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Mikey goes to the deli in Arlington not too long ago and purchased a lottery ticket. Lo’ and behold, wouldn’t you know it, he wins the $20 million jackpot!! So off he goes, down to Richmond to claim his prize. When he gets there he approaches the bureaucratic lottery official and says, “I’m here to claim my $20 million.”
The lottery official looks at Mikey and says, “It doesn’t quite work that way. We actually pay out $1 million today and the rest we pay out annually over the next nineteen years.” Mikey says, “No, no, I want all my money right now.” Again the lottery official adamantly tries to explain the procedure to Mikey and back and forth they go for about twenty minutes. Finally making no headway, Mikey yells at the official, “Look mister, if you are not going to give me my $20 million, I want my $1 back!!”
Whodathunkit?? Celery, those big green stalks of produce that a lot of people put peanut butter on today, were once considered a real delicacy because of the difficulty of growing the product. Such a delicacy in fact, that during the Victorian Era, they had highly decorated and elaborately trimmed glass vases at the dinner table to put them in. Those beautiful glass vases are called what else? Celery glass, but are better referred to as celery glass vases.
In the mid-1800’s, celery glass vases were made of either beautiful cut glass or attractive pressed glass. Most were intricately designed and made of many different and unusual patterns, lest they not be fit for the elegant dinner tables of the day. Normally they are 8 to 13 inches tall, as well they should be able to accommodate celery stalks, and most will have a stem with a flat base. Celery vases were usually filled with cold water to keep the celery fresh and displayed the celery upright.
Today, celery glass is very collectible and can bring in thousands of dollars for fine Victorian examples. However, be careful if it is stamped or stenciled with the word celery, which may not be Victorian at all, but made during WWII when there were restrictions on the use ofglass for anything other than practical items. In addition, many companies later tried to reproduce celery glass.
The 16th Annual Charity Antiques Show and Sale sponsored by the Mental Health Society of Talbot will be held at the Waterfowl Festival Building, in Easton, Maryland on March 20 – 22, 2009. Not only does this show feature some wonderful antiques and collectibles dealers selling antiques, decorative arts and jewelry but it also will feature appraisals on Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. The best part however is that as the name implies, this show is a charity event and will help those in need.
The Victorian Era is named for Queen Victoria reign in England from 1837 to 1901. Many antiques and collectibles dealers specialize in this field because they are attracted to the intricate and ornate designs that this era produced not only in celery glass, as you read about previously, but many household items and even clothing that have since become collectible. However, some of the more popular items from that period are jewelry and in particular Victorian Era cameos.
A cameo is a portrait or scene carved in relief with a contrasting colored background. Although cameos were made from many different materials including gemstones, stone, and sometimes coral, a lot of designers liked to make cameos from shells because they were easier to carve. More people were also able to purchase cameos at the time obviously because the cameos made of shells were of course less expensive than those made of gemstones.
The most prized procession for a woman of the Victorian Era however was a cameo made in her likeness. As such, portrait cameos became very popular. However, earlier cameos from the period showcased women in plain attire and later in the period, at the insistence of women of the period, designers started making the portraits of women better finely dressed and jeweled. Prized examples of cameos from the Victorian Era especially the later ones that are more intricately designed and carved can bring in thousands of dollars.
A 1938 first edition copy of a “Man of Steel” comic book sold last week for an astounding record price of $317,200. There are less than 100 copies of this Action Comics, Superman comic book known to exist and very few known to exist in the good condition that this specimen was in. ComicConnect.com auctioned the comic book and John Domayan, the rock star drummer for the band System of a Down was the lucky bidder, although he reportedly bought it for a client. Domayan is also the owner of an online comic book website.
Superman is a fictional character that has its origins in the comic book and was later brought to life on television by actor Kirk Alyn in the 1940’s. In the 50’s we knew George Reeves as Superman and Clark Kent and for a lot of baby boomers, he is the face that we see when we think Superman. There have been other actors since then that have played the role, but none touched our hearts more than Christopher Reeve who later was paralyzed and bound to a wheelchair after a terrible horse riding accident.
The first Superman comic book was created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster. As the superhero became more popular and more in demand, they set up a studio and hired help. In the early 40’s Jack Burnley began writing some of the stories and late Wayne Boring and Al Pastino came on board to help with the comic. It wasn’t until the mid-1950’s that some of the other characters associated with Superman, Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane, the superhero’s love interest, made their debut.
In August we wrote in our blog about an the peacock jumpsuit once owned and worn by the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley and how it brought in more $300,000 at auction. Now, the King is back, not from the dead, but at auction again. Gotta Have It, an online auction company is featuring over 500 lots of Elvis memorabilia until March 25, 2009. This huge auction includes a Knabe white grand piano that the King used at Graceland and a blue jumpsuit and cape lined in gold that he wore at a show in Madison Square Garden in 1972. The minimum bid on the piano has been set at $500,000 and the jumpsuit at $100,000. And the King lives on.
Last year, Fenton Glass Company, which had been around for over 102 years and is one of our favorite art glass makers, had to close last year. It looked like the trend would continue this year as Blenko Glass Company, one of our other favorite glass makers that has been around for more than 115 years, announced in January that it would close. Blenko, which is based in Milton, West Virginia, apparently had a disagreement with its gas supplier and a court entered a judgment against them.
This caused them to shut their furnaces down at least temporarily but this month they announced that it would resume limited production. Once people heard that the company was going out of business, their glass products started flying off the shelves. This in turn gave Blenko the money needed to resume operations and begin to fill orders that had been placed before they were forced to close. Blenko said that they plan on producing everything from paperweights to the beautiful mouth blown art glass that they are most famous for.