February 14, 1999
And a Happy Valentine's Day to you. It's quiet in New York City at 8AM on Sunday. Also, the temperature has dropped twenty degrees in the last 24 hours, so people are probably too cold to get out of bed!
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF MAYBE THEY SHOULD GET THEM IN ALABAMA, WHERE THE
The United Nations has just announced that it is relaxing its ban on the trade of ivory. Three African countries, whose elephant herds are now recovered, will be permitted to ship ivory to artisans in Japan. One hopes this will not encourage poachers to start up again.
Now, I know the hunters out there are going to be angry with me for this, and I understand that herds must be thinned out to prevent starvation, and that hunters who kill animals for their meat are merely doing it for survival. I can accept those reasons for killing certain animals, although I would never kill one myself, and I don't even ever want to see one being killed. What I do not understand is people who kill animals, remove their heads and then hang them on the wall as a trophy. You call this a sport? The only way this would be a sport would be if you gave the deer a gun too, and let it shoot back at you - now that would be a sport, because it would be a fair fight, and you would be a sportsman if you won! Please don't send me your angry mail - let's just agree to disagree, and don't get me started on boxing either.
I digress. Sorry. So, how will we be able to tell the ivory that's coming
out of Africa now and is "legal" from the ivory that came out from the late
seventies until now, which is not legal, from the ivory that came out
before the mid-seventies and is also legal? I don't think the UN thought
that one through.
WILL THEY BE USING TYPE O POSITIVE IN THE VARNISH? DEPARTMENT
The Henry Ford Museum has announced that it has completed restoration of the bloodstained rocker in which President Abraham Lincoln was sitting when he was assassinated. The silk fabric, which is very fragile, will be held together with a thin poyester material. Kind of like most of the anorexic models you see in the fashion magazines.
THE POSITIVE SIDE OF THE GLOBAL ANTIQUES MARKET
Now that we're involved in a worldwide market, it's a lot tougher to keep secrets. Several issues back I reported on a theft ring in New Orleans who had been caught stealing and marketing cemetery sculptures. Now it seems their ring is much wider than it originally appeared. A few weeks ago, trade papers reported the theft of some bronze statuary from the grounds of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in Los Angeles, California. An alert dealer, Charles Murphy of New Orleans, remembered seeing similar-looking items in a Houston, Texas auction catalogue. He contacted the library, and they contacted the auction house with proof of ownership. The sculptures have been returned to the library which is, incidentally, reassessing its security practices, and the authorities turned their attention toward the consigners who brought the items to the auction house. Apparently, the trail is now pointing toward the New Orleans theft ring. The world gets smaller and smaller, no?
POOR CHER - COULDN'T SHE AFFORD A WHOLE ONE?
Christie's is planning a very interesting auction in March. It's a fundraising effort in conjunction with AMFAR and The American Academy of Motion Pictures, to raise money to support the fight against AIDS. Scheduled to coincide with the Oscars, the auction consists of dresses and ensembles worn by various actresses to Oscar presentations of the past. Included in the list are fashions worn by Cher (who could forget that one?), Goldie Hawn, Madonna, Elizabeth Taylor (no, don't ask me what size), Sharon Stone, Uma Thurman and Anjelica Huston (she designed her own dress!). Designers represented are Giorgio Armani, Nolan Miller, Geoffrey Beene, Arnold Scaasi, Valentino, Edith Head and, of course, Anjelica Huston. Christie's is selling a commemorative calendar with photos of the stars wearing the gowns, for $50 at their headquarters or $55 by mail from Christie's Publications (800)395-6300.
I'M ALBUQUERQUE BOUND
Are you impressed that I can spell Albuquerque? Artie and I are leaving for five days in fabulous Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I will be doing an appraisathon at The Antiques Connection, in honor of their first anniversary. If you're in the nabe, please stop by and say "hi!". For all the inportant facts, please go to http://kumo.swcp.com/mga/page47.html, the site of Morning Glory, owned by Jane Clarke, who also happens to own Antique Connection Mall. While you're there, have a look around at the fabulous jewelry Jane has for sale. Yum!
Since we'll be off having a great time (and working hard), I can't promise
you a newsletter next week, Accumulators. I can promise to try, though.
We'll be back Sunday evening, and, if I have the energy, I'll write and
tell you what trends are hot in the Great American Southwest. Enjoy the week, Accumulators. Happy Hunting!
© 1999 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #73
U.S. Library of Congress
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