September 13, 2002
The end of summer is approaching in the Northern Hemisphere. I know this because the spiders at the country house are so very busy weaving webs and making food packages. Winter is definitely coming. The weather is still lovely, though, so no need to batten down the hatches just yet. There's plenty of time to hit garage and tag sales, attend a show or flea market, visit your local antiques shop, or travel the roads seeking out new ones while enjoying the lovely fall foliage.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ENSURING THAT YOUR COLLECTION WILL BE DEEMED VERY, VERY STRANGE BY ALL WHO VIEW IT
To Accumulators in the U.K: here is proof that questionable art exists on both sides of the Atlantic. An American artist named John Rooney produces tiny car wrecks by taking apart toy cars, crushing the parts, and then reassembling them. The newly created junk cars are then sold to collectors of bonsai trees. The tiny trashed autos are meant to be displayed against the trees, as if they had crased into them. Bonsai growers are expected to place their trees to one side of their planters, in order to leave room for the cars. The artist sells these smushed-up works of art for up to $150 each, and they are available at his web site, CrashBonsai at LINK. No word on whether Rooney plans to market tiny drunken drivers or itsy bitsy police with very small breathalyzer apparatus.
CASUAL FRIDAYS RUN AMOK DEPARTMENT
As we all know, a great deal of what one collects has to do with the size of one's disposable income. You know what disposable income is. It's all the play money you had before you invested in those tech stocks. Now that some Chinese have become wealthy as a result of all that nifty trade with the West, they are beginning to exhibit their newfound affluence. Such exhibitionism is a well-known trait of the nouveau riche. Yes - I'm talking to you, you crazy 19th century Victorians! According to The Associated Press, certain urban Chinese persons have taken to strolling about town in nightwear. It is not unusual on a fine day in Shanghai to see citizens of all ages in pajamas and nightgowns, shopping at the market or riding by on their motor scooters. Apparently, like that famously rude joke about dogs, the Shanghainese are doing all this for a good reason: because they can. It's a way of letting everyone know they can afford to buy pajamas. When their economy took off about ten years ago, they had the wherewithall to add sleepwear to their wardrobes, so they started wearing it in public. Said one sport sauntering around in neatly pressed blue pinstripe pajamas, "Only people in cities can afford clothes like this. In farming villages, they still have to wear old work clothes to bed." One shudders to think of the spectacle involving those who prefer to sleep in the nude.
ONE OF THOSE HELPFUL HINTS
Vintage textiles are beautiful and useful, but sometimes they carry unwanted passengers. When you first buy a vintage textile, give it a good shake, and watch carefully to see if any moth eggs shake out. If you have any reason to suspect the presence of moths or moth eggs, put the item in a ziplock bag, seal it, and place it in the freezer for a few days. It will kill the eggs.
Kermitage.com - Yes, as in Kermit The Frog, the very first Muppet. At this site you can read about all the episodes from 1976 to 1981, meet all the characters (my faves - those crazy Zucchinni Brothers), and watch for the upcoming Collectibles Guide. LINK.
The Incredible Hulk - I've decided to stick with green characters today, so here's a site all about your favorite Very Large Green Mutated Scientist. Interviews with the crew, clips from the series, all kinds of neat stuff. LINK.
Off I go, with He Who Is The Light Of My Life, to the country house, to work on our beloved interior. To my fellow Hebrews, I wish you a calm and reflective Yom Kippur, as we look forward to a fresh new year for all, filled with peace and understanding. To everyone else, peace and understanding won't hurt you either, so I wish it for you too. In the meantime, I hope you find some treasures at amazingly affordable prices. Have a great week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!
© 2002 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #191
U.S. Library of Congress
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