Oops! I broke it, part I

You can’t live the life of a lamp and glass antiques dealer without getting burned once in a while. So, a story or two seems in order.

About 25-30 years ago, way before the Internet era, I advertised some items for sale in a monthly magazine, Hobbies. It was a big deal to advertise back then. I had to take black and white photos, get them processed (there was no 60-minute photo) and mail them, with the advertising copy, to the magazine and about 6 weeks later, the ad would appear. Getting long distance calls at the time was very exciting. They were expensive, so I got very few. A gentleman called from the Midwest and purchased a vase from the ad. A short while later, we sat down to have dinner and heard a crash from the curio cabinet behind us. I turned around to see that the very object I had just sold slipped off the shelf and broke into a million pieces. No other object was affected. Really spooky. It felt like this one object had committed suicide because I just sold it. I called the man back and told him the news, but he absolutely did not believe me. Logically to him, I sold it to the next caller for more money. If I were him, I would have thought the same thing. Bummer! Not only did I lose the sale and sustain the loss, but now a client thought I was a liar. Today it would have been easy to prove my innocence — just take a digital photo and send an email a minute later.

Another time, I had a client visit my home to look at some lamps we had for sale. I put one of the glass lampshades on the sofa and randomly threw a blanket over the item. My wife didn’t notice what I had done and SAT ON IT! Luckily, my wife wasn’t injured. It would have been a difficult injury to explain. The shade already had some damage and wife finished it off. Embarrassing moments!

Friday another interesting disaster story, but this one has a twist because of some chicanery. I guarantee you’ll want to read this one.

No post on Thanksgiving. Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Please send me your personal disaster stories. I’ll write a follow-up if I receive some good stories.

Please send me your suggestions or questions about art glass, lamps, Louis Icart, shows, auctions, etc. If it’s interesting, I’ll answer your question in a future blog entry.

Call or write and let me know what you would like to buy, sell, or trade. philchasen@gmail.com or 516-922-2090. And please visit my website. chasenantiques.com

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