FASHION COLLECTOR'S NOTES
Gentlemen's accessories can be sought out in specialist shops, though sharp-eyed collectors may find rich
pickings in antique shops and markets.
Prices vary wildly, depending on the quality of an article and the demand for it.
Wrist watches first became popular in the 1920s and 1930s, and fairly plain ones can sell cheaply. However, watches that display a distinctive art deco design can command hundreds or even thousands of pounds, especially when they are made of silver or gold.
Working watches are obviously more collectable than broken ones, though many may need just a simple cleaning to get them going properly again.
Cigarette cases of the period can be cheap and cheerful or fabulously expensive objets d'art, made of precious metals and stones or enamelled with sunbursts or geometric designs. Make sure the hinges are in good working order.
Cuff links, tie clips and pins are desirable objects to collect and need not impoverish the collector. Beware of modern reproductions, though, as they will be made of cheaper materials.
Gold and silver items will be hallmarked; check the date from these. Tie pins can make good bargains, as they are not widely collected but often made of l8ct gold.
Cigar cutters, propelling and retractable pencils, pocket knives and swizzle sticks (used for mixing cocktails in the glass) often
replaced fob watches at the end of watch chains.
They can be made of base or precious metals and prices will reflect this. Again, look for hallmarks. Check that there are no chips on any enamel pieces, and have a good look at jewel settings to make sure that any stones are firmly in place. Replacement of lost stones can be an expensive business.
At the cheaper end of the market are items of clothing such as scarves, ties, hats, braces, gloves and cravats.
These can be fun to collect and to wear as they add that finishing touch of authenticity to present-day fashions, which are often based on 1930s styles.
Look out for signs of moth damage on woollen articles such as original Fair Isle sweaters. Old silk and cotton can rot; check creases and seams carefully.
Old umbrellas, made of a silk and cotton mix, are hard to find in good condition for this reason, though they may be collected for their handles, which often bear fine
Tie pins tend to be undervalued by collectors.
They are often made of 18ct gold, though the fact that only the end was visible in use meant that base metals were
also used. The heads were sometimes plain balls of gold, or were set with
precious and semi-precious stones.
ranged from pearl and gold sunbursts and iridescent enamel
work, to the African
motifs beloved of 1920s designers.