Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hitting the Jackpot, MY Style

This past Friday evening, I headed back to Briggs Auction with my mother, visiting for the weekend from Kentucky.  (Remember, I was there the previous weekend buying chickens and marbles with my husband!)  We were single-minded in our goal to walk out of there with postage stamps for our art-making, and we were NOT disappointed!
In the five years I've been going to this auction on-and-off, I have only brought home postage stamps on one other occasion.  I thought it might be too much to hope for that they would be offering stamps on the particular weekend my mother was coming with me.  But we truly hit the jackpot.
When we got home on Friday evening, we sat with glasses of wine, sorting through all the stamps.  If we saw something we wanted, we would hold it out to each other and say, "Can I have this one?  Can I have this one?"  The ones we didn't want, we put into piles to hand over to each other.  We had quite a system going.
My share of the postal haul abundantly fills two cigar boxes; my mom carried her share home in a gallon plastic bag to make it easier to take on the plane. 
In addition, I brought home a stamp collector's book.  He glued the stamps directly to the page so they cannot be removed.  However, as far as I'm concerned, the pages themselves are awesome art!
They present such an interesting view of history, often including countries that don't even exist anymore, or countries that were once colonial holdings.
Each stamp is a work of art.
Tucked in with the stamp album was an envelope holding several old stock certificates from 1884:
I think the items I bid on must have all come from the same estate, a man who used to be in the U.S. Navy.  In addition to the stamps, the lot included:
Postcards of San Francisco
A certificate declaring Charles Lee, Jr., as Honor Man at the U.S Naval Training Station in Bainbridge, Maryland, for the period of training completed May 16, 1946.
The certificate included a handwritten list of various names on the back.
Some extremely spooky photographs of the nuclear weapons tests in the Bikini Atoll
A naval training booklet and group photo, with smaller versions of the Bikini Atoll photos and a book entitled A BlueJackets' Manual for the US Navy from 1944.  Now I can be prepared for hammock inspection, using inflated trousers as a float to rescue myself in case of emergency, what to do in case I am taken prisoner by the enemy, and how to conduct myself during military drills!
Another training class photo from 1946

What an abundance of treasures!  What is your favorite?  And how would YOU put these findings to creative use?

17 comments:

scrapwordsmom said...

Andria...you DID hit the jackpot!! How fun and cool is that? Those stamps are awesome and what interesting photos of the nuclear testing bombs...very scary though.

I adore auctions. My Mom is an auction nut. I need to go with her very soon:)

Bonnie Arriola said...

Wow, that's fantastic!

ashton elaine said...

oh wow! so many things you could do with those... stamps themselves are inspiring. cool find :)

Mary Has Sound said...

What a great haul! I love those postcards. I have a pretty big collection of canceled postage stamps from thrift store finds if you want me to send you a bunch! :-)

iHanna said...

Oh what a joy, love these Andria! I totally get that happiness feeling of a good find! Put them to good use!

lee said...

wow what a find, lucky you, put them on your art

PamelaArtsinSF said...

Oh! I am just a little jealous....put them to use? I would send one of those cool San Francisco postcards to me since I live in San Francisco....and you can use all the cancelled stamps in mail art collages. You know, I like the stamps pasted on the sheets but they may come off if you just soak a sheet in water. You could test one to see -- that's if you want them off....being rather obsessive I soak all my cancelled stamps, dry on sheets of wax paper flattened under books and store them -- by color! - in a clear plexi box with compartments. I did a blog post about it if you are interested...have fun!

April Cole said...

WOW!!
What a wonderful load of history, here! Priceless...
Enjoy your treasures.
I can not wait to see what artwork you create with some of these things. :]

Karenann Young said...

Looks like you really scored on the postage stamps!!! If you need to, you can get the glued stamps off. Just soak them in water for a bit and they slide off. I bought mine at a stamp store years ago and most were glued on. I also scored on some air mail stamps on Etsy for a great price!

Anne said...

What a jackpot! Wonderful find. How awesome that you put out the intention and then just what you were looking for was right there!

I'd love to see what you do with all those marvelous stamps!

Bad Jones Rising said...

All that is awesome and I wish I could look through it all too. It wouldn't last long in this studio though, it would all be glued, tapes, and ripped up for art journals! haha

Parabolic Muse said...

I doth fainteth away.

I used almost all my stamps on a recent project. I'm now on the lookout for more, which shouldn't be difficult, but still... one gets the feeling they will be gone. GONE!!

But they won't. hehe

Adriann said...

Wow...you truly scored!

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