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The Best Sherlockian Christmas
There are drawbacks to one being known as The Maniac Collector; Christmas and birthdays in particular. I have been a Sherlockian for more than thirty years so using that criteria, it means sixty Christmases and birthdays combined have passed. Yet rarely do I ever get anything Sherlockian. The excuse I hear most often is that surely, I must already own everything Sherlockian there is to own. Not!
As very collector knows, including Sherlockians there is ALWAYS something new to add to the collection. If you already have something, maybe the quality or condition needs upgrading. If it is the giving that is important not the receiving then it should not matter if the gift is something already in the collection or not. It is the meaningfulness of the gift and the thought behind it that is important. Well all of the ‘having it’ mentality disappeared this Christmas. I had the best Sherlockian Christmas ever.
They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I am not sure I can stretch the picture above to that many words but here we anyway. Starting from the left, Joyce bought me this wonderful Gasogene. Any good Sherlockian knows the about the Gasogene, this Victorian device for producing carbonated water. In article IV of the constitution of the Baker Street Irregulars, Gasogene is one of the three officers, with the basic duties of a president. The wire mesh around the bottle is for safety reason as the bottles were prone to exploding.
The next item I received for Christmas was the Sherlockian nutcracker. It was from my son and it caused a very strong reaction from my granddaughter, Madison. When she saw the nutcracker, her bottom lip protruded out so far she nearly stepped on it. Her pouting was because she also picked out the same nutcracker for me. I explained that as a collector, one could never have too many of anything. The book in the middle that says “Roman” is from a friend in Germany, Richard Kiederle. It is a 1939 German translation of several Canonical stories, a very rare edition. The beer stein with the Frederick Dorr Steele illustration came from my daughter, Megan. She told me how the first arrived in a million pieces and that she had to go postal with them to get the replacement to her in time. I asked for the shattered one also. Maybe there is a Sherlockian mosaic on the horizon.
Next to the beer stein is The Book of Sherlockian Puzzles, from my daughter, Kelly. a book I had not heard about and this pleased her to no end. That was just 292 words, far short of the thousand promised but I am not finished. Not in the picture was another gift from Joyce. This was a formal, white silk scarf to wear in New York City with my tuxedo. It will compliment my new formal, long coat I bought in Italy in the fall. Look out, NYC, I be sharp.
I hope everyone’s Christmas and/or his or her holidays are as wonderful as mine have been.
Past 2011 Columns