Sunday, November 22, 2009

How I became a collector

The story starts in late 1970s... I’d read the book of the Bulgarian writer Bogomil Rainov (probably the most famous bulgarian writer). The title In russian translation was “That’s the amazing Craft” where the author writes about his passion to fine art and describes in details his trips to Paris Flea Market and his finds. I was shocked! How could it possible to find literally on a street original Goya’s and Domie’s etchings? 

Years later me and my family landed in New York, may be in a week or two after arriving in NY I’d got a Chelsea - the place where I could buy a new electrical motor for my sewing machine. Shops just started opening doors but parking lots around seamed to be busy for many hours - tents and tables where everywhere. Antique furniture, vintage jeans, furs, costume jewelry, linens, books, old newspapers ... Since that every weekend, rain or shine, I was among first people (4 am -5 am) who appeared on a market for the treasure hunt. Over the years I’ve collected not only amazing stuff but tons of stories

Story #1 

It was a nice summer weekend when dealers, who specializes in paper artifacts, sell their stuff on open air. I landed at the booth which was filled with old photos and newspapers dated in1950s. Going through boxes I pulled out the cardboard with original watercolor and sepia drawing. 

“Wow! That’s Rebus! and It’s in Russian!” 

“What’s that?” - asked the owner of the booth. 

“It’s encrypted message”- I said -“Need time to read it...How much do you want for this?” 

"10 bucks"


On a way back to home I was able to read... It was a “Get well soon...” message to the dearest friend signed Kote Astori.


The research revealed later that Constantin Astori is the guy who painted pterosaurs on wall at American Museum of Natural History.

Related links