Past Times Newsletter - June 2000

Past Times The monthly newsletter from Ruby Lane
Welcome to Past Times!

o Hot Shop of the Month:
o Hints on Collecting Antiques
Located in beautiful Wien, Austria, Friedrich Zettl's shop,, is
known around the world among collectors. In business for many years,
Friedrich specializes in items such as Art Deco, postcards, postal history,
paper, photos, graphics, documents, antiques and more. You'll also find a
wide yet rare selection of philately, old stocks and bonds and related items.
Whenever they're in the area, people from all over stop in to see Friedrich
and his treasures. Of course, with the growth of the web, he's doing more and
more business without ever actually meeting many of his customers.

Friedrich prides himself on excellent service. His shop gladly accepts
American Express, cashiers checks, personal checks, and international money
orders. And, he does not charge any postage fees. All items are shipped well
packed, priority and insured. We invite you to visit

By Pamela Baker of Oban Antiques

In thirty years of dealing in antiques we have often been asked "What should I
collect" and "How do I go about building a good collection".

The answer to the first question must always be "Collect something you like".
This may seem obvious, but not everyone does. Unless you are collecting purely
for investment and intend to keep your treasures in boxes in the garage, you
are going to have to live with them. No-one needs an antique. We buy them for
our own pleasure, to enhance the quality of our lives.

The second watchword is quality. This may be quality of materials, of design,
of craftsmanship or of manufacture. Quality matters. There have always been
fashions in antiques, but fashions change. Quality remains.

The third essential is knowledge. This can be information gleaned from books.
For some of us, who live in isolated places, that can be the only way to
learn. Look upon the Internet as the biggest book of them all. There's a lot
of knowledge out there and a lot of enthusiastic people only too happy to
share it with you. Maybe more important, however, than learning the facts
about antiques is to train your eye. When you can, visit museums and antiques
shops. When you can obtain permission, actually hold the pieces, feel them,
feel the weight and the texture - but do, please, handle them with care!

Even with just books and the Internet, you can train your eye. Remember shapes
and colours, look closely at the photographs so you can see the workmanship.
Eventually you will be able to look at a piece and say "I may not know what it
is, or who made it, but it's interesting, well-made, well-designed". In that
way you can find a new treasure, or a whole new focus for your collection.
Lastly we come to the vexed question of condition. If you are concerned about
the value of your collection, condition is critical, but it is unrealistic to
look at things which can be a few hundred years old and expect them to look
brand new. If they do, you may have cause for suspicion! Some crazing in the
glaze of pottery, some staining and wear on furniture, these are to be
expected. Damage decreases value, often very significantly, but it also means
you can build an interesting collection at a fraction of the cost.

Pamela and Peter Baker own and operate and antique shop in Oban,
Scotland (UK) and have been on Ruby Lane since October 1999. Visit
their antique shop at

We are one of the largest and hottest Internet-only web sites for collectors.
We have a community of over 500 shops from all over the world offering both
fine antiques and collectibles. Our site indexes an inventory of over 2
million items in over 2,000 categories. We also feature a Global Search
Engine, which searches all inventories in a particular category from Ruby Lane
shops and various online auctions and malls. Visit us at

If you have a suggestion on how Ruby Lane can better serve you, or if you have
an article you would like to submit or a subject you would like us to cover in
an upcoming issue, contact us at