March 12, 2004
ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES NEWSLETTER #240
We are eagerly awaiting the end of winter here. I know this because my
strange orchid, the one with the flowers that each bloom for just one day,
is blooming today. The flower is beautiful, a creamy yellow with a deep
purple throat, a sweet fragrance and a very short life. There's something
depressing about watching it open up at dawn, and knowing that it will be
dead when the sun sets. There's a message there for all of us, I think
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF AND NO SEPHORA IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Israeli archeologists excavating caves near The Dead Sea came upon a 2,500 year old cache of artifacts that prove vanity is not a new concept. What they found, according to the Associated Press, was several pieces of jewelry, a makeup kit, and a small mirror. The archaeologists believe that the items belonged to Jews returning from exile in Babylon in the 6th century BC. Tsvika Tsuk (say that name three times!),chief archaeologist for the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, said, "This find is very rare, both for the richness of the find and for that time period." The find included a necklace made of 130 beads of semiprecious stones and gold; a scarab; an agate medallion of Babylonian origin; and a silver pendant with an engraved crescent moon and pomegranates. The makeup kit contained an alabaster bowl for powders, a stick to apply the cosmetics and a bronze mirror. They also found a pagan stamp showing a Babylonian priest bowing to the moon. Jews were, according to the bible, exiled by King Nebuchadnezzar in 597 BC. They were later allowed to return by the Persian King Cyrus in 538 BC. Tsuk said the find shows that there was a wealthy and flourishing community of returnees living in the area. Well, I don't know about you, but my dream has always been to one day be rich enough to live in a cave the way truly wealthy people do. Eons from now archaeologists are going to excavate Miami. How will they ever explain the mink stoles?
BUT NOT ONE PAIR OF MATCHING GLOVES IN THE BUNCH DEPARTMENT
Alert Accumulator and all around great guy Petey Dunne sent me this story. A man in Asbury Park, NJ has had a massive collection of Michael Jackson and Jackson Family memorabilia in storage there for 18 months. The man had won a $1.4 million judgment against the family after a business deal between them went bad. But, the family said they didn't have the money to pay the judgment, so Henry V. Vaccaro Sr., 63, hired a private investigator to find out what they did have. It turned out to be a warehouse full of memorabilia in Oxnard, California. He moved the collection, which includes Michael Jackson's costumes with gold epaulets, and even a costume he wore when he sang with the Jackson Five, at a time when he looked more like a black boy than a white woman, to New Jersey. Now the collection has been sold to an unnamed individual who will exhibit the costumes in Europe and Asia. And it went for way more than $1.4 million.
TACKY DECORATIVE ELEMENTS DEPARTMENT
Thanks to He Who Is The Light Of My Life For This One. According to AP, old pay phones are selling like hotcakes online. Collectors are clamoring to buy BellSouth's old pay phones now refurbished for home use, after the Atlanta-based company decided to pull out of the coin-operated phone business, which died with the advent of the cell phone. "It's a novelty. You just don't usually see pay phones in people's homes," said Hugh Bowen, a retired Atlanta police officer who bought a phone. "I thought it was so neat and I always wanted one. When I saw this opportunity I jumped on it." Ouch. The phones sold for $135 each, and there is now a waiting list 300 people long. Wow - that's longer than the waiting list at the Soho Louis Vuitton store for the new 5 inch strappy heels, and, believe, me, equally as dumb. When BellSouth became the first major phone company to give up its pay phone business two years ago, volunteers with the phone company decided to rewire the phones for home use and resell them to raise money for charity. The phones plug into a wall outlet and work without coins. About $18,000 has been raised from the $35 in profit from each phone, which will go toward groups like Habitat for Humanity and the American Red Cross. "My grandchildren and great-grandchildren won't know what it is," said Bill Ray, who bought one of the 30 lb. pay phones "I thought I'd get it for the nostalgia, and it will be a conversation piece for years to come." Bill, the only way that phone will be a conversation piece is if you call your Cousin Sadie on it.
Accumulators, my lovely orchid has now died. Tomorrow I will pull off the
dead blooms, and in the place of each one, two more will grow, open, and
remain alive for just twelve hours. Nature is miraculous in that it does
its own thing, completely oblivious and impervious to us. Well, most of the
time, anyway. Have a great week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!
© 2004 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #240
U.S. Library of Congress
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