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Author Topic:   The roots of my addiction.
Scott Martin
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Posts: 11377
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 11-04-1999 11:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here is a story that relates to another posting in the American Coin Silver Forum.

Many years ago June & I were in upstate NY with some friends. Somehow we made a wrong turn and ended up in one of those little towns whose name will never be remembered. The kind of place that was hanging onto the last vestiges of the fifties before passing into oblivion.

We stopped for a soda and next door was what my mother would have called a "bric-a brac" store. It was jammed full of old aluminum pans, broken frames, lots of stainless steel and plastic and the closest thing to sterling was the many boxes of silver plate flatware with each piece showing more copper than silver. If the set decorator for the TV show "Father Knows Best" ever knew about this place, they could have done one stop shopping.

I don't know how it was possible but after 20 minutes of looking at all of this stuff that none of us wanted... our sense of kindness & charity prevailed. Without speaking a word, we each continued our desperate search to find anything of nominal value so we could make a "donation." I was so very bored that I began to have visions of prior visitors reaching the same point then screaming and running from the store.

I summoned up some more patience and began my third tour of the desolate stock. I drifted about until I got to the back of the store where the old woman and I began to talk about the weather � it was hot outside. She inquired as to my interests and was very disappointed to report that there wasn't any sterling or solid silver in the store anywhere. As my eyes adjusted to the poor lighting I noticed in an old very dusty case behind her a old pewter spoon. Pewter is not something that I ever look at, but to distract myself from the boredom, I asked to see the pewter spoon.

The low lighting conditions made it difficult to inspect the spoon. It was very grimie and sticky but it felt like it was in good shape. The woman said that the spoon had been in the case for at least 10 or more years; that it was originally priced at $6.00 but that it was time to get it out of inventory so she would take $2.00.

What a strange combination of feelings; Relief & Guilt! Yeah! I had found my "donation" purchase but she was giving it away. Clearly she knew how much I wanted to get out of there and she was just being kind. Suddenly, I was feeling a bit embarrassed for not hiding my boredom better. She pretended not to notice.

She was being so kind that I needed to redeem myself. So I told her that she didn't need to drop her price that much and that I was willing to pay $4.00 which she graciously accepted. We made some additional small talk, I paid her and then much to my relief June and Priscilla came over with their "donation" purchases. Soon we were on our way to the car.

Our friend Jerry, always waits patiently in the car reading a book. When we got to the car, Jerry's book was closed and the car was running. As we opened the car door, Jerry slipped the car into gear. Before our seat belts were buckled, Jerry was rushing us to anywhere but there. After a few minutes of discussion about where we might be headed, we selected a new destination and settled in to look at our respective purchases.

This is when I got my first real look at the pewter spoon. The years of dirt, dust and grime made it the blackest spoon I had ever seen. It was almost midnight black. But was it really an old pewter spoon or what? Without thinking I did the flex test and instantly knew it was not pewter and that it was most likely solid silver. Closer inspection of the spoon's style and marks clearly showed it was much older than I originally believed. The spoon cleaned up beautifully. What I had was a 1735 Adrian Bancker coin silver spoon; the same one which is discussed in the following post:
c. 1735 Adrian Bancker coin silver spoon

This is the experience that established my addiction to the search, such that I cannot pass a junk store without first leaving no stone unturned.

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iconnumber posted 11-06-1999 10:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great story! This is the kind of thing I am hoping people will share. We all have great stories, so let's hear yours (tall tales excepted)!

[This message has been edited by Brent (edited 11-06-99).]

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