Calling all Collectors, Again

I was sharing my experiences at the recent Antiques Show and I realized that I left out some of the most interesting bits of information I gleaned.  I also omitted one of the most curious items for sale at the show, after the samurai armor (20th century revival) that is.

The following are common sense recommendations from the Antiques Diva as she guided us around some choice areas of the show. Thank you Ms Diva …

Talk to the Dealer

Visit historic house museums to learn about decorative arts and other collectables

Buy what you love

Buy what you can enjoy

Buy for the story

Many were the times in my lifetime of museum work, when I was approached by friends and acquaintances about collecting (or investing). I’d always ask if they loved what they were considering buying or would it be tucked away in some closet. If their answer was the closet, I recommended that they not make the purchase. We enjoy looking at and living with our stuff.

As I meandered through the show on my first visit, I had noticed lots of stuff – jewelry, furniture, silver, carpets, paintings, glass, and more. I noticed a sizable wooden trunk filled with crucifixes and strange implements. Curiosity did not get the best of me. Wouldn’t you know this was one of the stops on Ms Diva’s tour, at Best of France Antiques. This is a 19th century vampire killer kit (who would have known)?

Vampire Killing Kit

If this piques your curiosity, here’s a caution –

One area of antiques or collectables with which I’m fairly familiar is Judaica, Jewish ritual art. I might have mentioned in my first post about the antique show (January 10), I was surprised at the amount of Judaica – mostly silver items – for sale.

Torah finials, Rimonim, Iran

As I can imagine there must be some number of purported vampire killing kits out there for buyers to take home. For many years canny dealers, from Spain to Hungary to Iran, have taken advantage of gullible Jewish tourists eager to take home something ancient and Jewish. Jewish metalsmiths in Shiraz, Iran made what my mother called “instant” antique metal trays. A number of objects supposedly preserved from the 16th and 17th century were sold in Spain and Portugal as Crypto-Jews last hold on their inherited faith.

Spice boxes and kiddush cup

I think this about shares what I saw and absorbed from the Antiques Show. I’m already looking for next year’s show!

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