In This Issue:

  • Pig Iron a Plenty: A New Addition to Colonial Williamsburg
  • Anglo-Indian Arts & Crafts: The Life-long Work of Lockwood Kipling
  • Windows into the Past: Collecting Early Firearms
  • Sowing the Seeds of Preservation: The Restoration of the Fowler-Clark-Epstein Farm

And much more…


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In My Opinion

John Fiske

History That We Wish Wasn’t

John Fiske 

For some reason I feel driven to skate on thin ice this month, and stumble around in a complex issue that is rarely if ever raised in our business. But perhaps it ought to be.

A Nazi belt buckle was what got me going. A reader of the New York Times asked the paper’s ethicist what he should do with a Nazi belt buckle that his father, a WWII vet, had left him. “I really don’t want it in my house,” he wrote. “I have checked resale sites and it does have some monetary value, but I do not want it to fall into hands that may use it symbolically for what my father fought against.” Is there any legitimate role for a Nazi belt buckle in our society today? I suspect a militaria collector would say “yes.” And I would have to agree with him. But there does seem to be a critical difference between selling it to a neo-Nazi and to a collector of militaria. Big problem.


Pig Iron a-Plenty: 
A new addition to Colonial Williamsburg

Barbara Miller Beem

They came in search of treasure. Funded by the Virginia Company, ships carrying men and boys landed on the banks of the James River in 1607. The transplanted Englishmen had been charged to find gold and silver, in order that investors in the venture might be well rewarded: Venture capitalism has a long history.

As it turned out, Tidewater Virginia would not yield those two precious metals, nor would the settlers find a river to open trade routes to the Pacific. What they did discover, however, was what would become one of the colonies’ biggest exports, an abundance of red rocks concentrated in the earth around the Chesapeake Bay. How ironic.


Anglo-Indian Arts and Crafts
The life-long work of Lockwood Kipling

Judith Dunn

Anglo-Indian antiques are not as familiar to most Americans as the Chinese antiques made for export to Europe and the Americas. Similarly, John Lockwood Kipling is not as familiar as his son Rudyard whose books set in India have delighted generations of children and adults, and are currently animating Disney’s profits. The Bard Graduate Center, in New York, is about to change all that when it presents the V & A’s exhibit, Lockwood Kipling, Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London. The exhibit, which is scheduled to run from Sept. 15, 2017 through Feb. 4, 2018, will introduce us to the artist, educator, curator and preservationist.


Windows into the Past
Collecting early firearms

Jan Fiore

According to historians, the first firearms in the world were probably cannons, developed by the Chinese almost 500 years after they had invented gunpowder in the ninth century. By the mid-fourteenth century, personal “hand cannons” arrived in Europe, providing soldiers with superior weaponry to use against their adversaries. The first firearm on American soil was likely the matchlock carried by Columbus in 1492. The matchlock, followed by the wheel lock (also known as wheellock, wheelock, or wheel-lock) and flintlock are considered the prototypes of today’s rifles, and from 1600 to 1800 were the firearms that shaped America.


Sowing the Seeds of Preservation
The restoration of the Fowler-Clark-Epstein Farm

Brian Roche

At the very bottom of the hill at Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers, N.Y., there are a series of gateposts, walls and gates comprising an impressive entranceway. In the past most visitors haven’t made the long trek down to see this part of the garden but new direct pathways have recently been opened up and have drawn our attention to this area. Set into the walls are two puzzling statuary reliefs that are of particular interest in terms of their meaning and origin


Yours Sincerely

John Fiske

I love museums just as much as I love antiques. And often I find ideas in one that might well be applied to the other. So I was heartened to come across an imaginative effort by a museum to extend its offerings, and thus one presumes, to attract newer and younger visitors. The museum was not, as you might have expected, an edgy one such as the Met Breuer: No, it was one of the most venerable of all – the Victoria and Albert in London. I feel sure that Queen Victoria would not have approved of a pink pussyhat being proudly displayed in the museum to which she gave her name.



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