December 19, 2003
ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES NEWSLETTER #237
And welcome to the final Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter for 2003.
It's been a heck of a year for the world, and I'm not entirely sad to see
it go. Still, we get a brand new one soon, and you never know what that'll
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF OLD TIME SOUVENIR HUNTERS
Retired physicist Clay Perkins of San Diego made a purchase at Butterfield's auction house. He paid $167,000 and was all set to haul his purchase home, when the Federal government hauled the auction house into court to try to block the sale. What Perkins had bought was the only remaining parts of the atomic bomb that was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima at the end of World War II. The items were two electrical plugs - used to test and detonate the first nuclear bomb ever used in war, Little Boy. The government wanted the sale to be stopped on the grounds that they were classified secret material. The plugs had been put up for sale by Morris Jeppson, a crew member of the Enola Gay who had taken the parts from the plane. District Court Judge Susan Illston disagreed with the government's claims, and ruled last Friday that Perkins was entitled to buy the plugs. For those of us who can't fathom why anyone would want parts of an atomic bomb, the price tag is truly amazing.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF NARROWING YOUR FOCUS
From Athens comes the report of a contemporary art exhibit called "Outlook". Giorgos Karatzaferis, a right-leaning politician, visited the exhibit and noticed a painting of a crucifix next to an erect penis. There apparently was semen dripping from the cross. He stormed out and demanded the removal of the painting. But, as public awareness of the exhibit grew, so did protests against its many artworks. A young woman stormed into the exhibit one day and slashed a photograph of a naked man copulating with a watermelon. Later that day another woman tried to deface a sketch of a full frontal nude by the American artist Raymond Pettibon. 'She charged in like a comet, screaming "it's obscene",' a security officer said. Many threats were made against the show and, currently, the exhibits are being protected by armed guards, following yet more threats to 'take down the penises' or else. The interesting thing is that Karatzaferis' comment about the original painting was, "the penis, that thing, looked circumcised." Oh, heavens - perfectly understandable.
A SITE TO SEE
Retro lounge - a collection of links to the architecture, toys, design, ads, paperbacks, photography, film, music, TV and radio of the good old days. The site emphasizes the 50s, 60s and 70s, but it also includes 1920s transportation posters created by Chicago's finest graphic artists, 75 years of Band Aid, and a very retro ad gallery from Altoids, the curiously strong mint invented in the 19th century. LINK.
Accumulators, I wish you the very best joyous holiday season. He Who Is The
Light Of My Life and I are leaving for the Caribbean on Sunday morning for
some R&R and a Rum Punch or two. I wish you great joy, whatever you're
celebrating, and a healthy and prosperous 2004. Have a great week,
Accumulators. Happy hunting!
© 2003 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #237
U.S. Library of Congress
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