Antiquing Bycatch

by John Werry on June 30, 2008

candelabra Antiquing Bycatch

In my spare time I like to fish on the Chesapeake Bay for Stripers, Bluefish, crabs and miscellaneous other fish in Tilghman, MD. From my vacation spot down there, I can paddle around and easily encounter what is termed a Pound Net. It is a large enclosed net that indiscriminately takes in all unfortunate fish species that meander into it’s hedging section and get trapped in the “pound”.

As I mentioned before, it is largely indiscriminate in it’s prey and it isn’t uncommon to see some protected Maryland Terrapins trapped in the nets. It’s heartbreaking for me to watch the boats leave after cleaning out the pound nets and see them filled stem to stern with fish filled to the top. Before I risk a complete tangent on the topic of pound nets and my disdain for them, I’ll get to my point.


Per Miriam-Webster:

the portion of a commercial fishing catch that consists of marine animals caught unintentionally

I would like to propose that one can officially use the term bycatch in the context of antique shopping as well. I would propose it’s definition as thus:

Antiquing bycatch – items purchased at an auction, antique shop, or sale which were not representative of the initial shopping direction of the buyer.

The above photo is a Candelabra that is my auction bycatch. I was at a favorite local auction waiting to buy a nice Renaissance Revival credenza with brass plaque (See the Rare Victorian logo) and these candelabra intimated to me that I needed to bid on them. The surprising thing about them is that they are solid brass and weigh 30lbs each. I had them polished while retaining the darker inner patination/age to accent the details. I am not sure where to get information to identify and date the candelabra but hope to do so in future. Any pointers out there?

So now you have a new technical term, antique bycatch, which you may use in your antique vocabulary

candelbra base Antiquing Bycatch

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Charles June 30, 2008 at 5:14 pm

How appropriate Rare! I can’t count the # of times I have been at antique auctions and left with antique bycatch—some of them have been pleasant surprises after I got them home and did a little research— Charles

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TexMac June 30, 2008 at 7:32 pm

It looks like a temple menorah.

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Kathie June 30, 2008 at 9:21 pm

I seem to have obatin some of these bycatch pieces with pieces that have come from family members.

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RareVictorian July 1, 2008 at 8:27 am

Kathie, you should see my closet. Full of family bycatch antiques that came with pieces that I did want.

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