Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Last part of the journey includes a fast train (Europe has fast trains that make you mad that stimulus money isn’t being spent to really upgrade the trains in America).

I arrive in Stuttgart to be met by my friend, and web site designer, Georg Fuesslin. We spend a couple of days looking at his collection, and going to two book fairs. Lots to see, much of it ridiculously overpriced, but luckily a couple of finds. One find was a 1881 print of Peppers Ghost (a ghost projection used by magicians and lantern showman based first demonstrated by Professor Henry Pepper at London’s Royal Polytechnic.)

More important than what I found is what I overlooked. Collectors are anxious to rush around fairs trying to find something, something either special or underpriced, or best both. When you walk a fair with another collector you need to have an understanding in case you both see an item. For me it has always been who ever sees it first gets first chance at it. The night before the fair Georg and I talked about a lot of things and one of them was a rare print from 1720 of a dwarf with a peepshow on his back. I have been looking for the print for twenty years.

The fair opened and there was a mad dash by the throng of people to get started. I didn’t want to lose Georg but I was ahead of him and paused at the first table scanning the room. He came up behind me, and said looking over my shoulder, did you see that pile, pointing to a pile of dwarf prints in front of me. And yes, buried in that pile was the very print I have been looking for, and now that the print belongs to Georg, I will have to keep looking .

Oh well, still quite a week.

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