Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hubby's Corner: When Priceless Antiques Meet Partridge Family Taste

The joke of the day is brought to us by the late John Barrett of Bath, England. Seems Mr. Barrett inherited a more than average pot upon the passing of his 77 year old father in the 1975. Indeed, Mr. Barrett made it more than average by drilling a few holes, running some cable through the holes and affixing a light bulb on top. But it was more than his casual renovation to the piece that made it stand out:

"Georgiana Aitkin, head of antiquities at Christie’s, said: 'The item came into us in the form of an electric lamp that had a 1970s-style red lampshade on top of it.
'We had a closer examination of it and unscrewed the lamp and took the lid off to look inside… We removed the fittings and were able to date the urn to about the first century AD.”

Aaah. That, more than the custom design work, would explain why Christie’s was able to fetch £370,000 for it, or £445,000 including auctioneer’s fees.

Unfortunately a picture of Mr. Barrett’s finished work wasn’t provided. I’ve tried to improvise:

At current exchange rates, £370,000 works out to about $585,000. Given that amount of money to work with, I had a field day imagining what else Mr. Barrett could have bought for himself. 

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