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Meerschaum Pipes are normally made from a material named sepiolite (hydrous magnesium silicate) that occurs naturally in Turkey and some of its surrounding countries. This material is easily carved, however it can crack just as easily. Usually, the bowl of the pipe is made of this material, but the stem of the pipe is made of carved amber and screwed together using a bone screw. When the pipe has been smoked for a long period of time, it takes on a deep red (almost maroon) color.
Mikey was selling his trinkets at the local area flea market. A man came by and was admiring a reproduction print of a ship that Dumb Mikey had acquired from a local thrift shop for a few dollars. “How much for the print,” the man says. Dumb Mikey replies that the print is an original and could not let it go for less than $250. The man readily agrees and hands Dumb Mikey a credit card. Mikey prints out the credit card receipt and hands it to the man for a signature.
A single lock of John Lennon’s hair was recently auctioned off at the 12th Record Collectors Auction in Gerona, Spain for a record $4250. This lock of hair was purportedly yanked out of Lennon’s head by the man himself and given to a very enthusiastic fan in 1964 at a Denver, Colorado concert.
Satsuma pottery is usually cream colored earthenware that is high fired and glazed. One of the most unusual characteristics of this type of pottery is that the surface will also have a fine crackle effect. The earliest known pieces are believed to be from the early 1600’s. The name Satsuma is actually the name of the province in Japan where this type of pottery may have originated from.
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If you are interested in visiting unusual museums, here is one that you might like. The Texas Prison Museum is located in Huntsville, Texas and features numerous exhibits from inmate art to prison “hardware.” They even have an exhibit featuring “Old Sparky,” the decommissioned electric chair that was used from 1924 to 1964. The museum which has been open since 1989 is operated as non-profit organization and is run by just a few full time employees.
A British company had certified that the lock was indeed from John Lennon. The auction house originally expected the lock of hair to only bring in about $1100; however a bidding war ensued between a Beatles fan from Hong Kong and a hairdresser from Spain. The fan from Hong Kong won and stated to the press that he would have gone as high as $11,500 for the lock.
A recent Satsuma plate that we acquired from my mother featured a beautiful pair of peacocks; however a lot of the Satsuma pieces have gorgeous floral designs. Satsuma pottery was later mass produced and the style copied not only by other areas of Japan, but in England as well. For this reason, prices of Satsuma pottery can vary greatly from hundreds of dollars to many thousands of dollars.
The Meerschaum Pipe is very collectible and can sell for a sizeable amount of money depending on their condition. However, beware that because of the scarcity of the material from which it is made, some bowls were actually made from composite slurry of sepiolite and certain powders and glue. The carvings are very similar and the coloring has fooled many an expert as well. Most collectors not being able to tell the difference just rely on carvings and the beauty of the pieces to determine their value.
When he goes to compare the signature on the back of the credit card with the signature, he tells the guy, “hey, there is no signature on this card, for me to verify it’s yours.” So the man apologizes, takes back the credit card and promptly signs it. Proud of himself, Dumb Mikey picks up the receipt and promptly compares the signature on the credit card to the one on the receipt.