From Chairs to Bears! Find out about your antique or treasured heirloom at State Library of Queensland

Carters Price Guide to Antiques – A database helping you to research your antiques and treasures at State Library of Queensland.

Have you ever wondered about that piece of furniture you inherited from Grandma’s darkened front room – maybe a bookcase, a table, a piano stool, a chair or a bear. What about Grandma’s silver milk jug? How many episodes of Antiques Road Show have you watched, hoping to catch a glimpse of something that resembles your heirloom?

Appreciating the history of your antique and vintage pieces makes it all the more interesting and worth collecting. Is your armchair a Queensland Rosenstengel Chair?

Dining chair

Dining chair for Edmund Rosenstengel’s own home, State Library of Queensland, Neg. 141077,

Was that diamond necklace made by F.W.Nissen, Wallace Bishop or Hardy Brothers in Brisbane?

Window display of jewellery

Diamond display inside the F. W. Nissen Pty. Ltd. jewellery store in Brisbane, Queensland, State Library of Queensland, Neg. 28209,

Carters Price Guide is an invaluable tool for those who enjoy collecting vintage and antique items. The Price Guide will establish what has been sold, by which auction house, and provide a photograph and description to match your heirloom. Sourced from the auction houses on Australia and new Zealand, Carter’s Price Guide is not an online market place, but rather a reference guide, with information on styles, makers and antiques from various eras so that you can learn about your valuable item.

Carters Price Guide have been producing guides for near to 40 years. The last printed guide was published in 2010, but now this wonderful resource is available online via State Library of Queensland databases. You can search by category of antiques, or by specific brands or makers. The entire database is fully indexed and illustrated. Access this database for free online with a State Library membership. Not a member? Just fill in the online form.

Under the “Learn” category, choose to read about that purple glass dish that came from your mother’s collection – did you know it was called carnival glass and can now be quite valuable? According to the Carter’s Price Guide, “Carnival glass was at its peak of popularity from about 1908 to the 1920’s and as its popularity declined manufacturers, were left large stocks they were unable to sell. Popular legend has it that it was sold cheaply to travelling showman for prizes at carnivals, from whence came the name by which it is known today, carnival glass.”

Two women looking at vases

Moreton Galleries, viewing vases, State Library of Queensland, Neg. 165378

To find the database search in State Library’s One Search catalogue – “Carter’s Price Guide” and follow the online links by using your State Library Username and Password. Alternately, search on State Library’s website under Resources – e-resources – Databases and find “Carter’s Price Guide” under databases on Art and Architecture.

State Library also have some older printed editions of Carter’s guide in our Reference collection on level 2 and many books on antiques and vintage items in our catalogue that can be requested from storage. Our large newspaper collection include advertisements with drawings and photographs of items for sale in an earlier era – today’s antiques and vintage treasures.

Teddy bear

Pepe Bear. 1956. Photograph by staff member, Christina Ealing-Godbold

We have information on everything from chairs to bears, cabinets to clocks and vases to antique jewellery. Learn more about your heirloom at State Library of Queensland.

Christina Ealing-Godbold

Research Librarian, State Library of Queensland

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