Patina: 15 Selected Items
What is patina? It is how we describe the surface of an item which allows its age and history to be evident. Patina refers to the wear and depth the surface of an item develops as it ages and is handled. For many objects it is important not to merely know that it is old, but to see it.
Patina is the difference between a second-hand item and an antique. Most people don’t regard the former as being particularly valuable; but the latter is held to have more esteem and more importance. Why? Perhaps it is because of our own sense of mortality and our wish to connect with objects that have greater longevity than we do. Items with good patina also tend to be more beautiful. The ‘depth’ of the surface of something that is real and old can be deep and lustrous, whereas the surface of an item that is not old or fake tends to be lifeless and dead. And of course genuinely old items allow us to connect with the past – to connect with those who have come before, sometimes with those many centuries ago. Mostly importantly, good patina means that an item has a real story – and that is what collecting is all about: rarely are collectors materialistic; instead they are collectors of stories, and the objects they collect merely are the material evidence for their stories. In this way, collectors are guardians and preservers of our histories, and patina is the physical evidence of the past. This is why patina is important.
So scroll down to see 15 items currently in stock, drawn from cultures around the world, which we feel have especially incontrovertible patinas.
Enquiry about object: 6773
Tanimbar, Southeast Moluccas, Eastern Indonesia 18th century
height: 16.4cm, width: 5.4cm, depth: 4.5cm
Private Collection, Northern England; acquired by the previous owners from an antiques fair, York, England, circa 1980
Enquiry about object: 5364
Java or Sumatra, Indonesia, but most probably imported from northern India Classical Period, 8th century
height (without stand): 21.9cm, width: 17.1cm, depth: 11.8cm, weight: 2,576g
Private Collection, London, UK.
Enquiry about object: 6611
Thailand, probably Ayutthaya, & Portugal 17th-18th century
length: 26.6cm, depth: 14.8cm, height: 13.2cm, weight: 936g
Portuguese art market
Enquiry about object: 5443
Massim area, Trobriand Islands, Papua New Guinea 18th-19th century
length: 62.5cm, width at widest point: 8cm
UK art market
Enquiry about object: 3908
Ifugao People, Northern Luzon, Philippines 18th-19th century
length: 20.4cm, width: 13.5cm, height: 6.3cm
private European collection.
Enquiry about object: 4872
Ethiopia 19th-early 20th century
approximate total combined weight: 2.2kg
private collection, UK.