September 3, 1999
And so another summer draws to a close in the US. It has whizzed right by me - I've been on the road for most of it.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF UNCONVENTIONAL COLLECTING METHODS
The folks at Richards Fruit Stand in Elysburg, PA are not amused. Neither are the Northumberland police. It seems there was once a really neat advertising piece out in front of Richards Fruit Stand. It advertised "Fresh Pulled Corn" (not being a country girl, I'd never heard of "pulling" corn before. I always thought you just had to pick it and it would come along willingly). The neat thing about the sign was that it was in the shape of an eight-foot ear of corn which, as we all know, makes it a figural advertising collectible. Now it's been collected. Or pulled. My advice to the Northumberland police: look for a house with high ceilings.
CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING DEPARTMENT
A coin believed to be the world's rarest was purchased by a business excutive in New York this week. The coin sold, in an auction that lasted about two minutes, for $4,140,000, setting a new record for the sale of a single coin. The coin is one of what is believed to be only eight minted in 1834. Its denomination: one dollar. Pretty easy day for the auctioneer, no?
WARNING FOR FINE JEWELRY COLLECTORS
Moissanite, a fake diamond, is supposed to be so perfect that even high-quality diamond testers can't discern it from a real diamond. This could be a boon to husbands and fiances everywhere, as Moissanites cost less than 10% of what real diamonds do. But, before you run out there and bring back some huge rock you think will fool the lady in your life, be aware that technology doesn't stand still. A tool will surely be developed that can tell the difference between Moissanites and diamonds - and then into the doghouse with you! If you are planning on purchasing the real thing, be aware of the problem, and only do business with someone you know and trust.
IF YOU HAVE A REALLY LARGE BACKYARD, YOU CAN HELP THE "HOMELESS" AND START
A NEW COLLECTION AT THE SAME TIME
There are some folks in Oklahoma who want to sell you a bridge. No, actually, they want to give it to you. It appears they have some experience in the placement of "homeless" bridges. And currently there are two available. One, a 51-foot span built during President Wilson's presidency is up for grabs in Washington County, near Bartlesville. The other, a 16-foot-wide metal bridge in the same county near the Kansas state line, is also free for the taking. If this sounds like your next collection, contact County Commissioner Gary Deckard or the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Either one would make a lovely trellis for tomato and cucumber plants.
Golf Balls - Early leather golf balls stuffed with feathers bring a pretty penny on the market. That's why they're being reproduced. To discern the genuine article check the following: the old balls are constructed of three pieces of leather. There are circles top and bottom, and a rectangle in the middle. In a genuine ball, the stitching is completely hidden. And authentic old feather balls are as hard as modern golf balls. If you're looking at a ball that doesn't pass all three of these tests, it's not an old feather-stuffed golf ball.
Russian Stuff - Two types of reproductions are coming out of Russia. There
are Tsarist Royalty artifacts, and Communist propaganda posters. Look for
hunting-case pocket watches with paintings of Russian Royalty on the cases,
white faces and gold-plated hands. The posters are reproductions of 1950s
ones, mostly 23 inches by 15 inches. The one I saw features a fleet of
planes flying over a city.
This weekend Artie and I are attending a formal party on Saturday, and then
it's up to the country house for some hunting and gathering. Big auction
Saturday night at The Old Red barn in Cuddebackville, NY, presided over by
the very cool Vince Bambina.
So, Accumulators, as the Labor Day holiday weekend begins in the US, I wish
you a happy and healthy time, and ask you, please, to drive carefully, and
to stop drinking alcohol one hour before you leave the party. And watch
out for the other guy. Maybe nobody loved him enough to take away his
keys. Happy hunting!
© 1999 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #98
U.S. Library of Congress
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