Saturday, November 14, 2009

Boston Weekend

Waiting for Karen to return from the gym, and have a little time to catch you up on the happenings this weekend, or read a book.  I chose you.  earn this.

If, like The Boys, you "don't care about Egypt," you can skip this post and wait for something more interesting to come around in the rotation.  This won't be entirely about Egyptology, but it will be about musty relics wrapped in yellowed paper.

The MFA is showing off a tomb find they have had since 1915, but have not displayed.  Seems they keep finding things behind walls as they expand their buildings.  Imagine being this guy at right and being excavated twice.  He seems sort of resigned to it. He is the Governor Djehutynakht. (This is pronounced Ja-hootie-knocked and very few of us in the chamber were mature about that.)

The "Secrets of the Tomb" are not particularly secret -- read this headline as you would the AOL "news" ("Amazing fruit that will be the hit of your Thanksgiving feast"  apples in pie).  But one unknown is whether this is the Governor of the Governor's wife (delightfully called Lady Djehutynakht. You can expect at least one queen with that name to perform in Provincetown next summer).  The head is all they have left.

The other big find are model boats, which were carved of wood and not valuable enough to the original looters to take with them.  So there are no gilt masked or bejeweled necklaces, but there are a lot of wooden carvings of boats, cattle, and work scenes.  So the "Secret" is... ritual items?  Hobby?  Ancient LLadro?

Reading a gallery note about the art conservators who have worked for 20 years on reassembling the models and restoring lost wood and color, I said, "I need one of those jobs.  I never minded working on the same 15 minutes of film every day."  Remember this wistful remark; it will come up again later.

After a light lunch surrounded by Northeastern students, we headed toward the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair, which was always a favorite of mine when I lived in the city and had to wander for my cultural stimulation.   For most of us, this is a museum more than a sale, or a 3D episode of Antiques Roadshow.  The most expensive item we saw was a complete UK edition set of the Narnia series, colorful clothbound first editions -- $66,000. The typical price on items under class was $1000 or $2000, items on shelves you could handle were a few hundreds.  There are fun finds if you are willing to browse slowly -- letters and ephemera, autographbooks of famous people, collected by people who later became famous themselves.

As we walked into the hall, Mary said to me, "Oh I can see why you are in your element here."
I remarked, "I know in my heart I am one of these people.  I just don't want to work with them."

Overheard as we walked by one booth:
Tall skinny Noel Coward type: "It's a beautiful volume, isn't it?"
Broad-shouldered fellow with Shavian beard and unlit pipe: "Didn't you buy this from me?"

How you know that I am one of this people: I just used the word Shavian.

As one wil at shows like this (or while watching Antiques Roadshow), you begin to spot things you actually own, which -- though not in mint condtion or autographed -- must be worth some portion of the $3500 this note indicates.  Maurice Sendak and Roald Dahl are right at the front.  The books of my childhood are now "antiqurian."  ooof.

We met some bright young ambassadors of the bookbinding school and I suddenly thought I had found a way to restore model boats for the next 20 years.  "Class meets 35 hours a week from September through May. Only six students are admitted each year."  Hmmm.  I haven't considered something that exclusive since I thought I could get a PhD in Linguistics.  And somehow afford it.  Oh, I got a lot of ideas....

Dinner at the local pub and a travelogue of Karen's trip to Turkey.  More ancient relics and broken pieces of stone, cross-referencing the snippets of we know from Western Civ class and Bible School.  Now it is Sunday, and breakfast awaits, followed by theatre with The Boys.  They may not care about Egypt, but they certainly care about Tevye.



  1. Pssssstttt! You just got an award (whether you want it or not. LOL!)


  2. Congratulations on a reward well-deserved (:



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