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Author Topic:   The one that got away
Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 03-24-2008 07:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[01-2635]

Something Richard said in another thread--about a plaque engraved with lots of different styles of lettering that he regretted "letting go"--made me think about those objects one just missed or had and lost.

Dealers, what's the object you most regret having sold? Collectors & curators, what's the object you most regret passing up?

(Mine's not silver--it's a lover's eye brooch I could have bought for what seemed to me at the time like too much money for such a tiny thing. I wish I'd bought it. It was lovely and looked real, and I've never seen one since for less than five times what the seller asked for that one.)

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argentum1

Posts: 602
Registered: Apr 2004

iconnumber posted 03-24-2008 07:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for argentum1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I regret selling everything as I want it all. I am not a dealer but I do sell pieces to help pay for new pieces. Frequently remorse takes hold within 24 hours. I especially regret the Cary Dunn tablespoon with an engraved sailing shop on the front. Then there was the fish slice turn of the 18th/19th century Maryland maker with an ivory handle. O'why, o'why did I sell those two.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1758
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-24-2008 09:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are two things over which I have great seller's remorse. A Tapio Wirkkala "Silver Moon" pendant and a beautiful Fred Davis silver brooch with 9 amethyst cabochons.

Prohibitively expensive pieces notwithstanding, I'll buy anything that strikes me immediately with its design, so I don't really have non-buyer's remorse over any items.

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Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 03-24-2008 09:23 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I wish I could see pictures! But I guess the One That Got Away is like the Loch Ness monster--hard to photograph.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1758
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-24-2008 09:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unfortunately, I am obsessive-compulsive and keep a photo archive of practically every item I've ever owned, whether I purchased it for resale or my collection. Therefore, I'm always mere clicks away from being able to gaze ruefully upon pieces I never should have sold.

This Tapio Wirkkala "Silver Moon" pendant is a famous design by an iconic Finnish Modernist. I sold it before really starting to collect Modernist jewelry.

This is the Fred Davis pin. Simple but strong design by a pioneer in Taxco. Plus purple is my favorite color.

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Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 03-24-2008 09:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can see why you regret selling those--they're wonderful.

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doc

Posts: 705
Registered: Jul 2003

iconnumber posted 03-24-2008 10:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For me, it was one that got away. It was in the relatively early days of that West Coast online auction company and an Irish Freedom Box with gold wash came for sale and I lost it in the last minutes (one of my first efforts-wouldn't happen today!) at a price that was a fraction of its value.

[This message has been edited by doc (edited 03-24-2008).]

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wev
Moderator

Posts: 4084
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 03-24-2008 10:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
missed:
    A Shreve's strapwork sterling trophy inscribed
    San Francisco Pier Beauty Pageant
    Second Best Bottom
    1918
Gave away (I have never sold anything):
    As a birth gift, a beautifully engraved Le Huray spoon with a monogram that matched the new child's. I later heard that the parents were put out that I had given them used stuff. . .

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1758
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 03-24-2008 11:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's an interesting inscription on that Shreve trophy, wev. It reminds me of an interestingly inscribed piece I passed up but kind of wish I hadn't. The piece: a mediocre coin silver pie slice (in Olive, I think); the inscription: an excerpt from somebody's last will & testament. It was overpriced, but where do you see them?

[This message has been edited by Paul Lemieux (edited 03-24-2008).]

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argentum1

Posts: 602
Registered: Apr 2004

iconnumber posted 03-25-2008 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for argentum1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When digital came along I started shooting everything. Unfortunately I did not heed the advice of others and did not back up the files. I lost a lot when my computer was hit with a virus. Now I back up everything twice a day. Gee, how did you guess those two items were part of the lost files. Not never ever gonna happen again. I did keep photo copies of the items and now I am searching to see if those two items are among all those pages. If so I will post the images.

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Clive E Taylor

Posts: 450
Registered: Jul 2000

iconnumber posted 03-25-2008 03:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Clive E Taylor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not a silver item but a collection of items I could have bought for around USD in 2,000 when I was eighteen. It was around 6 months pay as I was only a very badly paid trainee Chartered Accountant (equivalent of US CPA).

My parents would not loan me the money as such items were not regarded highly in those far off days.

What was the collection? Benin bronzes. With an impeccable provenance.

I saw one item of that collection fetch USD 175,000 around twenty years ago - the entire collection would now be well in excess of 5 million. UK pounds, not dollars

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

iconnumber posted 03-25-2008 03:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A coin silver goblet presented to the captain of a ship after a perilous crossing of Lake Huron. The long engraved part praising him for the way he had navigated was very overblown and sentimental. Lovely goblet. The buyer claimed it would go either to the Art Institute or Chicago Historical Society after she played with it. Always wonder where it ended up.

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Polly

Posts: 1910
Registered: Nov 2004

iconnumber posted 03-25-2008 09:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Polly     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
These are heartbreaking.

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 03-25-2008 10:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It's funny, but I can't think of many pieces I regret selling. One of the pleasures of dealing is buying something you really like and passing it on to someone who likes it just as much. It is actually more disappointing to sell something to someone who just has money, or needs to fill a spot on their shelf with something, without any appreciation for the object itself. With a buyer like that, sometimes I feel the piece is too good for them!

As for the ones that I neglected to buy for myself, there are a few of those! A pair of Wendt RAM'S HEAD pattern asparagus serving tongs, going for a song, but passed up because I had already bought a few too many things that day. Doh!

Brent

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Clive E Taylor

Posts: 450
Registered: Jul 2000

iconnumber posted 03-26-2008 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Clive E Taylor     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I agree with Brent - I get a big thrill when I sell a good item to someone who really appreciates it.

I have just bought some very good items for a friend - at a higher price than perhaps we should -but pointed out to him "the pleasure of owning these will last far longer than the pain of paying for them"

The other point is that usually its the things you do not buy rather than the ones you make a mistake with that leaves regret.
We all have a very expensive education in antiques and he who never made a mistake never made anything.

Also think of your children - all collectors live poor but happy but die very rich ! Ideal for your heirs .

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dragonflywink

Posts: 971
Registered: Dec 2002

iconnumber posted 03-26-2008 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for dragonflywink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Add me to the crew that regrets the missed purchases, rather than the items passed along to another who will treasure it, most likely more than me if I could give it up. Most of the pieces that stay in my silver collection are the ones that "speak" to me or were gifts from family and friends with a sentimental value (and several have little value in any other way wink ). Can remember selling an absolutely charming Gorham mixed metal dish with a sweet little mouse, but it didn't really "send" me - after gracing my home for a while, had no problem passing it along when finances became a bit tight. On the other hand, do understand the feeling and still experience pangs of loss after passing along a rather uncommon and valuable staved wooden quaich from my modest treenware collection, justifying it with the thought that it really belonged with a serious quaich collector (and my bank account needed feeding), very slim chance of even seeing another, much less owning one (had it been silver-mounted, could never have let it go). At least I have pictures of the quaich to ponder on its beauty and remember the thrill of having possessed something so special.

~Cheryl

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swarter
Moderator

Posts: 2920
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 03-26-2008 01:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for swarter     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I suggest this discussion belongs in the Silver Stories Forum, where there have been similar entries in the past (click on "show all entries" in the green box, as there are only two threads listed for this year) - there are only two pages in all)

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 03-26-2008 06:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, Swarter. The same though occurred to me, but you made it happen!

On further thought, there is also the subset of items sold that one wishes one could have back to sell again! There are a few I know I sold too cheaply, and a few I could probably have sold 10 times over. The one that springs to mind is a custom purse made for a world renowned perfume maker. The purse contained 5 different silver vanity items in the form of packages, each with her name engraved on the lid, miniature enamel stamps and a "post mark" of Dec 31, 1938. One heck of a New Year's gift. Anyway, I'd love to have that one back to sell!

Brent

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