Relevant categories: Fountains and Garden,Architectural Salvage,Bronzes,Architectural
When an old building is brought down, there is a lot that could be salvaged and used in current construction projects. These materials are usually available for sale as architectural salvage. They include things such as solid wood porch columns, steam radiators made of cast iron, fountains, lighting ornate Victorian moldings, glass mirrors, stained glass, and pedestal sinks. At our Canonbury Antiques Hertfordshire showroom we have a large range of such pieces in our architectural salvage section which is largely situated outside. Things such as large bronze animals and fountains, marble statues, cast iron gazebos, cast iron pieces, benches and outside seating, some of our bigger pieces of Chinese porcelain and everything else big and quirky.
Before you go buying architectural salvage items, you need to be armed with information to help you during the selection process. As such, the following are the 7 things you should know about architectural salvage:
1. Expecting perfection is being unrealistic. The items you will come across in an architectural salvage are all recycled and cannot be perfect. Depending on what you are buying, you could maintain its quality of a wooden piece using wax, paint, and a restorer coat.
2. Know exactly what you need. It doesn’t help to use guesswork when buying items that serve specific functions. Say you are buying stained glasses. It helps to carry along the exact measurements of the glasses you need. It also helps to have photos of the items you intend to buy.
3. Too good to be true? ‘Yes’, some items you will find in an architectural will be absolutely priceless including iron work, stained glass, and marble fireplaces. These are usually offered at a premium price. Is an item is being sold for far too less than other items in its category, then it probably is too good to be true.
4. Put old items to new uses. You don’t have to use an antique the same way it was used before. For example, wooden door frames could act as room dividers, iron garden gates as decorative headboards, and a weathervane a lamp mantel. After all, recycling is all about finding new uses for old items.
5. Look beyond the paint when buying old doors. The quality of wooden items like doors lies way beneath the paint. For instance, you could consider the weight of the wooden door as a way of differentiating between hardwood and softwood. Oak doors are heavier and therefore better than those made from pine.
6. Sift through the hardware section. It is possible that you need drawer pulls and door knobs. Try as much as you can to find matching pieces. No need to worry about that. Having a few mismatched pieces could even add to the ambiance of your house.
7. Get a few items for the garden. To bring life to your outdoor spaces, you might want to pick up a few farm tables, park benches, pillars or statues. These pieces will make your garden look much better, given the contrast created with the plants and flowers. And since all the pieces will be vintage, they will look greater than newly hewn ones.
While you may not be able to find everything you are looking for in a single architectural salvage sale. By picking one item at a time, you will end up with a collections of items you can be proud of.
Please enjoy some videos of our large garden and architectural pieces from the Canonbury Antiques YouTube channel:
English Victorian Cast Iron Garden Bench Architectural Seat
Italian Cast Iron Fountain - Baroque Wall Font Male Grotesque
Classical Maiden Fountain - French Bronze Water Feature
Marble Bust African Moor Statue Hand Carved Classical Blackamoor
Gilt armchairs from Canonbury Antiques including French Louis XVI and Empire - great as accent pieces for your interior projects
All about the Regency sideboard - or buffet / server for our North American friends. Walnut, mahogany etc available...
Large range of French console tables from Canonbury Antiques including French Empire, Directoire, Louis XVI and gilt console and mirror sets...