Discovering Antique's Value Through A Friend's Passion
One of my best pals from University is an architect by profession. His name is John and for the first ten years after college, he made a name for himself in the construction business by integrating his designs to a modular form of housing construction. Basically, he did the IKEA way of designing houses for people at really affordable prices. I think he made a killing with his design and construction firm because he became famous for making modular housing trendy and year after year, he would make designs that were unique, aesthetic, and affordable.
These days he is into deconstructing. Essentially, he buys old antique houses and piece by piece, he deconstructs them and rebuilds them as is in a property owned by him that is now making a mark in his place as a tourist attraction. Contacting him one day, he arranged for us to meet at this place where he would give me a tour.
The first place he brought me was to his workshop and there I saw so many antique items that were from old houses. There were people who were busy dissembling latches, cupboards, doors and cleaning all these items. He showed me to his workstation which had a set of antique door knobs which he started to collect. He showed me some early antique door knobs made of brass and copper. Some of them were tarnished and worn but they showed a sense of character and history in them. He told me that these were antique door knobs he acquired in Wales which at that time exported the biggest brass and copper minerals. Some of these door knobs had welshed insignia on them and resembled some form of shield or coat of arms. He then told me that some of the designs reflected the ancestry of the family living there. He showed me another decorative brass antique door knob which had some Middle Eastern design. This also came from Wales but from a family of shipbuilders who migrated there from Turkey. That design paid homage to their Muslim religion. I was able to see some Antique glass door knobs that were Italian and from the 17th century. He found this particular piece online and had to purchase it in a bidding war. It may have cost him a pretty penny but he thinks that this design came from one of the masters of the post renaissance period. He is trying to verify who actually made it.
I left the workshop with a renewed interest for history and a better understanding about the passion of my friend for antique homes.
by: Steven Magill