Save These Valuable "New Antiques"
"I could kill my mother!" I imagine this chilly phrase is hardly ever said in jail-houses or asylums for the criminally insane. However, at auctions, flea markets, shows, and other places where common appearing old articles fetch uncanny prices, it is the single most uttered sentence. Sometimes it's a gentleman who jokes such-one who remembers his boyhood collection of swirled marbles or tobacco cards. "Mom threw it all away," he says. Often, its mothers themselves, even grandmothers whose own mothers have long since passed on. They remember the Shirley Temple dolls, hatpins, post cards, mahogany furnishings, and other things from their youth. If only mom-dad never gets blamed-had had the wisdom to save these things. All of us would be prosperous today. Next time such notions come upon you, remember what J.F.K said: "Ask not what valuable antiques your parents threw away on you, ask what you can save for your children." Here's my suggestions:
- Throw away nothing from the 60's/early 70's pop culture: love beads, tied died clothing, sandals, psychedelic art and advertising, lava lamps, protest signs, a Volkswagen Love Bug, McGovern political stuff, weird furniture.
- Discard no disco. Saturday Night Fever movie posters, leisure suits, silk shirts with 8" collars, platform shoes, discotheque signs, lights, and accouterments. Keep your eye on today's hot Cowboy/Country and Rap items as well.
- Keep attuned to objects on the endangered species list. Wood baseball bats are being supplanted by metal and graphite. Record albums are being replaced by CD's. One day someone will market a frame that fits record jackets. Mint albums will be hung up on walls and collected as art.
- Save quality things regarding and/or endorsed by heroes and interesting people: Larry Bird, Tiger Woods, Clint Eastwood, Ronald Reagan, Captain Kangaroo, Forest Gump, ET, Calvin and Hobbes, Bill Gates. Will Ray Allen be the next Michael Jordan? Don't throw away those UCONN programs yet. Who do you think will be our first Woman president? Start collecting her today.
- Save pioneer products: Whamo Frisbees, early Polaroid cameras in original boxes, the first Pet Rock, those clunky red-digit Texas Instruments hand calculators. This past June, a 340K bubble memory Grid Systems Corp.Compass Computer designed in 1979 by Britisher William Moggridge brought $800.00. It claimed to be the first lap-top. This may be the beginning of a whole new category of antique.
- Save historical and romantic memory souvenirs: Things from his year's Olympics, political documents and advertising, photographs you took at a Grateful Dead Concert, trinkets and wall hangings from the old McDonald's building with yellow arches and white tile facing.
- Covet work by upcoming artists. Painters, potters, cabinet makers, glass blowers, poets, hologramists, inventors, and architects; are creating today, the great antiques of tomorrow. Besides quality and ability to draw attention to oneself, look for work that opens new boundaries. Thomas Chippendale, Manet, Frank Lloyd Wright, Stueben, James Joyce, Mary Cassat, Walt Disney, Edison, Lennon and McCarthey-all were innovators. By opening doors to tomorrow they secured a place in yesterday. That place we antique enthusiasts hold sacred.