Antique shoppers look for bargains
“The things you see, when you haven’t got a gun!” my dear Mother-in-law used to exclaim when she found herself amongst strange people.
You sure can meet some interesting people at an antique show. Marty and I loaded up an
van and took our antiques down to Hingham, on
the , for a show last weekend. South Shore
When an antique show opens, a few little sharp-eyed men dart into the show, stopping at each booth long enough to sense whether there is anything there that meets their discriminating taste. These are the pickers, who hope to pick up something worth $500 for $50.
They look and act a lot like squirrels. They pause now and then to sniff the air, and see if they smell something worth buying. You can just see their tails twitching.
After a few moments, all these eager little people are gone, off to greener pastures.
Then come the silver and gold buyers. These men sweep each booth with hawk-like precision. They are on the lookout for precious metals. [At the moment, silver is $33 an ounce, gold is $1646.]
They will home in on a beautifully tooled, elegant piece of early 19th century silver, and see only how much it will bring, melted down. For anyone who appreciates the work of fine old silversmiths or goldsmiths---- delicate carving, stamping, engraving and chasing... work that probably took many days to do --- the idea of melting it down seems sinful.
Some pieces of antique silver—imagine
these pieces melted down for scrap!
These men usually carry a small scale to weigh any treasure they can get their hands on.
One started to pull out his little scale in Marty’s booth, and she said, “I’d like you not to do that. That’s so tacky!”
He put away the scale, and used his finely-tuned hands to estimate the weight of a pair of Sterling silver serving spoons.
Soon, these men have flown on to their next feeding area, and that leaves the regular shoppers.
One shopper is a doctor who is moving his office to
. He and his eight year old daughter cover the
whole show, stopping to look at things that interest him—his daughter patiently
stands by. Most everything interests
him, as he lugs out a huge and expensive wooden ship model in a large glass
case; long, ornate brass candlesticks, six feet tall, paintings, pottery, a
Nantucket basket, and more. Hingham
Another shopper is a Caucasian man in a wheelchair, and he is looking for Mexican silver. He has a young Filipino man pushing him, and his wife is along, too, along with a Buddhist monk. You don’t see a lot of Buddhist monks at antique shows.
Antique shows are often magnets for serial talkers. These are people who come to the show to talk. One young man is very good about talking on any subject.
From what I could gather, he is a stochastic deterministic probabilistic mathematician who likes to collect things. He lives in a house that is scaled perfectly—every room is just a five-ninths the size of a regular room; the ceilings are low, and every angle in the house is measured to perfection. He knows about silver, all about how silver is mined, refined, smelted, how silverware is carved, molded, hammered… and pottery, where you get the clay for fine porcelain, the firing process, the difference between Dresden china, Imari porcelain from Japan, Celadon from China and Korea, English porcelain, the rug weaving techniques of the Kurds, the Bakhtiaris, the Baluchis, Turkomans, Qashqais. He can tell you about ship models, post cards, brass bookends, 19th century toys, paintings by known Cape Cod,
and other artists, antique advertising; Civil War firearms and uniform
He often drops out of the antique world to tell you about design of a nuclear power plant (he once helped design one, he says); or the finer points of deep sea diving, or celestial navigation, or design of lighter-than-air balloons, blimps and dirigibles.
Unidentified Stochastic Talker (back to camera) at Elm Bank
He’s an authority, he tells you, on World War I military history, as well as the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and once studied extinct languages of South Sea Islanders, including the Kuuk Thaayorre, who give compass directions instead of “in front of” or “next to”.
Once you have been attacked by this man, and he has exhausted all the air in the room, and you have found a way to escape, he moves on to the next unsuspecting victim.
A large woman always visits this show, and many other shows, sweeping in on a large, motorized wheelchair with one of those tiny little Shi Tzu dogs climbing out of her pocket. She’s followed by her husband, a wiry little man with a cowboy hat and boots.
Finally, after two short days, the show was over, and it was time to put all our goods back into the
The Personal Navigator offers these books and papers:
American Mercury, The, A Monthly Review Edited by H.L. Mencken & George Jean Nathan, January 1924; Vol. I No. 1, First Issue Mencken, H.L., Editor 1924
Alfred A. Knopf. With Mencken as editor one might expect brilliance, and this
inaugural issue has it. The Editorial
announces the intent of the new magazine to devote itself pleasantly to
exposing the nonsensicality of hallucinations of utopianism and the lot. The lead article "The New York, NY Legend" by
Isaac R. Pennypacker, gives a new and more robust look at the life of President
Abraham Lincoln. His forefathers were
iron-masters, capable leaders in their communities, giving a lie to the myth of
the simple railsplitter. As a war
leader, Pennypacker compares him with Jefferson Davis, and Lincoln comes up far superior. "The
Drool Method in History" by Harry E. Barnes is a humorous attack on
purveyors of "pure history" --- the superiority of the Aryans,
the discovery of America was by well-meaning religious people; the sole cause
of our ancestors' embarking upon wintry seas to come to the New World was
religious freedom; Loyalists in the Revolution were a gang of degenerate
drunkards and perverts, etc. "The
Tragic Hiram" by John W. Owens is contemporary political commentary,
about Borah, La Follette, Lincoln
and Harding-- but skewering Johnson. 144
pp. 17 x 25 cm. Magazine, writing on advertisement, first page of magazine: "Ruth
Schliveh's shower Jan. 19, 1924"… and "Bill Paxton Brown U.
1924." Very good. (7663)
$76.00. Literature/History Hoover
Cuban Scouts Going on Outpost Duty
Rough Riders at
Cannons and Camera: Sea and Land Battles of the Spanish-American War in Cuba, Camp Life, and the Return of the Soldiers; First Edition Photographs and Narrative by Hemment, John C.1898.
: D. Appleton & Co. This book has been
widely reproduced. In this book War Artist John C. Hemment has captured the War
York, NY in excellent, sharp photographs and
accompanying text. Introduction by W.I. Lincoln Cuba Adams.
Hemment had earlier photographed the Battleship Maine extensively, and when he
arrived inCuba he found she had
just been blown up. His description of the Spaniards and the Cubans is colorful
and portrays the sharp enmity between Americans and Spaniards. Interesting and
detailed photos of recovery of parts of Maine, life in American soldiers' camp, off to the
seat of war in by
seagoing transport... Life with General Shafter and his staff.
Description of photography and developing of film, etc. under combat
conditions. Firing on Santiago Morro Castle. Among the Cuban pickets. About mules
in the campaign. Siege of . The Charge at
El Caney. Our Bold Rough Riders.and Colonel Roosevelt. Return of the
Rough Riders. With appendix and index. . 282 pp. 13.5 x 20 cm. Red cloth
on board with decoration on cover showing a sailor cleaning a naval gun; gilt
lettering. Edges worn, binding weak, spine faded. Inscription dated 1898 on
ffep. Fair. (5261) $42.00. History/Spanish-American War Santiago
Our Katie; or, The Grateful Orphan, A Story for Children , with three illustrations by Myers, Sarah A. 1859
New York, NY:
Carlton & Porter, Sunday-School Union. Author writes of her childhood and poor Katie,
whose mother died, then her father. Author's family took in Katie…Katie in
Disgrace….Katie's Reward. Morality tale. 90 pp. 10 x 15.2
cm. Dark cloth on board with
blindstamped design and gilt lettering on spine. On front free endpaper is
"No. 41 Chesterfield Facty S.S. Jan. 1868" 2 cm piece missing from
rear spine. Good. (8196) $40.00. Children's
Sweden: Vägvisare Sundsvall och dess Omnejd-- Almänna Norrländska Industri-och Landtbruks-Utställningen I Sundsvall, 1882 [General Northern Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition,
1882] 1882 :
P.A. Norstedt & Söner. Folded map and program for Almänna Norrländska
Industri-och Landtbruks-Utställningen I Sundsvall, 1882 [General Northern
Industrial and Agricultural Exhibition, Stockholm, Sweden , 1882]. Includes price for
tickets to events, local points of interest, map of Exhibition grounds, City
and area in Sundsvall, Sweden Sweden including
northern part of Gulf of Bothnia, also ads for hotels and other tourist
services. In Swedish. 18 panels 9 c 17.2 cm. Paper on
cloth, lightly soiled, very good. (8211) $38.00. Maps/Travel
Ponkapog Papers, First Edition by Aldrich, Thomas Bailey 1903 Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co. Former editor of Atlantic Monthly published this delightful, if scattered, collection of thoughts, comments and witticisms, written on former Indian reservation near Boston. 195 pp. 11 x 19 cm. Cloth on board, excellent. Ex-lib: Oak Grove School Library. (1242) $28.00. Humor/Literature.
Rejected Addresses: or the New Theatrum Poetarum, Tenth Edition 1813
John Miller, 25, Bow-Street. Collection
of bizarre "addresses" on the occasion of the reopening of London, England , completely
rebuilt after a fire. Funny, disrespectful, shameless humor. It is interesting to see how much of this is
still funny, nearly two centuries later!
In "'Hampshire Farmer's Address" there's reference to cheap soup: "soup
for the poor at a penny a quart, ...mixture of horse's legs, brick dust and old
shoes." ' Drury Lane
is a large earthen-ware pipkin. John
Bull is the beef thrown into it. Taxes are the hot water he boils in. Rotten
boroughs are the fuel that blazes under this same pipkin..." 127 + 5
pp. adv. 10 x 16.2 cm. Quarter leather, marbled boards, worn. On front
pastedown is bookplate (oriental motif)
of Russell Gray pasted over fine signature of Henry Wilkinson, and on
front free endpaper is name, "Russell Gray 1883--" [Russell
Gray was Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, noted for his ruling granting
citizenship to the children born in the U.S. to Chinese immigrants working on
the railroads.] Good. (5246)
$30.00. Humor England
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