Thursday, June 16, 2016

"Why Is It This Way?" - Part One - "Always Small"

"Why Is It This Way?"

Part One

"Always Small"

            Is not... that nice?  They own a splendid array of crud and want me to “look at it” (their words).  They would also like me to “buy it” (their words again but not spoken... to MY face.  But... to each other’s face... it was spoken... I assure).
            That is just splendid crud that they have... a lot of...:
            Yes... crud.
            At this moment... it is a confined lot; a defined lot... of ‘their crud’.  It is a selection of their crud.  They have it kept-up... in an old van (enclosed truck)... this lot... of their crud.  So... I don’t want to have to walk all the way over there in the parking lot to look at a ‘van full’ of their current selection of ...their crud.  That’s right:  I don’t.
            They don’t either for they already know that I ‘won’t buy it’ (the van full of their crud).  Hoping for a ‘one item sale’ is the master plan.  A ‘hope’ for a “WE FOUND” and that object titled by blanket definition (words such as ‘chair’, ‘box’, ‘glass’, ‘painting’... or similar... ilk).  Object title defined crud.  Antiquarian crud?  Barely.  THAT (an antique) is a ‘they say’
            And how would they know?
            1930’s lighting fixtures from a funeral parlor spray painted ‘radiator silver’ (“THE PAINT IS ORIGINAL”).  So are the (electrical) wires... too; “ORIGINAL”.
            The ‘idea’ (commercial notion) is that the “FIXTURES” will be deployed by a decorating firm during one of their “JOBS”.  At a “RETAIL PRICE” they will be ‘deployed’ (sold to) (the... ‘whatever’).  That’s the idea.
            “THEY WERE AT A YARD SALE”.
            “IN BATH” (Maine).
            Oh... is not... THAT a buttress of their qualities?  It is passed to me as being one.
            “Good for you!” I say.  They both just looked a me.  I mean really; that’s what they did.  I mean... I don’t want them (the fixtures):  I am not going to BUY them.  Who... wants those?
            No one that I know.

            Being called on because I am a “YOU KNOW” expert... by old van loads of crud...  That is not even a ‘par for the course’.  They don’t even notice ‘that smell’ when the doors of the van are opened.  THAT is JUST THE SMELL of... “antiques”... I want in my home.  It is the smell of old money?  The smell of... “money”?   The smell of... no money?  The smell of crud.  The smell of old 1930’s funeral parlor lighting fixture crud?  NOW THAT IS A SMELL.
            “Let the bodies hit the floor”.
            As is said.
            No.  Their actual “concern” (their word) is that they have “FOUND” (their word again) a seventeenth century New England wrought iron and wood block mounted ‘lighting device’ (my words) titled, by them... “a rush light”.  Prefixed with “CAN YOU TELL US ANYTHING ABOUT (seventeenth century New England wrought Iron) RUSH LIGHTS”.  (I ‘can’ tell but I ...may... not).
            And... anyway... that quest is finalized by “Oh shit I forgot to BRING IT”.  For real:  I am not making that up.  So I am back to the funeral parlor ‘lighting’ and their van full of crud and ...well... ‘getting rid of them’ (dismissal).  That has to be done.  They just ‘don’t leave’.  REALLY.  “Go away” is not a component of their thought process.

            So they’d already told me about their “rush light” and started to tell me the ...adventure... of them finding “IT”.  I pushed back on that story with “BRING IT NEXT WEEK”.  And we just reviewed what happened with that.  I had prepped a tad for them; I brought Hayward’s COLONIAL LIGHTING book with me to ‘assist’ (show them pictures... of rush lights).  I’ve been using “Hayward’s” since I was... fourteen years old... nearing fifty years.  It is ‘the book’ for those that ‘do know’.  Who cares?  No one.  That is fine for me.  Anyway... I didn’t need it.
            I was, also, going to refer them to an older dealer who was a lighting collector and an ‘in good standing’ member of the ‘Rush Light Club’ of Colonial American lighting collectors AND had sold her large collection of early American lighting “AT SKINNER’S” (Mass. auction business) at least fifteen years ago but she....
            Did not sell the “what she knows” so ... well... I can ‘bank’ on her and her ‘any opinion dear?”... anytime.  I want.  Don’t worry:  She knows what ‘crud’ is too.
            But that was a waste of ‘thought’.
            They forgot to ‘bring’ what they are calling a “rush light”.

            These are the same people who don’t (do not) ‘think’ (feel) the “antiques business” is “doing very well”.  The people with the funeral parlor lighting fixtures and the their van full of... smelly... crud.  These people.  Not me.
            Really... right?  And what if they did actually find something (a ‘good’)... a preferably ‘great’ “antique” (old New England object)?  There is ‘no justice’ so that... does happen.  I always have to be on the lookout.
            This whole is getting encumbered?  Actually the words are ‘top heavy’; this is getting top heavy?  It is a could ‘tip over’?  But... an encumbered mess... of old crud... it is not.  Even when it tips over.  For... ‘a lot’ (very often)... it does that (tip over) ‘a lot’
            These days.  Why is it this way?


            Because it has always been that way.... with ‘antiques’.  Most always all promoted ‘it’s antique’ are crud that their owners think (feel) are antiques that are, at the least, “good”.. “antiques”.  Really.  From my very first moments as an antiquarian buff and dealer; student and commercial broker... I... spent the whole time plucking the good and great from absolute astonishing detritus heaps of
            Crud.  That was before they’d invented ‘vans full of crud’ ‘for sale’ in ‘parking lots’.  It was just heaps of crud everywhere and my understood being ‘it IS this way’ and I am the student – broker who... pluck... from this ‘astonishing detritus heaps’.
            What fun I HAD... and still HAVE.  Nothing has changed.  Even the unknowing idiots are ... the same.  The ...STUFF... is the same; ‘good stuff’ found midst ‘bad stuff’ (crud).  THE SAME.  I find as much if not more ‘than ever’.  I am ‘group hugged’ by more ‘idiots’ than ever:  Well intentioned, impassioned, boisterous, enthusiastic, bubbling, giddy... ‘idiots’.  VERY FINE FOLK... until an ‘antiques’ is the issue.  Then... it falls flat on the face.

            The funeral parlor ‘lighting fixtures’ are ‘installed’ as evening event lighting on a “DECK” attached to a “HOME” that “OVERLOOKS”
            “THE WATER”.  Does anyone know they are funeral parlor lighting?  No.  They are like a ‘ship in a storm’ painting:  “Oh look at THAT!”.  Yes... it is a painting of a sinking ship.
            There is a lot more to art than that... and most of it, including sinking ship paintings... is crud.  If one collects well... one will have a very modest... pile of crud.
But the big piles of crud are absolutely ALL still here.  No ‘thrown out’ at the town dump.  No.  I am around dozens who hunt town dumps and show me... endless pieces of crud they found there and... plan to and DO “sell”.  Sell crud?

            I do.  All the time.  I enjoy watching your wallet empty upon a “THAT” of  my crud.  I sell ‘THINGS” to “PEOPLE” who should know better ALL THE TIME.  It is easy to do.  The number of people who ‘don’t know’ (anything about antiques) or, more often, THINK THEY KNOW, greatly out numbers a ‘knowing’ person.  These days.  And...:  It has ALWAYS been that way.  It has not changed.  This last includes people showing me crud that they bought and think is not crud (often described as “GREAT”).  The funeral parlor lighting fixtures are “GREAT”.  They were great at the town dump, in the picker’s truck, on the table at the yard sale (professional yard sales?  Absolutely these days), in the ‘dealer’s van’, in the ‘salvage dealer’s’ ‘warehouse’, in the “I CAN DO SOMETHING WITH THOSE” decorator’s... decoration.  And on the final bill for ‘all that’ (including ‘installation’).  Crud.

            “They offer a hint” is the way the actual light from the lighting fixtures was described to me when I was ‘shown’; a decorator dealer ‘showing off’... them... to me.
            “It’s soft.” I said of the actual light.
            “Yes it is soft.  That’s a very good word for it.  I’ll have to remember that.”
            I sent in a bill?  Should have.  But I don’t care.  I mean... it is just stupid.
            But it sold.  Too.
            Crud sells.  That is why there is so much of it around for sale.  It is, I am confidently told, ‘more difficult’ to sell the crud for a ‘good price’ these days; “it’s not the same”.  “It” is the market for crud.  “People aren’t buying”.  Crud?  Well yes... they are not buying crud for as ‘much money’ as in the past.  But it is not the crud market.  It is the
            Amount of crud... and it’s (crud) ‘for sale’.  It is “all” for sale.  It is not at the town dump.  Even... town dumps run crud stores for themselves... these days.  Okay and stating again; the ‘why is it this way’ crud market is... glutted with endless giant mounds of crud for sale.  The micro group of things called ‘antiques’ is still there; right there... where it has been the whole time I have ‘been doing this’ (antiques dealing).  As I stated, this is the very small ‘I know’ market.  It has always been very small; the market of “I know” antiques.

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