April 30, 2004
ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES NEWSLETTER #242
Welcome to Friday afternoon! When I worked a nine-to-five job, Friday
afternoons were a special treat. There was nothing quite like the feeling
of leaving work on Friday and knowing the whole weekend stretched
langorously before you. Of course, now that I'm a self-employed person, I
work most weekends. Come to think of it, I work most all the time. Sigh.
Last weekend we celebrated the birthday of He Who Is The Light Of My Life.
We were doing the Allentown Paper Show, so we had dinner at a Japanese
restaurant - you know, the type where the guests are seated around a large
grill and the chef comes out, banging his knives together and does all sort
of fancy tricks while grilling the food. Let's just say there were plenty
of shrimp flying around that night.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF AND YOU THOUGHT SOME OF THE PEOPLE ON EBAY WERE CROOKS!
Throughout history, people who should have been using their immense creativity in other way dreamed up scams to take other people for a ride. Along the way, they raked in gobs of money. Take, for example, two prospectors named Philip Arnold and John Slack, who in 1872 bought $35,000 worth of diamonds in Europe and scattered them all over a tract of land in Wyoming. They convinced the Bank of San Francisco they had discovered a diamond field and borrowed $700,000 against it. The bank foreclosed on some worthless land, and they walked off with a cool three quarters of a million dollars. And then there was Oscar Merrill Hartzell, who in 1921 began selling shares in "the estate of Sir Francis Drake". He did this by contacting everyone he could find named Drake. He netted more than $2,000,000, and was accused of defrauding 270,000 people. Think what these guys could have done if they had been diplomats!
BUT IS ANYONE WEARING THEM TO THE OSCARS? DEPARTMENT
Doesn't it seem that a lot of neat stuff is discovered in caves? Paintings, tablets, shrouds. Well, today's woman may now assure herself that she's not the first one to go gaga over some bauble. Scientists have made a discovery at Blombos Cave, on the shore of the Indian Ocean 200 miles east of Cape Town that points to the custom of wearing jewelry among cave dwellers 75,000 years ago, some 30,000 years earlier than any previously identified personal ornaments used by human ancestors. What they found were tiny shells, sorted by size and color, and each drilled with a tiny hole, presumably for stringing. There is some controversy in scientific circles about whether these artifacts are actually beads. Some scientists are apparently waiting to find the cave that contains hundreds of Swarovski crystals, artifacts of the well-known Yenta tribe, located near Great Neck, NY.
A LIBRARY WITH A LOT OF PUNCH
The historic Punch magazine archive has been sold to the British Library. The archive contains more than 1,000 original cartoons from the magazine's 160-year history, and was sold to the library by Mohamed al Fayed, owner of Harrod's in London, and father of Dodi Al Fayed, who perished in the company of Princess Diana. Mr. Fayed bought the magazine in 1996 and still owns the title.The magazine was first published in 1841 and became "the defender of the oppressed and a radical scourge of all authority". To many of those in power or in society in England, it also became "a royal pain in the cheeks." Nice to know the archive is being preserved.
SITES TO SEE
Picturing Women - Picturing Women is an online exhibit. To quote their introduction: "Picturing Women explores how women are figured, fashioned, turned into portraits, and told about in words and pictorial narrative." The site uses juxtapositions of a great variety of material, from advertising trade cards, to photographs, to unflattering valentines. The exhibit itself will travel to several museums, so check the schedule. And, yes, there are nudes. Shame on you.
The Toymaker.com - They've got my attention. I'm both a toy and a paper enthusiast. And I'm a paper toy enthusiast! And what you find at this site, owned by Marilyn Scott-Waters, is a series of toys you can print out, construct, and play with. And it's all free. Go have some fun.
A fond farewell, Accumulators, until next week. HWITLOML and I are headed
up to the country house. It is once again that season when we slave away
building and fixing and cleaning and tearing down. Wishing you all much
sunshine and great weather, excellent garage sales and antiques shops, and
flea markets. Happy hunting!
© 2004 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #242
U.S. Library of Congress
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