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Saturday, October 27, 2018

These Nixon Agnew puppets are too good.

#found #collectible #politics #nixon #urbanarcheology #estatesale #puppets
Every sale is different and what often happens is I will find something but it will either be too obscure or out of my price range. These two knuckleheads were sitting a table at a very plain tag sale. I passed over them once and when I didn't see anything else that interested me, I looked again and was told, "They were in my mother's attic." Rubber but pliable heads and simple yet moth damaged clothes left me guessing and definitely intrigued, but still I left.

I got in my car to leave but then decided to try and look them up. The first hit was for an eBay sale offer a similar pair for $125. The thing about using this to gauge value is that any seller can offer any price with no proof of actual value. The $125 price means nothing. A good tip for getting a better idea of value its to an advanced search of an item and sort by "sold."

The lowest price paid was $15, so I knew I would be able to haggle, but it's not always about the art of the deal. This was a simple sale where stretching for the bargain basement price doesn't establish a relationship of trust.

On the side of the garage there were lined up several framed graphics, among them were 2 covers from LIFE magazine from the 1920's. Illustrator Maxfield Parrish made a name for himself with whimsical and often elaborate creations. I recall being told by a collector 20 years ago that if you could find his covers you would have an item of value. However, either the proliferation of copies or the economic downturn has made almost all of his work, save for signed originals, no longer as desirable. Maybe, like gold or silver, the price will rise again.

I liked the quality of these covers and I was impressed with the care in which the framing shop had matted each and documented their preservation. I offered to pay full price for the puppets if she would throw in the 2 Maxfield Parrish framed covers which were priced at $10.

The real clincher for me was the story behind these puppets: Illustrator Rick Meyerowitz created the first 2 to use in a caver shoot for Nation Lampoon magazine. Held by Abbie Hoffman the puppets became somewhat famous and Rick was approached to license them for mass production. The story is better told by Rick here.  After reading that I knew I had to have them. You see, I have a National Lampoon story of my own that I will share someday and these puppets may do a better job of telling it than I ever could.

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