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Putting the Question ‘What Would Round Out Your Collection’ to Discerning Collectors

by Laura Trueman (12/15/12).

According to the Library of Music, there was one recording of Buddy Bolden that was found was made on a waxed cylinder in 1900 (“Turkey in the Straw”) but was stolen from the archives, leaving the world without an audio example of the Father of Jazz. This is the Buddy Bolden Band from 1905.

Sometimes there are some real perks to working in my industry. Antiques and collectibles are interesting and fun, but supplying props to the studios for movies and television can be downright exciting. But there is truly something even better than finding the perfect item for a customer—that is the amazing people I get to meet, and interact with on a daily basis.

As each of them bring such life and perspective to the things I do, I decided to ask two of my favorite colleagues an important question: If you could “round out” a collection you already have or if you don’t collect, if you could obtain something from your childhood that makes you smile when you reflect on it, what would that be?

I expected to get some canned, every-day kind of answer, just because people tend to go with the norm. Boy, was I in for treat! The two celebrities I picked for this article are on two sides of the spectrum in the entertainment industry. I thought it would be really fascinating to see if there would be any differences in what each of them came up with as the items they wanted. I never dreamed it would be two things that I would have never thought of, as well as something so unique, that I am now on a quest to maybe find these items myself!

Here is how my journey began. I first called one of my closest friends in the entertainment industry, Alan Swyer, who is a well-known director, producer and screenwriter who became well known first through his work on the award winning movie “The Buddy Holly Story” (he was the writer and producer), as well as the writer on the incredible HBO movie “Rebound: The Legend of Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault.”

Alan has a fierce passion for collecting vinyl jazz records. It could partially be because he was friends with Ray Charles and Alan would write the liner notes for Charles’ albums. I was sure he would come up with some jazz album that he didn’t have to round out his collection, but boy did he surprise me! First joking around, he said to me, “if I could see Fats Domino sing live one more time, I would be satisfied with that gift”. I knew he was pulling my chain with that one, so I pushed him further.

Alan Swyer

Buddy Bolden

Finally, all joking aside, Alan’s holiday wish, of all things if he could have anything granted would be to find a recording by the Father of Jazz, Buddy Bolden. Sadly, this will never come to be, as there were no recordings made, except for one. According to the Library of Music, the one recording that was found was made on a waxed cylinder in 1900 (“Turkey in the Straw”) but was stolen from the archives. Unreal indeed.

My opposite interview was with the incredibly talented and most sought-after property master in Hollywood, Scott Buckwald. Scott’s credits in Hollywood run over a 25 year period, and he is the man the studios go to first when it comes to having someone creating, obtaining and setting up the props for the movies or TV. Some projects he has worked on in earlier days go from “American Pie 2” and “The Prestige” to being the prop master for the Mad Men TV series in 2009. He happens to be one of the hugest Beatles fan possibly in the world, along with the funky Monkees, so I figured that Scott’s wish was going to be a fairly simple one.

Right off the bat, we start talking about music memorabilia and Scott effortlessly guides our conversation to why we are talking in the first place. Once again I am faced with an interesting pick! His dream gift would be the original movie by the Marx Brothers called “Humor Risk,” made in 1921.

Apparently, Groucho was so unhappy with the end product, he went home and destroyed everything associated with the movie, including the negatives. It is an extremely sought-after collectible, but to date, nobody has ever seen nor heard of any collectible item on it again. It is Scott’s theory that it is impossibile that Groucho destroyed the entire film’s contents, simply because it took months and months with the equipment they had back that to make a movie. He theorizes that it quite possibly could have been hidden by Groucho, or past on through the family, who have never spoken about it since. No Beatles memorabilia here. However look for my next article as a follow-up. Scott has another interesting idea which of course has to do with who else, the Beatles!

Scott Buckwald

A Marx Brothers playbill.

As you can see neither of these guys came even close to what I thought they were going to tell me, but it was worth the wait to interview them—so far apart from each other in the entertainment business, yet so close in what their desires are. What would your favorite collectible or gift be if you could get anything you wanted? Can’t wait to hear from you guys!

Laura Trueman is a dealer on the GoAntiques Mall Network, operating Truetiques, Inc. and RVT’s Primitives. You can also follow her on Twitter @rvt01 and Facebook. If you would like to be placed on the company’s vendor call list, contact Laura directly at customerservice@truetiques.com.

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