Antiques Lesson

Two of my favorite days of summer are the are the first Saturdays in July and August, opening days of the weekend Petoskey Antiques Show in northern Michigan.  Over the years, in booths arranged under tents and tucked into old barn stalls, I have scored my horse weather vane and my horse end table that looks like a Calder.  At the most recent show I acquired a prancing horse sculpture.  I love this event so much that I’m on a first name basis with show organizers Lana and Dave.

I often attend with antiquing pals Shelley or Lynne, but this year they were laid up.  I also attend with my daughter-in-law Nadine, but she was in southern Michigan.  So on a sunny morning I fired up the Chevy Silverado and headed solo to Petoskey.  I hit the tents minutes after the opening bell.

As much as I love attending with someone whose eye and opinion I respect, I discovered a benefit to going on your own.  With someone else, you commit to a time and place to meet.  You keep moving.  By yourself, you can loiter.

In so loitering, I stopped at a booth with old corrugated tin peace symbols hanging on ladders.  The dealer approached me.  Coincidentally (Verbal lapse.  You know how I feel about coincidence!), the day before i had Googled the peace symbol to learn its origin.  (Granddaughter Camryn’s request for peace symbols on her 7th birthday cake sparked my curiosity.)  The symbol was designed in the 1950s for the British nuclear disarmament movement.

Greeted by dealer Rick Klass, I showed off my new erudition.

“It really goes back further,” he said.  “It’s sometimes called Nero’s Cross because the Roman emperor in the first century crucified people upside down on an inverted cross.  It also represents a semaphore, a system of sending messages with hand signals or flags, used by navy signalmen on ships.  N is indicated by extending both hands out 45 degrees.”  He demonstrated.  “The left hand straight up and right straight down signals a D.  N.D.  Nuclear Disarmament.”

“Ohmigosh!” I said. (Translation: And I thought I was so smart.).  “That’s fascinating.”

So encouraged, Rick launched into an equally fascinating spiel about pretzels.  But my son David, the Internet guru, tells me the secret to a successful blog is to keep it short.  So I’ll save pretzels for another day.

Lesson learned by your humbled but enlightened blogger: sometimes it pays to go it alone.  I acquired something just as wonderful as our new outdoor sculpture. Knowledge. 


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2 thoughts on “Antiques Lesson

  1. Marilyn Connor

    Love your writing. So honest and refreshing. Love and hugs I have a godsign story but need to write it out. Xxx

    1. Suzy Farbman Post author

      Thank you for your sweet comment. Can’t wait to hear your Godsign story! xo

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