riddle me this

here is a rebus card that i have had for many years. these have always fascinated me, but i have never been very good at figuring them out. this one is pretty straightforward and easily translated, i think. give it a try. i remember a tv show growing up called ‘concentration.’ two players were required to solve a common phrase written as a rebus. this was one show i actually watched. this postcard was made sometime in the late nineteenth century, and i love it for the drawings as well as for the simple typography. the hand-engraving and hand-coloring are so seductive. i often say i don’t collect certain items that i’m sharing with you, but i often discover them in numbers when i start looking over my collections. there are moments in my collecting when i am asked by a dealer—whether at a flea market, paper fair or antique show—”what do you collect?” i smile, knowing he has no idea what exactly this question means to me. since there is not one answer, i usually say i’m a generalist and, if the dealer is more of a specialist, i will certainly ask if he has a particular item. (though i am embarrassed to say ‘paper clips,’  ‘anything using a rebus,’ or ’19th-century examples of shorthand.’ the difficulty in buying paper is that it takes a great deal of patience searching through box after box. of course it is that one item that keeps you coming back. by the way, please keep coming back to visit me at amass.



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  1. I have no answer to “What do you collect?” even though there are things I am clearly drawn to. As far
    as patience goes, I presume that there is no contest.
    However, I am the mother of four who actually like
    me, so maybe I am more patient than I think. ;^)

    Comment by gina — 14/06/2011 LINK TO THIS COMMENT


  2. Say, you got a nice blog.Really thank you! Cool.

    Comment by Maxwell Straub — 19/02/2012 LINK TO THIS COMMENT


  3. I’m surprised I am leaving a second comment on your blog. But I seem to have been sucked in…

    I collect stuff…I started out collecting postcards, as a teen then stamps. Then it was coins.
    Eventually it evolved into wax seals – the wax seal stamps as well as the wax seals off of documents. Also I noticed I tend to also gravitate to canceled envelopes as I love the old postal cancellation stamps. I’m starting to gravitate towards grand tour intaglios now…..Thankfully none of these collections take up too much room!

    Comment by Adrinna — 09/08/2012 LINK TO THIS COMMENT

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