Newsletter #95

August 5, 1999

Greetings Accumulators!
Yes, I know this newsletter is a day early (pretty unusual for me, isn't it?), but all will become clear to you later.

It's Barbie's 40th birthday, and nothing has even begun to sag! Fans gathered in Philadelphia today to celebrate the forever young doll. A special 40th Anniversary Commemorative issue, to be sold to attendees at the National Barbie Convention, was unveiled at the event. She is wearing a gown inspired by her original bathing suit and has accessories that include a bouquet of nearly four dozen long-stemmed roses and a teeny tiny little reporduction of the original 1959 doll and its packaging. And that horrible, unsupportive Ken, who hasn't popped the question in more than 30 years of dating, was nowhere in sight.

As reported here previously, Alastair Duncan, widely considered to be the world's foremost expert on the works of Louis Comfort Tiffany, was indicted on charges that he bought stolen Tiffany stained glass windows and resold them to foreign collectors. His trial has begun in New York City, and testimony is currently being taken from one Anthony Cassamassima, the man who admits he sold the windows, taken from New York area cemeteries, to Duncan. However, Cassamassima, who is testifying against Duncan in an apparent effort to lighten his own sentence, says he did not steal the windows, he only "liberated them". He says he did this, as reported in the New York Daily News, to preserve them and protect them from vandals. Mr. C also considers himself an artist, having used his daylight hours to make fake Tiffany lamps and windows, which he then sold to New York City antiques dealers. Naturally, Mr. Duncan claims he had no idea the windows he was buying were stolen (one of them was 9 ft. by 5 ft.), and the antiques dealers say they had no idea the fake Tiffanys weren't real. No word from Mr. Cassimassima on how the $60,000 he got from Mr. Duncan for the big window ties in with his altruistic "preservation" efforts.

A groundbreaking new movie, slated for release in 2001, is sure to spawn much merchandise, so save your pennies. It's called "Final Fantasy - The Movie" (I suppose this is so we don't get it confused with, say, a coffee shop) and will feature the voices of Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, James Woods and Peri Gilpin. It is being billed as the first computer-generated animated motion picture with "photo-real" characters. Don't ask me what this means. The plot of the film involves saving the earth and its people from the "ultimate enemy". Of course.

New brass scientific instruments are showing up on the market. What makes them tough to pick out is that they come trademarked with authentic factory trademark names and numbers. Some of the names in use are:
Stanley: all tools
Ross: telescopes
Thos J. Evans: compasses
Ross Evans: compasses and telescopes
West: sundials

These items are made in India. To recognize the new items, pay attention to the tools' construction - not just their trademarks.

So, Accumulators, here's the scoop: Artie and I are leaving tonight for the country house, so we can pick the lovely Mallory up at camp tomorrow for her visiting day outing (Mallory doesn't know this, but we're secretly bringing her Mom with us to surprise her at camp). Then, on Sunday, I'm off to Virginia for a week, for the premiere of "Treasures In Your Home", the new PAX Network TV show about collecting. The show, which airs live, Monday through Friday at 7PM Eastern, will be hosted by John Burke, whom I know you remember from "Personal FX". Next week's newsletter will be late, as I won't be back until Saturday, August 14. So, I hope all you Accumulators will be watching our new show, and cheering us on, and that you'll be bidding on the items at the show's website. Have a glorious week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!


1999 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #95
U.S. Library of Congress
ISSN 1520-4464


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1999 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.