Thursday, December 22, 2011

What the Dickens? Provenance Has Gone To The Dogs!

Everything is worth examining closely.

Even dog collars.

Yep, you heard me correctly....

Ok, ok, ok, READ me correctly....

As it is, "pet" related vintage items are collectible, from vintage dog collars, to training items, to water bowls and food dishes.

But that is not quite what I am leading to.

You see, "provenance" can make what appears to be a middle-of-the-road collectible item (or even very, very ordinary item) very, very, very valuable.'

SO many people have things that they swear up and down that so and so famous person used this, touched this, slept in, stepped on, fired, opened, closed, etc, etc, etc, etc.

Now, if you have a PHOTO of that person with that item (and it is DEFINITELY that item), or some other irrefutable documentation, ok, then you have something.  But, if you have only your great,great,great uncle's word (passed down through many other of your Uncles) that President Abe Lincoln left his pocket watch to be repaired and never picked it up...and you have that very watch.....well, the value of that word can be summed up in one word, also..."worthless."

A family story says little, unless your 3x Great Uncle was the official Presidential Pocket Watch Repair Person...and you can prove THAT...then maybe it has some credibility.

Even it WAS the case...if you can't prove it, well, hope there is some of Abe's DNA stuck on the watch somewhere...because that may be the only way you will be able to link that watch to him. There are other ways, such as photographs, other documentation filed elsewhere, etc...but, until you have copies of that other is a pocket watch that is worth just what any other pocket watch is worth.

So, what do dogs have to do with this?

Charles Dickens.

Well, Charles Dickens' dog, actually.

Check this out: That's some dog collar: Neckwear of Charles Dickens' dog sells at auction for $11,590


And in this case, the collar has the provenance engraved right on it.

Normally, provenance is not that easy to nail down.  However, it does happen, on occasion. You just need to keep your eyes open, your mind open, etc. Weird things happen...nasty turns of life happens to the most famous of the population. Celebs loose items to banks, sports figures pawn their championship rings, noted heroic war vets sell their medals, etc. These people are just that...people, very human.

But, just because something has the initials "JFK" on it does not mean it belonged to John F Kennedy...doesn't; matter if your grandpa found that comb in a washroom in Washington.
.....well, it might have belonged to JFK, but the John F Kennedy it did belong to was a plumber from Tallahassee....was visiting a cousin in Washington, and never had presidential aspirations...not even for the top seat in the local Plumbers Union.

Those strands of hair that was found in it?

Yep, it is just some greasy chunk of some balding plumber's dome.

Just hope he didn't part his hair on his back...or lower.

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