Cocktails with Noel

Dispatch from the Campbell Apt, sitting next to the John Campbell cast iron safe now in the fireplace at the Moroccan themed temple that was his private office in Grand Central Station. The cozy warmth of old money heats you better than a Presto Log. 
We are with Noel Barrett. Noel knows the collectible and antique field better than anyone. He owns a great auction house, he’s a regular on Antiques Roadshow and was best friends with Ward Kimball (creator of Pinoccio) who, in turn, was Walt Disney’s best friend.
We were able to remember three things from the conversation:
1. Noel always carries a couple of Roman coins with him. They are over 2000 years old. Worth about $6 each. Point being:  Just cause it’s old don’t mean it’s worth something. Age does not equate value or beauty. Applies to everything collectible.
2. The 40 year rule is still going strong.  People want to collect what they saw as a kid and could not get hold of. So go back 40 years from the age of the collector and see what he is after. Roadrunner’s, Pontiac GTO’s, Dodge Charger’s. Model T Fords not so much. Makes sense.
What kid in Brooklyn is going to score with an old clock collection or Roy Rogers memorabilia? That’s over and should be treated as such. Old junk.  
3. So what should we buy today that was made back in the 1980’s?   Noel:  The mistakes. The one offs, like a Soundman tv worn on the wrist, a souvenir ashtray memorializing the Three Mile Island cooling towers. Smoke rises lazily out from the towers. A gasoline powered surfboard. Any old Sony products that use cassettes. Think Guardians of the Galaxy and the main character using a Sony TPSL-2. Little tv’s that sat on a desk.
That’s all for now. 

 

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