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Despite the vagaries of fashion, metalware has remained one of the most enduringly popular collecting areas.

Dating unmarked metal objects can be a potential minefield if you're not sure what to look out for. The style of an object rarely provides a reliable way of deciding when it was made, as many early designs were copied in the 19th and 20th centuries. Before buying, don't be afraid to pick up different pieces to compare weights: most modern copies are noticeably lighter than the genuine articles.

Look for signs of wear and tear consistent with age: the undersides of objects should be covered with a fine patina of scratches, while the edges of plates and hollow wares should be worn smooth. Treat anything with sharp edges, or that looks as though it's in perfect condition, with suspicion.

Take a look at our antique metalware by clicking on one of the items in the menu to the left.