April 9, 1999
It was 80 degrees in New York City yesterday, and beautiful. Today it's 51 degrees and rainy. That's April for you!
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF PROOF (AS IF YOU NEEDED ANY) THAT (A) NOT ALL FELONS
ARE BRILLIANT AND, (B)SOMETHING GOOD CAN COME OUT OF ALMOST ANYTHING
Twenthy-three years ago, a sterling silver Kentucky Derby trophy was stolen in a burglary of the Monrovia, CA home of jockey John Sellers. Sellers was awarded the trophy for winning the 1961 Kentucky Derby astride Carry Back. The burglary, which included the theft of twelve trophies and a television set, took place in April of 1978. Naturally, since this is 1999, it had crept into Mr. Sellers' mind that he would never see his Kentucky Derby trophy again. I'm sure you can imagine his shock when he discovered that it had recently been sold on Ebay, for $4,200. He learned this fact because he was contacted by the buyer, one Ronald Rovig, president of a Florida-based consulting company, who will present the trophy to Mr. Sellers at this year's Kentucky Derby. An employee of Mr. Rovig's tipped him off to the sale of the prize (which is engraved with Mr. Sellers' name and the date of his winning race)on eBay, and he competed with forty other bidders to obtain it. Monrovia authorites say no charges have been filed against the seller, nor do they plan to file any.
What's interesting to me is that there has been extensive coverage in the
media lately regarding eBay, fraudulent traders and ongoing investigations
of same. Now that eBay has proven to be an avenue for the return of stolen
property, I'm wondering how many newspapers and TV news programs will cover
this story, and exactly what their slant will be. Remember, the Internet
is stealing great numbers of viewers from TV and other media daily, and no
one knows whether this is a temporary or ongoing occurrence.
TWO GREAT SITES DEPARTMENT
If you're looking for someplace to talk about antiques and collectibles, to ask questions, to learn something, and to really enjoy yourself, I have two hearty recommendations:
Ron McCoy's CollectorsWeb Message Boards
You'll find a variety of topics here, and lots of other collectors with whom to communicate. While you're at the site, you can avail yourself of the other great features: a free newsletter, information and articles, newsletter archives, and a web links page.
Ably administered by Connie Swaim, Editor of AntiqueWeek, this forum has myriad subjects from which to choose, and is very easy to use. Also at the site: a chat room, with scheduled chats on Tuesday and Friday nights; articles and columns from the current edition of AntiqueWeek; a resource center; classified ads and a reading center.
MORE OF THOSE PESKY REPROS
Picture buttons: these metal buttons are being extensively reproduced. Hint on how to spot the new ones: they're much heavier than the originals because they are a single solid casting. The old buttons are made in layers held together by a brass cap that's clamped or pressed on the back of the button.
Sterling silver novelties: I know I've written to you about matchsafes, but
lots of other items are being copied as well. Watch out for cigar cutters,
buckles, baby rattles, ornamental hair combs, thimbles, figural pincushions
and needlecases. Clues to the new stuff: it frequently (but not always)
lacks detail; findings, such as loops are machine made, and the same on all
the pieces you see, no matter how dissimilar the pieces are; they are often
made completely of silver, which would make their actual use impossible (a
good example is a cigar cutter with a silver "blade").
MORE GRANDMA UP THERE!
In a fit of spring industriousness, I posted four new articles at Twin
Brooks, two of which are about the immortal Grandma. If you've never read
any of the Grandma articles and you need a chuckle today, please visit.
You can find the articles at Index Of Judith's Articles
That's it for today, Accumulators. I am headed up to the country house,
along with He Who Is The Light Of My Life (well, someone has to do the
driving and pay for everything, right?). Our plans are to tackle the
spring cleaning, and to attend the sale at one of our favorite auction
houses (The Old Red Barn in Cuddebackville, NY) tomorrow night. Stay dry,
wherever you are, and have a great weekend. Happy hunting!
© 1999 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #78
U.S. Library of Congress
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