April 24, 1998
I think I may safely say that winter is over in New York City. It is balmy today, and there's lots of green out there.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF OKAY, I'M NOT GOING TO TRY AND AVOID THE SUBJECT
Yes, it's true. Many of you have heard that FX Networks is placing "Personal FX, The Collectibles Show" on hiatus for the summer. The announcement was made earlier this week. What does this mean? Well, right now no one knows for sure. Reruns of the show will be broadcast, beginning May 2 and continuing until September. After that, almost anything could happen.
You can form your own theories (and I'm sure they're as good as anyone
else's) and you can get in touch with the network. FX has provided their
mailing address , as well as a link to their email address for your use in
posing questions or making comments. And yes, television networks do care
very much about what their viewers have to say.
AND WHAT A "PERSONAL" SERVANT HE WAS! DEPARTMENT
If you've seen the film, "Mrs. Brown", you know that John Brown was more than a majordomo to Queen Victoria. Why, Vicki could hardly make a move without him! He had such great power and authority that he was able to prevent even her own family from seeing her when she wanted "privacy". The family, of course, was not tickled pink by this state of affairs. I imagine her eldest son, Bertie, who became King Edward VI was already a little ticked about the state of things, having been forced to wait a good 60 years for his trip to the throne (are you listening, Charles?).
So, when his Mum, the Queen, commissioned a portrait of her loyal servant and had it hung in Windsor Castle, he could not have been overjoyed. In fact, just six days after Victoria died, he attempted to have expunged any and all mementos of John Brown, including the painting. There are stories that, in a rage, he committed assault on the painting and, although not a soul would rat him out, there is certainly damage to the picture. It COULD have happened (we all think it makes a good story, don't we?).
Om May 28, Christie's in Edinburgh, Scotland, will sell the portrait. The presale estimate is $160,000 to $240,000.
It's interesting to note that the artist surely understood the relationship
between Brown and Victoria. When the portrait was cleaned in preparation
for the sale, small details began to appear. There on a side table, in an
ornate frame, was a photograph of the Queen herself.
WHY YOU DON'T NEED A ROOM FULL OF BIDDERS TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL AUCTION -
JUST TWO CRAZY PEOPLE WILL DO THE TRICK
A few weeks ago we mentioned an auction of fine jewelry here in New York that was to feature an Argentine flag pin that had belonged to Eva Peron. The pre-sale estimate was $80,000 to $120,000. But, the brooch, designed by Van Cleef and Arpels, sold for $992,500. In the audience was Susana Gimenez, big deal host of Argentina's top television show, "Susan Gimenez" (how original!). On the telephone was an anonymous American bidder. War ensued, with much egging on by the crowd in the sale room. When the final shot had been fired, the anonymous phoner emerged the victor. We hope that by now Susana has figured out that she could have a copy of that brooch made for about $25,000, which is less than the buyer's premium. My, my, my. Think I'll stick to the costume stuff.
Go out there and hit those yard sales, Accumulators! Tomorrow is Artie's
50th birthday. We'll be celebrating, and having him fitted for a walker. Happy hunting!
© 1998 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #39
U.S. Library of Congress
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