Along with a national event to be held March 10-11 at the Mall of America, many troops are planning celebrations. For example, Girl Scouts from across southeast Louisiana will be celebrating with an Extravaganza on Saturday, March 17 in Gonzales. Part of this event will include a historic exhibit showcasing Girl Scouting over its 100 years — and volunteers are seeking memorabilia to include in this display. “Vintage Girl Scout uniforms, photos, books, newspaper articles, or any other Girl Scout-related items are welcome,” said Kevin Shipp, event coordinator.
If you’re a collector of Girl Scout items, or a former Girl Scout with goodies saved, contact your local Girl Scout troop or council to see how you can add to the celebration near you. You may also want to participate in their Oral History Project.
Among the over 800 items of Hollywood memorabilia and historic Americana, the Houston tems up for sale include a pair of earrings and a brown satin vest worn by Whitney in The Bodyguard (1992) as well as a black velvet dress owned by the legendary performer.
Celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien said Sunday the pieces and other Houston items became available after the singer’s unexpected death on Feb. 11 and will be included among a long-planned sale of Hollywood memorabilia such as Charlie Chaplin’s cane, Clark Gable’s jacket from “Gone With the Wind” and Charlton Heston’s staff from “The Ten Commandments.”
Julien said celebrity collectibles often become available after their namesakes die.
“It proves a point that these items, they’re an investment,” Julien said. “You buy items just like a stock. Buy at the right time and sell at the right time, and they just increase in value.”
But could it be too soon to profit from Houston’s passing? She was just buried on Saturday.
“It’s a celebration of her life,” Julien said. “If you hide these things in fear that you’re going to offend someone — her life is to be celebrated. These items are historic now that she passed. They become a part of history. They should be in museums. She’s lived a life and had a career that nobody else has ever had.”
Houston is “someone who’s going to maintain a collectability,” he said. “For people who are fans of Whitney Houston and never would have had a chance to meet her and never got to talk to her, these are items that literally touched a part of her life. They are a way to relate to her or be a part of her life without having known her.”
Accumulating these coveted treasures is often a twofold endeavor; obtaining tangible nostalgia and making a sound investment choice. Acquiring such a collection gives buyers the opportunity to gain intimacy with fond memories anchored in the property. The other reason is based on the steadily increasing prices, which has been recently noted as a solid asset for Wall Street investment bankers and executives around the globe.
If there is any such thing as a cultural rule about the length of time which ought to pass before we profit by selling off items connected to a recently deceased celebrity, it is far less a matter of morbidity and more a matter of our capitalistic nature. The market dictates that we bid as high as our emotions run; and emotions run pretty high when there’s a death.
As my friend and fellow columnist at Collectors Questsaid upon the passing of Michael Jackson, “One’s fame is directly proportional to how fast people will learn the intimate details of your life, or death, as the case may be… Where celebrity meets mortality, there is eBay.”
Celebrities thrive by this very rule — they use our emotions to sell us less than proper things while alive, such as Michael Jackson “Thriller” panties. So why wouldn’t we buy-buy-buy when they die?
Etiquette rarely, if ever, applies to celebrity.
And how can Perez, of all people, complain about this when he’s “beyond tacky” and a “bloodthirsty” parasite living off celebrities himself?
I’m not sure there’s anything inherently wrong with buying Whitney Houston’s movie-worn clothing weeks after her death than there is buying Clark Gable’s jacket from Gone With the Wind decades later. Do you?
The first scene filmed for Gone With The Wind (1939) was the burning of the Atlanta Depot. And it remains some of the most iconic film images of all time.
Shot on December 10, 1938, using some nine cameras — including all seven of Hollywood’s then-existing Technicolor cameras, the 40 acre set was actually many old MGM sets that needed to be cleared from the studio backlot. Flames 500 feet high leaped from old sets, including the “Great Skull Island Wall” set from King Kong. The fire was so intense, Culver City residents, thinking MGM was burning down, jammed the telephones lines with their frantic calls. Ten pieces of fire equipment from the Los Angeles Fire Department, 50 studio firemen, and 200 other studio help stood by throughout the filming; three 5,000-gallon water tanks were used to put out the flames after shooting. This and other costs put the bill for this famous film fire at over $25,000 for a yield of 113 minutes of footage (some of which was later used in other films; for more on this and the special effects in Gone With The Wind, see Matte Shot).
Now it seems fire plays another role in Gone With The Wind; on February 10, 2012, a fire spread through Hudson Self-Storage in Stockbridge, Georgia. Though firefighters extinguished the fire, all 400 storage units and their contents were damaged, sustaining some degree of fire, smoke, or water damage. Among the storage units, was one leased by the Road to Tara Museum, containing rare memorabilia from Gone With The Wind.
While many items remain safe in the museum, such as the priceless signed first editions of the movie script, Frenda Turner of the Road to Tara Museum fears much of the $300,000 collection in storage was lost. Turner said that among the items not currently on display at the Jonesboro museum and stored in the unit included the large oval paintings of Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh seen hanging prominently from the front of the Loew’s Grand Theatre during the movie premier — Loew’s itself caught fire on January 30, 1978, the damage led to the demolition of the historic venue.
Along with being signed by the author no less than three times, this screenplay has a well documented history (primarily) in Rice’s newsletter, Commotion Strange, regarding the arduous process of getting the film underway — even though it had been optioned by producer David Geffen. A brief synopsis of the grief is given here by Rice herself, but the details are so complicated and frustrating, that it prompted Heritage Auctions cataloger Paula Bosse (who researched well) to say, “If ANNE RICE — one of the most popular novelists of our time — has this much trouble finding a home for her baby, how much more difficult is it for an unknown to get a project produced and released?”
A plethora of television shows debuted on the subject, along the new seasons of the established favorites. I haven’t seem them all, but here are few mini-reviews of what I haven’t yet covered in full reviews here at Inherited Values:
It’s Worth What? managed to make it into the prime-time line-up at NBC in the summer. Though the horrible forced catch phrases were annoying, I really disliked the game show focus on monetary value. However, it should be stated, from a parenting and cultural point of view, that the money focus clearly illustrates our societal fascination with celebrity and luxury over history; food for significant thought.
History’s Real Deal has a concept I really like. Like Auction Kings, it shows the realities between estimate and actual prices realized at auction. This maybe it will, maybe it won’t, scenario is amplified against a backdrop of Las Vegas style gambling as deals for cold cash are negotiated as an attempt to avoid going to auction. However, Real Deal, even more than Auction Kings, suffers from a lack of cast or characters with enough quirk, drama or intensity to really hold interest.
Storage Wars spin-off, Storage Wars: Texas, seems to be holding up well. Perhaps the organic dynamic of rivalry in bidding, especially on camera, brings out a certain kind of person that makes the show work.
The popularity of collectibles and antiques in TV land is said to have “spawned an American collectible craze,” according to this article in USA Today:
Greg Dove of the National Flea Market Association, noting the reality-based programs have also helped level the playing field between serious collectors and the yard-sale set.
“It’s bringing in new faces, people from all economic strata,” says Dove. “We’re seeing more and more middle-class and upper-class folks coming to flea markets. Some are just curious, others are seeking collectibles and others are trying to stretch their dollar in a bad economy.”
Though no empirical data exist, Dove says the flea market industry, with estimated annual sales of $30 billion, has been energized by the renewed interest in antiques and collectibles.
Other venues are also benefiting from the uptick in demand for collectibles, however, namely online auction site eBay, which redefined the art of collecting when it went live in 1995.
In the third quarter of 2011, sales volume for its collectibles category reached $557 million, up 18% over the same three months in 2010, says Colin Sebastian, a senior analyst for Robert W. Baird & Co. asset management firm in San Francisco.
Its antiques and arts category posted sales of $263 million, up 17 percent over the third quarter last year; and coins and stamps hit $415 million, up 47% year-over-year (likely due to the skyrocketing price of gold.)
“It’s still a rough economy and I imagine there are still people trying to create some cash by selling things they have around the house,” says Sebastian, noting part of the category’s success stems from efforts by eBay to make its marketplace more appealing to buyers and sellers.
Those of us who have painfully been experiencing the snub of eBay’s nose regarding the lack of concern over the antiques and collectibles categories relish the numbers. Surely this will lead to better treatment, right? Don’t count on it.
Despite eBay’s own “Top Shopped” list for 2011 (a list, with an infographic, the company describes as “editorial in nature” and “focused on pop culture crazes”), eBay continues to move away from antiques and collectibles to it’s apparently preferred place as the Big Box Marketplace, catering to clients with contemporary inventory, big lots of identical new products, even if last year’s styles and lines. That’s not to say you can’t find a good deal there; it’s just that they are not going to focus on the needs of dealer and collectors of vintage and older items which are unique and certainly do have different requirements from the listing of multitudes of identical products.
I feel I must whine.
I just don’t understand eBay’s complete abandonment of what it was built upon: collectors and collectibles. We’re still here, in greater numbers even; why don’t you have our backs, want our bucks?
To illustrate my point, I draw your attention to this quote from eBay, Inc. covering the 2011 “Top Shopped” in more depth:
Retro Glamour: Between “Mad Men” and “Pan Am”, the small screen has never been so blessed with pitch perfect vintage style. And despite its mid-season cancellation, shoppers were still inspired by Pan Am, flocking to eBay to snatch up related items – 41,003 in total. Mad Men (30,378 related items sold) may have more seasons under its belt, but when it comes to memorabilia, the coolest fictional ad agency in the world can’t compete with the romanticism of 1960s air travel.
While eBay focused on pop culture, TIAS (The Internet Antique Shop) Hot List for 2011 focused on the old stuff. In this recap and interview with Phil Davies, you can see that vintage living and classic items for the home top the list.
All this seems to indicate that collecting is up and that collectors are looking for more places to buy their antiques and vintage collectibles — online and off. That tells us here at Inherited Values that we’ll need to focus more on helping you find the best places; so look for plenty of shopping reviews here in 2012.
A number of original Joseph Jasgur photographs are up for auction from Grapefruit Moon Gallery right now. Astonishingly, along with winning the vintage photographs now being auctioned off via Grapefruit Moon, the winner owns the copyright for the images, meaning that the buyer will be legally allowed to reproduce and sell copies of the photographs upon purchase. Most of these vintage photographs are of pinups, film stars, etc.
Jasgur is most know for the previously unseen photos of a 19 year old Marilyn Monroe, during her during her Blue Book Model Agency days as Norma Jean — photos caught up in a costly legal battle, which left the photographer penniless upon his death in 2009.
Joseph Jasgur stalked Hollywood celebrities and crime scenes alike, driving “his tricked-out Lincoln Zephyr, which had running water, a cot in the back and a radio-telephone, a rarity in the 1940s.” So who knows what other photographs of his will show up at this auction?
Last night, History debuted it’s latest collectibles reality television series, Cajun Pawn Stars, in the now familiar two back-to-back half-hour episode format. (I don’t know why these guys haven’t yet just committed to the full hour episode yet.) The commercials for the show made it seem like a blend of Pawn Stars and Oddities, seasoned with a dash of Swamp People. Is that what the show is really like?
After watching just the first two episodes, it’s clear this show is modeled after the wildly popular (and deservedly so) Pawn Stars. Set in the Silver Dollar Pawn & Jewelry Center, a well-established, 25 year old pawn shop located in Alexandria, Louisiana, Cajun Pawn Stars is also focused on three family members in this family-owned business: owner Jimmie “Big Daddy” DeRamus, Jimmie’s brother, Johnnie DeRamus, and Jimmie’s daughter, Tammie DeRamus. Here too are the trivia questions wrapped ’round the commercial breaks, the little facts and history notes in the corners, the outside experts brought in to authenticate and educate. Also part of the packaging and branding emulating the formula of success, the staff here wears matching polo shirts: Cajun Pawn Stars Purple, instead of Pawn Star Black.
It’s obvious that the producers of this new collecting show have realized that the audience is drawn to more than just the triad of ownership talent. Like Pawn Stars, which learned fast that Chum was a star and has been increasing the exposure of other staff members, Cajun Pawn Stars starts off right away including other pawn shop staff: Tina Journet, Fred (Yankee) Howell, Walt Piper, and Robie Friend. Like Oddities, the show also has realized the shop regulars are also likely to gain fans and followers, so Cajun Pawn Stars offers info on these folks who, it seems, will make semi-regular appearances on the show.
Of course, none of this is by accident or purely copying either; Cajun Pawn Stars is produced by Leftfield Pictures, which also produces Pawn Stars and Oddities. These folks know what they are doing. Which means if you like those shows, you should like Cajun Pawn Stars. I do. And, speaking frankly, Sunday night TV stinks; so this is most welcome!
The biggest “twist” involved in this spin-off seems to be organic to the pawn shop itself. A large part of their business includes animals, including farm animals, and the first two episodes featured a herd of donkeys as well as a pygmy goat. And gun laws are looser in Louisiana, so it seems gun lovers will see even more gun sales mixed in with the historical objects, pop culture artifacts (such as the first Jerry Lee Lewis recording from 1952), collectibles and other items.
I’ve only seen partial episodes of Swamp People, so I can’t say if there’s anything in common with that show besides location and accents; but, despite some mean-spirited shows, Cajun Pawn Stars doesn’t seem to be mocking the store, staff or residents — well, some of the regulars, perhaps… But not because of their location or any Southern-stereotype. These quirky guys seem to be aware of their humorous status. They are, as I say, a hoot and they know it. No harm done.
Overall, I’m looking forward to seeing more of Cajun Pawn Stars. It’s not a rip-off, but a well-done spin-off.
PS Note in the background, the Silver Dollar Pawn sign which features “Uncle” Pennybags, the guy from Monopoloy. I wonder how much that cost?
Back in November, I heard WDAY making the promo for that night’s broadcast — an alarming headline about model trains. I don’t recall word for word, but it was so alarming that I indeed remained glued to the station and watched the news especially for that report. While the headline sounded far more drastic (implying that something was preventing the manufacture of model trains or something), the segment (video here) was about the decline in model railroading membership and a decreased interest in model trains themselves. While it wasn’t particularly surprising, it was saddening… Even though we do not yet own a model railroad set.
Through the serendipity of the collecting gods (what some might call “luck”), we found ourselves days later in Wisconsin, visiting family, and there we discovered that the Lionel Railroad Club Of Milwaukee was having an open house — we transported ourselves there asap!
There were so many things to look at… Not just the trains, the engines and cars, but all the figures, cars, animals, and details in the layout. So much to take in, that even though there is a raised look-out spot for engineers and others to get a great “aerial” view, you really have to walk around — several times — to try to see everything.
And then you’ll need to make at least one more trip looking at the vintage railroad engines and cars displayed on the walls and on the side of the layout!
The kids fell in love with the aquarium. I myself was completely smitten with the Lionel Madison Hardware Shop model — there was a miniature model train set in the miniature store window! Yes, the mini train worked too! Here’s a closer look:
As a family we greatly enjoyed the huge model train set-up. Being there just confirmed all the reasons why we want a model train set. It’s not just the rush of the choo-choos, the excitement of their woo-woos, but the chance to build the whole miniature world! I’m a girl who loves miniatures. And hubby’s a man with some model building experience — small toys and larger theatrical sets too. For both of us it’s a chance to get really creative!
The price of a model train set can seem steep. New, vintage, or antique, it’s not cheap. But if you consider the years you can take to build and grow your set, it’s achievable to do it piece by piece. And affordable when you realize this is a true hobby. Not to minimize collecting in any way (How could I?!), but model trains and railroads are about building, expanding, playing; these are not shelf-sitters.
The husband and I have wanted a train set for a long time; since visiting the railroad club open house we’ve grown not only more wistful but determined to make it a goal for ourselves. (Yes, you can expect more model railroad articles!) I’m sure the kids will climb on board once they see the train in action.
In a new law that could put every trading post, Goodwill, flea market, garage sale and Craigslist merchant in the state of Louisiana out of business, a bipartisan group of elected representatives has opted to ban all cash payments for the buying and selling of used goods.
Though House Bill 195 was intended to make it easier to track the sales of stolen goods by giving police a paper trail to follow, the unintended consequences could be much more widespread. Namely, the law requires second-hand sales be made paid for with credit cards, paper checks, electronic transfer or money orders. Cash is prohibited.
It was signed into law on July 1, but flew so far under the radar that practically nobody in the media noticed until this week, when Louisiana’s KLFY Eyewitness News 10 put a spotlight on the new rules and their likely impacts on local business.
The law also requires second-hand sellers to obtain personal information about each buyer — information like names, addresses, driver’s license number and even, if applicable, their license plate number — and turn it over to state officials.
The prohibition on cash sales is confusing on its face, and appears to contradict the very text on each Federal Reserve note in circulation. “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private,” U.S. dollars plainly state.
The Associate Producer for the new TLC series My Collection Obsession (How did I miss this show?! Oh, it aired as a “special.”) contacted us about casting for the first season.
We are currently casting for our first season, and are on the hunt for serious and dedicated collectors that would like to showcase and their prized collections and share their passionate pursuits for the next great piece.
I am reaching out to see if you know of collectors that may be interested in participating in our show, and if there was anyway we could post a casting call through your site.
“Yup.” And, “yup.” *wink*
Below is the official casting call. If you do contact them with hopes of getting on the TV show, please do Inherited Values a favor, and let them know you spotted the call here, thanks!
TLC and the producers of “My Collection Obsession” are currently looking for serious and dedicated collectors of all kinds.
Is collecting a part of your daily life?
Are parts of your collection in every room of your house?
Do you have unique and special objects that you are extremely proud of?
* Collectors must reside within the united states & U.S. Territories/Canada.
* Your collection must either be truly grand in scale, extremely unique or rare, or have an amazing back story.
* Collecting must be part of your lifestyle, not just a small side hobby.
If interested, please send a description of what you collect, and why and how you do so to firstname.lastname@example.org If available, please also include any photos, articles, or videos that will help us assess the extent of your collection. All submissions will be kept for internal use only.
Last night, Melissa Harris-Perry was the guest host of The Rachel Maddow Show and the Best New Thing segment was about scruffy mutt named Owney. Owney was the nation’s most famous canine, riding with Railway Mail Service clerks and mailbags all across the nation from 1888 until his death in 1897. And Owney was a collector — everywhere this dog went, he was given souvenir dog tags, exonumia, tokens, “trade checks.”
I can say without reservation that I would happily give up the glass jar full of matchboxes that sits on the bathroom shelf (and I’ll throw in all of my Foursquare check-ins ever) for a chance to grow a cool collection of medals like Owney’s.
It’s hard not to feel “licked” by this dog when it comes to collecting! (Even if the new postage stamp is one of those self-adhesive types.)