Frequently Asked Questions

What is

What is an Agent?

How do I sell an item?

How do I buy an item?

How do I/you deal with shipping?

Who looks after packing the item(s)?

What happens if someone buys my item?

What happens if the Buyer does not accept the item?

What additional services does provide?

I don't want my personal details shown on the Internet. Can we still do business with

What are the advantages of using over other Internet systems?

When can I use

Where are’s consignments located?

Who is

What if my question was not answered?

Why would I want to sell my antiques on the Internet?

How many people can view my antiques?

Why do I need pictures?

Is there anyone else on the Internet doing what provides?

Why take photographs of your antiques?

I don’t know the dates associated with certain periods. How can I find those out?

Dating items in Chinese history

What types of wood can be used in furniture making?

How do I sell an item?

If you have an items or item that you would like to sell, we would like you to register online or by telephone. If you have already registered, select the "Personalize" button (lower left-hand corner of the Homepage) and check to see what your status is as a Buyer, Seller or Agent. These three types will have a Yes or No beside them. Please modify your status accordingly.

To display items on the site we require that you read, agree with and sign the Sellers Contract which is available online. Provide pictures or images of the item you wish to sell. These pictures should be clear enough to show the items character, uniqueness, signatures, damage (if any), base, rear view, and the item itself. Create a description that accurately and genuinely describes the item with a retail price that you want to sell it for. The description is your responsibility, so please be careful when writing it. Things to consider would be:

We will vet the descriptions to make sure they are represented correctly before being accepted and displayed on the web site. We will contact you to make the necessary changes. Once accepted we will then get the images and descriptions loaded on to the site for display.

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How do I buy an item?

Buyers will have to register online or by telephone. Once successfully registered a Buyer can make offers on any item they choose. With each item displayed on the site there is a Make an Offer link that allows the Buyer to submit an offer. When someone makes an offer on an item for sale his or her offer will be accepted or rejected depending on the flex rate the Seller allows for. If the offer is rejected the Buyer will be notified immediately that his or her offer is too low. If the Offer is accepted the Buyer will be notified immediately that their offer was accepted. Email is also generated informing the Seller as well as administration staff that an item has been bought. The website will be updated with a Sale Pending flag for that item.

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What happens if someone buys my item?

When someone submits an acceptable offer both the system administrators and the item owner receive email stating that someone has made an offer and the item is noted as being sold. When an offer is accepted will notify the Buyer of the offer price, and commission plus the costs of freight and insurance from the Seller to the Buyer plus any applicable tax. This amount is referred to as the "Total Amount."

The buyer then has to wire the accepted amount of money to our trust/escrow account. Once received and acknowledged by our bank the seller must then provide the item for packing and shipping by FedEx or UPS or some other reputable delivery company of our choice. The reason we do this is so that we can maintain the buyer/seller confidentiality and anonymity. It is suggested that the seller insure the item during transport, as the delivery/courier companies do not always provide insurance.

Once the item has been received by the Buyer they have 48 hours in which to examine the item to verify that it coincides with the description provided by the Seller as posted on the website. The Buyer may reject the item only if it fails to meet the description. In this case the Buyer must immediately notify by phone, fax or Email. If does not confirm receipt of the Buyers notice within 24 hours the Buyer must notify by telephone as well as fax or Email until has confirmed the receipt of notice.

If the Buyer does not notify within the 48-hour period then will conclude that the Buyer has accepted the item and may release the Total amount and pay the Seller.

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What happens if the Buyer does not accept the item?

The Buyer may reject the item only if it fails to meet the description. In this case the Buyer must immediately notify by phone, fax or Email. If does not confirm receipt of the Buyers notice within 24 hours the Buyer must notify by telephone as well as fax or Email until has confirmed the receipt of notice. may request the services of an expert to examine and appraise (if the item was deemed a forgery or defective) if rejected by the Buyer. The Buyer will pay for the cost of the expert if the item meets the description.

Once the Seller has received the item and has been notified of delivery, will release the money back to the Buyer. The costs of sending the item back to the Seller are incurred by the Seller.

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What additional services does provide?

We will let collectors know when certain items of their interest reside on our site.

Every two to three days we make regular postings in the following Newsgroups: alt.antiques.marketplace and, letting subscribers know that certain items are for sale on

We have a free service called the Automated Collector. When registering on the site we allow registrants to enter keywords that describe their collecting and antique interests. For example, Georgian silver, Tiffany, Loetz, marine painting. This grouping of keywords represents the interests as being anything that is silver from the Georgian Period, anything with the name Tiffany attributed to it, anything with the name Loetz attributed to it and any type of painting that is marine related.

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How do I/you deal with shipping?

The buyer incurs the shipping costs. It appears that both FedEx and UPS do not provide insurance. Therefore insurance should be purchased by the buyer as well. We also suggest that the Seller insure the item during transit as well. This is just a preventative measure in case something happens during shipping or at the other end. Of course, nothing will happen! will select the shipping company, as this will maintain the mandate of Buyer/Seller confidentiality and anonymity.

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Who looks after packing the item(s)?

Packing will be the responsibility of the Purchaser. Packing can also be done by professional packing company whose costs will be paid for by the Purchaser. If the Seller has the ability to pack their items ready for shipping, it will save teh Purchaser and thus may help the Purchaser in his or her buying decisions.

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What are the advantages of using over other Internet systems?

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What is provides an online venue in which buyers and sellers of Fine art and Antiques from around the world can get together via the Internet. Unlike other antique web sites found on the Internet, is not restricted to only doing business with dealers and antique shop owners. We also provide our services to private collectors as well.

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Why would I want to sell my antiques on the Internet? 

There are several reasons as to why you would want to sell your antiques on the Internet.

Exposure: By having your antiques displayed on the Internet, it's like being in an Antique Show attended by all the users of the Internet, who otherwise would never have known your item for sale existed. 

Cost: People who display their items on our service pay a fraction of the cost of advertising in trade papers, and magazines and can potentially reach a far greater audience than otherwise possible. Our site displays full colour images along with a full description of the item.

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How many people can view my antiques?

Potentially anyone in the world who has Internet access.

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Why do I need pictures?

A description alone cannot sell your antique. We try to provide as many pictures as possible to properly show the item. We would like to have images or photographs that reveal the items uniqueness and character. Views we would like to have are: signatures, damage (cracks, repair, restoration, breaks, etc. – if any), base, rear view, close-ups, and the item itself. We are trying to give potential Buyers a visual ‘feel’ of the item so that they may make a determination online.

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I don't want my personal details shown on the Internet. Can we still do business with

It is an mandate that Buyer and Seller confidentiality and anonymity be maintained. is strictly a venue that brings Buyers and Sellers together to do business. We are simply the ones putting the deal together and executing it.

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Is there anyone else on the Internet doing what provides?

As far as we can tell, we are the only site offering these kinds of services which concentrates primarily on the higher quality, hard to find items and caters to the needs of private and institutional collectors and dealers in a real time e-commerce based marketplace.

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Why take photographs of your antiques?

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words and that cannot be truer then when one tries to describe antiques. would like to give you a few pointers on how to take the best possible pictures of your antiques; to highlight all the important details and also show it in the most advantageous way. This will not only aid in positive identification, but it will also convey the condition of the item to potential buyers. Most importantly, exceptional and revealing pictures will influence the price which buyers would be willing to pay for it and avoid possible difficulties after the completion of sale because the purchaser will know exactly what he or she is buying.

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How to photograph your antiques.

We will use a piece of furniture as an example, as there are more angles to view. We hope this will give you ideas about how to take pictures of other items.

1. Setting up for the photograph.

Using the proper background for photography is very important. If you are taking a picture of a dark object, like furniture, then place the item in front of a white or light coloured background. This will help accentuate the object and display it in its true colours. A white bed sheet pinned to the wall works exceptionally well. Likewise, light coloured objects (like silver or gold), should be taken against a dark background so that they stand out and don't blur into the background.

Remember to remove all the objects which are not part of the item you are photographing. There is nothing worse then cluttering up a shot with articles that are not apart of the item. Not only are they distracting but they hide important details about the item.

2. The use of Lighting.

Good lighting is fundamental for taking good pictures. Use a flash only if there is no alternative source of lighting. Using a flash to take pictures of items with reflective surfaces usually leads to the light reflecting back to the camera resulting in white-out sections.

When taking pictures with artificial lighting, remember to have these photos "colour corrected" since artificial lights tend to shift the colours of the objects being illuminated by it. For example, if you are taking photographs with florescent lighting, your pictures will tend to look greener than they actually are. To avoid these problems use a tungsten light (which can be rented) and use tungsten coded film to achieve accurate colour reproduction. Ask your developer to adjust for your lighting if possible.

3. Taking the pictures.

When you are ready to start taking pictures begin with the overall view picture. This is best accomplished by taking the picture on a slight angle from the front and up high enough to view the top. Go in close to the item so that it fills the view finder, making sure that you are not clipping any part of the item. Next you should take pictures of the left and right sides, the back, the top and from the bottom.

If the item you are taking photographs of has drawers, then take pictures with the drawers open (or partially open), showing how they are constructed. Then take a few shots with the drawers completely removed.

Don’t forget to highlight the intricate details of the item. Often, it is these detail pictures which catch the eye of an antique buyer and assist them in deciding whether the item is desirable for their collection. It is important that these pictures are clear and emphasize exactly what you want to be noticed. Any inlaid sections, for instance, should be highlighted.

If there are areas of damage, which you don't wish to properly restore, then take pictures of it too. Most collectors do not mind buying a damaged piece as long as they know what is wrong with it.

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I don’t know the dates associated with certain periods. How can I find those out? 

Antiques are often dated by the period in which a particular ruler (Royalty for example), style or craftsman existed when the item was made. Some of the items listed for sale in our Shops are dated in this manner. It is important, however, to make sure you underestimate age rather than overestimate it, as the Seller is responsible for the items description guarantee. In the Antiques world people always feel better when they purchase something with more age than it was stated to have. But, never like an item to be newer than it was stated to be. If you are unfamiliar when a particular period occurred (the Georgian period for example), the tables below should be a helpful reference:


Most items originating from England are dated by the following periods:

Edward VI

1547 - 1553


1553 - 1558


1558 - 1603

  James I

1603 - 1625

Charles I

1625 - 1649


1649 - 1660

Charles II

1660 - 1685

  James II

1685 - 1688

William III

1689 - 1702


1702 - 1714

George I

1714 - 1727

  George II

1727 - 1760

George III

1760 - 1820

  George IV

1820 - 1830

William IV

1830 - 1837


1837 - 1901

Edward VII

1901 - 1910

  George V

1910 - 1936

Edward VIII

1936 - 1936

  George VI

1936 - 1952


Most items originating from France are dated by these periods:

Francois I

1509 - 1547

  Henri II

1547 - 1559

Francois II

1559 - 1560

  Charles IX

1560 - 1574

Henri III

1574 - 1589

  Henri IV

1589 - 1610

Louis XIII

1610 - 1643

  Louis XIV

1643 - 1715


1715 - 1724

  Louis XV

1715 - 1774

(Transitional period)

1750 -1770

  Louis XVI

1774 - 1789



  French Revolution
National Convention

1792 - 1795


1795 - 1799


1799 - 1804

Napoleon I

1804 - 1814

  Empire Louis XVIII

1815 - 1824

Charles X

1824 - 1830

Louis Philipe

1830 - 1848

Second Empire
Louis Napoleon

1848 - 1852

  Second Empire
Napoleon III

1852 - 1871

Second Empire Republic




Most items originating from the United States are dated by the following periods:


1620s - 1690s

  William & Mary

1690s - 1720s

Queen Anne

1720s - 1750s


1750s - 1780s

Federal ( Neoclassical )

1780s - 1830s


1830s - 1900s

Craft Revival

1870s - 1920s


English Furniture

English furniture can also be dated by the style of the item or by its manufacturer. The table below contains the dates for which these apply.

Tudor Period

1485 - 1558

  Elizabethan Period

1558 - 1603

Indigo Jones

1573 - 1652

  Jacobean Period

1603 - 1649

Grinling Gibbons

1648 - 1721

  Cromwellian Period

1649 - 1660

Restoration Period

1660 - 1688

  William Kent

1684 - 1748

William & Mary Period

1688 - 1702

  Robert & Richard

1697?- 1772

Queen Anne Period

1702 - 1714

  Thomas Chippendale

1709?- 1779

Georgian Period

1714 - 1811

  William Linnel

c. 1720 - 1763

George Seddon

1727 - 1801

  Adam Brothers

1730 - 1794

William & George

1736 - 1750

  Matthias Lock

c. 1740 - 1769

Angelica Kauffman

1741 - 1807

  Thomas Sheraton

1751 - 1806

Thomas Johnson c. 1755   Ince & Mayhew

c. 1758 - 1810

Robert Manwaring c. 1765   William Vile ? - 1767
John Cobb ? - 1778   George Hepplewhite ? - 1786
Thomas Shearer c. 1788   John Linnel ? - 1796
Regency Period

1811 - 1830

  Edwards & Roberts c. 1830

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What is an Agent?

An Agent is someone that has registered with us to try and promote our site and services. An Agent simply tries to refer dealers, collectors, friends, virtually anyone to the site. The Agent gets these people to fill out a Referral card, which maintains the referral solely as the Agents ‘client.’ Once the referral card is filled out, it should be sent to immediately so that we can track and monitor transactions and commission payouts.

If the referral either buys or sells an item on then the Agent will receive a 2% commission on the final sale. This 2% commission comes directly out of the 5% commission. This 2% commission structure is in place for one year per referral then 1% every year after. does not require the Agent to know about antiques or about the dynamics of the website. If there are questions that the Agent feels uncomfortable answering, they should be forwarded to staff.

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When can I use

24 hours a day, 7 days a week you can browse, purchase, and access any of's other services.

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Where are’s consignments located?

We represent consignments from dealers and collectors from around the world. Many of these consignments are from Canada and the U.S.; we also have several from the UK and Australia.

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Who is has joined many professionals together to produce the most effective and efficient marketplace for fine art and antiques.

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What if my question was not answered?

If you have not found the answer to your question, please contact and we will respond to you quickly.

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Dating items in Chinese history

The following link is an excellent resource for observing the Chinese history timeline.

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What types of wood can be used in furniture making?

The following is a list of wood types:

Amboyna: a yellowish-brown burred surface - between bird's-eye maple and burr walnut. Used 18th century into the 19th century, crossbanding and whole surfaces.

Apple: One of the fruitwoods used solid in country furniture 18th century, although used as veneer earlier. A light reddish-brown color with mild figuring, close-ground and hard.

Ash: A whitish-grey fairly hard wood used in country furniture 18th century also drawer linings.

Beech: A light brown and distinctive flecked grain. Prone to woodworm used largely for chairs from the 17th century onwards. In the late Georgian/Regency periods it was painted. Early caned chairs of Restoration period used Beech instead of walnut for economy and then ebonised.

Birch: A light yellowish-brown color fairly soft. Used 18th century for chairs and country furniture.

Boxwood: A whitish-yellow color, without any figure. Used mainly as inlay and stringing from the 16th century.

Cedar: Reddish-brown, like a soft mahogany. Used for chests and interior work from the middle of the 18th century.

Cherry: Initially rather pale but matures to a deeper reddish color. Used in country furniture and as inlay or crossbanding from 17th century.

Chestnut: Horse is light, almost white, mainly used as drawer linings. Sweet chestnut matures reddish-brown, reasonably hard for a country wood. Used for legs and chairs from the 17th century.

Coromandel: A yellow and black striped wood, mainly in crossbanding from late 18th century onwards.

Deal: Plain, straight-grained Scots pine Used mainly as carcases and drawer linings in lesser quality pieces, from 17th century onwards.

Ebony: Black. Used for inlays.

Elm: Brown, distinctive blackish figuring when old and ingrained with dirt. Prone to woodworm. Used extensively for country furniture and chairs. Cut into burr veneers small sheets has a very pleasing effect.

Harewood: This is just sycamore that has been stained greyish-green in color. Used in the late 18th century and Regency period as a decorative veneer.

Holly: White. Used as inlay and marquetry work from 16th century.

Kingswood: A brown/black striped wood like rosewood, used for crossbanding on tables in the late 18th century. Previously in late 17th century used as a veneer.

Laburnum: Cut as plain veneer, yellow-brown with darker brown streaks. Cut as oyster very dark rich blackish-brown. Used as veneer from late 17th century, particularly in parquetry.

Lignum Vitae: Dark brown with black streaks. Very hard from 17th century as veneer or in solid.

Mahogany: Early mahogany, from 1720 was Spanish 0r Cuban from Cuba, Jamaica, San Domingo and Puerto Rico. Very dark, heavy with figuring. Later, Honduras originally called baywood is lighter in color with a pinker huge.

Oak: Early oak-before mid 17th century-used in solid, becomes very dark or plain brown in color. Later country oak furniture-18th century-lighter with distinctive wormlike yellow rays are more visible. In fine furniture of the late 17th century and 18th century, oak was used as drawer linings and has remained light in color, also used in veneer work.

Olive: Dark, greenish with black streaking. Used in parquetry, as oyster and in veneer's, from late 17th century.

Padouk: Red with blackish figure. Used in solid from mid 18th century, particularly from early 19th century for military chests.

Pear: Yellowish-brown. Used for country pieces, and for carving.

Plum: Yellowish-red. Used for country pieces, as inlay from 17th century.

Rosewood: Usually reddish-brown with black streaks, but will fade to a greyer color, still with dark streaks. Used from 16th century but mostly found in Regency period in solid and veneer.

Satinwood: Yellow. Used particularly from the late 18th century as a veneer and solid. Pieces usually make premium prices.

Sycamore: White with flecks. Used from the late 17th century as a veneer. Often found as banding of marquetry furniture late 17th and early 18th century.

Tulipwood: Yellow-brown with reddish stripes. Used for crossbanding from late 18th century.

Walnut: English walnut-golden brown with dark figuring. Much used in veneers from the 16th century-1660-1740. Also cut in burr and oyster. Solid walnut used extensively in Tudor period. Black walnut-also grown in England from late 17th century-usually called Virginian walnut is much darker. Used in solid and can be mistaken for mahogany at first glance.

Yew: Reddish-brown, very hard, with some burr effects. Will polish magnificently. Used from 16th century, often found in chairs of country origin. Also used on fine furniture in burr veneer form.

Zebra-Wood: Brown dark stripes. Used as a veneer from the late 18th century.

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