May 27, 2004
ANTIQUES AND COLLECTIBLES NEWSLETTER #245
Yes, this is an early newsletter. So unlike me, I know. He Who Is The Light Of My Life and I are scooting up to the
country house this afternoon, ahead of the rush, and one thing we don't have up there is a computer. It is a
different world for us, there in the forest. No Al Qaeda, no Bin Laden, no terror threat, no car bombs, no dreadful
videotape. In fact, we only get one channel on our little TV up there, and that one is so snowy, we rarely bother to
turn it on. It's the opposite of Manhattan, and we love it dearly.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF MISBEHAVING LAWN ORNAMENTS
Tony Watson of Barnsley, England was in apparent agreement with most of us regarding garden gnomes. Jolly, cute, and boring, boring, boring. So he dolled up his own collection in what he felt was an amusing way: he exposed their buttocks and breasts and placed them, for all to see, on his front lawn. As you might imagine, the neighborhood was in an uproar. Complaints flooded the local police barracks, complaints from those who felt the morality of gnomes was being openly compromised right in their own neighborhood. The police told Watson, a retired army sergeant, that he would be arrested if he didn't remove the offensive nude sunbathers from public view. "It is an offense to display something that is insulting or likely to cause distress", a police spokesman commented to Sky News. Watson promptly took the gnomes inside the house, from whence they reappeared wearing painted-on bathing suits, including one yellow polka dot bikini. I'm sure the locals now feel that good taste has been restored in their town.
SO YOU THINK PRIVACY STILL EXISTS DEPARTMENT
Leland's auction house has wisely decided not to put the private medical records of Bruce Springsteen up for auction. The records, which had been offered for sale in a catalog on Leland's web site, and have now been removed, included Springsteen's 1949 birth record. Leland's declined to say where they had obtained the records. After The Smoking Gun reported on the planned sale, Springsteen's attorneys contacted Leland's and the auction house agreed to turn over the documents to Springsteen. Marty Appel, spokesman for Leland's said the material was returned to the rock star because "we're great admirers of Springsteen." No word on whether he also said, "We're great admirers of Springsteen's legal team, and we can't afford the litigation the sale would bring down on our heads."
GOOD-BYE, DEAR KATE
The legendary Katherine Hepburn recently passed away, and items from her estate will be sold at Sotheby's on June 10th and 11th. As sad as some of this is, it is a thorough chronicle of her life, and includes items ranging from her birth announcement (1907) to Al Hirschfeld's caricature of Hepburn with Spencer Tracy. There are nearly 700 lots in all, and estimates are in all price ranges. Absentee bids will be accepted. To view the catalog, go to Catalog.
Well, well, well, Accumulators. Here we are at the start of another summer season. For those of you in the United States, this is a holiday weekend coming up. I hope we can all keep sight of what this holiday is about. It's a remembrance of those who gave their lives so we could have this excellent life, this gift of freedom we enjoy every day. Recent events make it even more important for us to recognize and acknowledge these sacrifices. And, as always, I admonish you to please be very careful, and don't become a statistic. If you're going to a party, have your last alcoholic drink at least one hour before you leave. And while you're out there on the road, watch out for the other guy. Maybe no one loved him enough to take his car keys away. To all Accumulators, wherever you are, I wish you a wonderful weekend. Happy hunting!
© 2004 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #245
U.S. Library of Congress
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