Monday, January 19, 2009
I went through this period back in the early to mid 90's of collecting vintage smoking paraphernalia. I enjoyed collecting table lighters primarily from the 30's and 40's, but this 1966 Ronson Jasperware Wedgewood table lighter was a special find.
Like many people that become obsessive with their collecting, I had several guide books on vintage lighters and would sit and mark off the ones I owned, note when and where I bought them, and how much I paid for them. I'd also sit and look at the ones I didn't have, but desperately wanted to add to my collection.
Case in point, the Ronson pictured above. I used to LOVE Wedgewood, and all of the tinier pieces that they produced, and I LOVED Ronson table lighters so it went without saying that I would HAVE TO HAVE this particular lighter for my collection.
This was before I owned a computer, (or even knew how to use one) and before I knew of Ebay. If I was to find a new lighter for my collection, it was from a flea market, antique shop, auction or garage sale.
So one day, I'm out driving in a slightly rural area. I see a sign for a garage sale, and pull over. It's a real garage sale in that it was actually being held in the person's garage. I get out, walk in, and see that there are shelves of antiques set up all around the inside of the garage.
And then I see it. My mouth goes dry. I whisper to myself, "there it is...." I calmly walk over to it and pick it up to make sure it's not a replica, because there were many knock off's made to look like Wedgewood.
It's the real deal, but this was no normal garage sale, this was a man selling antiques from his garage and he knew what both what he had and it's current market value. I paid him his $25 asking price because I'm not a good haggler. He could have asked me for $50 and I still probably would have paid it. It was just one of those things I just *had* to have.
So now, a dozen years later, I have this lighter and it's wrapped in tissue paper, packed in a box in the attic. It's not a useful or practical object, and I no longer have a place to display it, nor would I really want to. It's just not important to me any more.
And that's the thing I'm really focusing on these days. Do I really need to buy things that aren't useful or practical? Maybe if I'm lucky, someone will trade me a fountain pen for it.... LOL