July 11, 2003
I hope all U.S. Accumulators had a wonderful July 4th holiday. And it is
also hoped that International Accumulators have been enjoying their summers
as well. He Who Is The Light Of My Life is now a retired New York City
school teacher! Of course, he's much too young to retire, so he's looking
for another career. I think resarch is something he does very well. Artie
is responsible for a good portion of the stories you see in the newsletter.
He just ferrets them out. He's also handy to have around at a garage sale -
he sees things I miss. If you want to congratulate HWITLOML, please do so
directly to him. His email address is email@example.com.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BAD IDEAS
What were the folks at Marvel Comics thinking? That their newest superheroine would become a collector's item immediately upon publication? The company says "upon reflection" it will not go ahead with plans to introduce a new superheroine: Princess Diana. Marvel says it is going to remove Diana and all references to the Royal family from its forthcoming X-Statix monthly comics, reports the BBC. Wait, it gets better. Marvel had planned to introduce Diana as one of a team of super-powered mutants in a five-series storyline called "Di Another Day". Can you believe that title? Perhaps it would have made sense if today were April 1. Her character would have been involved in a satirical look at fame and pop culture. Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on the issue. Really, they must all be shaking their heads over there.
WHAT HAPPENS TO SILLY ART DEPARTMENT
Now I hope Accumulators on the other side of the pond will not take offense. By no means are phenomena such as these confined to the U.K. You have heard from me before regarding what passes for art these days, and how occasionally someone happens along and points out that the emperor is naked. Well, away in Scotland, Glasgow in fact, a conscientious repair person fixed a flickering light bulb on a Glasgow street sign not knowing it was a valuable piece of art. The 'faulty' lightbulb was in a neon 'Empire' sign on Brunswick Lane and was the central part of a £200,000 work by Turner-prize winning artist, Douglas Gordon. The sign was actually wired so the letter P blinked to match that of the Empire Hotel in Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 film Vertigo. The sign had been hanging on the outside wall of a pub. The Glasgow Visual Arts Project says they are aware of the incident and that the display will be restored. Oh, joy.
A TALE OF TERROR FOR THE JEWELRY COLLECTOR
I am an avid hunter of costume jewelry, so this story certainly attracted my attention. One Effy Harari, 46, of Valley Stream, N.Y., pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy resulting from an insurance fraud case in Newark Superior Court. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000 when he is sentenced Sept. 9. Harari admitted that between September 1997 and May 1998, he and several co-conspirators agreed to cause water damage to costume jewelry stored in a warehouse (oh noooooo!). The jewelry was insured by Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. for $1 million. Harari and the other defendants admitted to submitting a fraudulent insurance claim to the company totaling $973,638, and Harari also admitted to contributing $12,000 to help finance the scheme in return for a portion of the insurance proceeds. $12,000? What were they using - 8 ounce bottles of Evian? As all costume jewelry collectors know, water is the enemy of costume jewelry. Throw the book at 'em, Judge!
We are on our way up to the country house for the weekend. More
construction in progress. And there will be hunting and gathering going on
as well. Have a wonderful week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!
© 2003 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #222
U.S. Library of Congress
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