wingham right next to the chemist – Sue always has new & interesting stock that turns over quickly and come & visit our new shop in the old McCullagh’s Produce store, Antiques & Old Wares, also on Isabella St, (next to the Newsagents) in Wingham.

If you have interesting items you are not sure of, I may be able to help with information, appraisals &/or sales. I love the history & stories of old & interesting items. 

Phone Rex – 0427 880 546.

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