It’s not often that you get an opportunity to make an elderly gentleman and a young lady equally happy at the same time, but here’s a chance for you to do just that, writes Eric Knowles, Chairman of ScottishAntiques.com at The Corn Exchange.

I’ve always espoused the idea that the buying and selling of antique wine glasses is one of the greenest of business models around – we are, of course, simply recycling things, after all. I’m sure that Greta Thunberg – the young lady to whom I refer – would be delighted to know that my team and I are peddling an antique glass or two, hand blown hollow stems, vintage champagnes, opaque and air twists which have zero impact on the environment from the point of view of requiring any kind of profligately destructive manufacturing process.

If we were to look at the production of commercial glasses as it stands right now, it requires 2.1 gigajoules of energy to produce enough material to make one wine glass – or, in less vague terms, a dozen of the same will expend the energy generated by the equivalent consumption of one litre of petrol. It should also be noted that because of the time taken to get kilns up to their working temperature and the damage created to thermal linings by allowing them to cool, they are simply left on constantly, even when not in production – consuming gas, generating pollution, wasting resources 

The antique glass items which we sell are – of course – already extant; absolutely zero energy required to manufacture a saleable, usable commodity. Add in the considerations that such antiques have a resale value likely to outstrip their purchase price, and that by cherishing such objects you are doing your bit to preserve historic artefacts as well as enriching your own domestic environment, there really doesn’t seem much of an argument in favour of acquiring newly-minted items at all.

It’d be foolish to state that items made decades or centuries ago such as Georgian wine glasses did not require their own consumption of raw materials or expendable fuels, but a wood-fired kiln and a set of sheep-stomach bellows hardly compare to the gas-powered behemoths and three-phase compressors of today, particularly in the context of what was barely more than a cottage industry, dwarfed by modern multinationals and their thumping great carbon footprints.

So – in a nutshell (brazils, obviously) – buy old stuff this Christmas, and don’t forget to wrap it up wi’ brown paper and string – no single-use plastic sticky tape, laminated gift wrap or faux-satin ribbon, if you’d be so kind.

Of course, when it comes to sourcing your range of fully recycled, zero emission, carbon neutral antique giftwares – you all know where to come; I’ll be down here, at the Pantiles Arcade, in my elf-leggings, dispensing mince pies and festive cheer for the duration of advent – see you soon and bring a mask or try some mask-free shopping online at ScottishAntiques.com !