Celebrity encounters in the antiques business, part II

OK, I admit it.  I’m a sucker for celebrities.  I’ve met many of them and had some amusing encounters.  Here are a couple more of them.

Kareem Adbul Jabbar

Kareem Adbul Jabbar

I used to have a shop on Madison Avenue in New York City called Chasen-Stamati Gallery in the late 1980s.  One day, Kareeem Abdul Jabbar came in.  We had lots of chandeliers in the shop that were hung high enough for most regular-sized people.  The shop was not designed for basketball players.  So I said to him “Please be careful and watch your head”.  If looks could kill!  He might have been thinking “I’ve been this tall all my adult life, you idiot.  I know to watch my head.”  I sure wish I hadn’t opened my mouth.  He was interested in an Art Nouveau marquetry wooden planter, which we didn’t have, but eventually found for him.

Steve Martin

Steve Martin

Steve Martin came into my shop one day and looked at several Handel lamps that we had.  He’s a very quiet, serious guy in person, nothing like the comedian you see on television or the movies.  He liked three Handel lamps that we had and asked if we could send them over to his apartment on Central Park West, so that his wife could see them and they could decide together.  After several days, he called back and told me that they couldn’t decide, so they wouldn’t be buying any of them.  I personally went over to his apartment to pick them up, hoping that I could persuade him to purchase at least one of them.  When I arrived, he wasn’t home, but instead, a worker let me into the apartment to pack them up.  Mr. Martin left a bottle of champagne and a note apologizing for the trouble — a gentlemanly thing to do, but again unfortunately for us, no sale.  To make matters worse, I’ve misplaced his note and haven’t been able to find it for many years.  Oh well!

More celebrities soon.

Please visit chasenantiques.com.

If you like my blog, please recommend it to others.  Email me with comments.  philchasen@gmail.com

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