One of my family’s hobbies is to go antiquing. Quite frequently, too. We usually never buy anything, we just dream and browse. Occasionally, though, one of us will find a treasure shining in its corner for a price we can’t pass up.
So it was one day when I rounded a corner in the back of a massive antique shop. It was on the wall, and it was, quite literally, shining. A pen drawing about a meter long in a gilt frame. How could it not shine?
(Please ignore the glare. I didn’t want to take the paper out from behind the glass, so this is the best picture I could get under the circumstances.)
I looked at the price in shocked silence. $25.00? Impossible. In the same booth a rather mediocre painting was up for over a thousand. I purchased the pen drawing, of course. With a ten percent discount, and tax added, it came out to $23.85. Not bad.
I tried my best to find out more about the piece. It seems to have been created sometime between the mid 19th century and the early 20th century. The signature appears to be H. B. Haiti. (It may also be S. J. B. Haiti, H. B. Hart, and a whole host of other derivations. The artist was rather slap-dash with his signature.)
The artist wasn’t famous, and it isn’t a masterpiece, but I love having a piece with the mystery of history about it.