Estate Sale of the 21st Century

I have at last reached the point of inundation. Moreover, in one of those rare fits of sanity, I know I need to scale back, inundated or not. Thus I want to hold the estate sale of estate sales.

I offer readers of this Journal first crack at possessions I once could not have imagined parting with. [And damn the prepositional dangler - FULL SPEED AHEAD.] They fall into three classes: music, books and art. I have collections I simply will not break up for the sake of nit pickers or accomplished estate sale rummagers. I will not be making a profit. Nor do I care. Therein is your advantage. Buying what I have involves absolutely almost zero risk to you.

First, there is the art collection. Several years ago, an art dealer came and chose what he thought was best, and maybe he did, but he never got the chance to see some of what I have. I do not know the value of the pieces I still have because I am not a connoisseur. I have about six pieces I offer up for sale. My untutored guess is that they are individually worth from $300 to $10,000. You may NOT buy them one-by-one but you can have them all for $3000. Assuredly, there is some risk but not much.

I have a vast collection of LP and 78 RPM records, nearly all of which are in excellent condition. They are not albums you can hope to find in used record shops unless you are an accomplished winner of lotteries. Some undoubtedly could fetch $30 or more if I had the strength to sell them singly. I don’t. I have not counted but I estimate I have over 400 albums. At $800, your risk is very low, if you are buying them to resell them patiently. If you buy to listen to them, they are priceless. Of course, I would box them and ship them. I don’t know how much that would cost me. The good thing, from my perspective, is that I would pass the shipping cost off to you. As for “handling,” I am not an entrepreneurial swine looking to cheat you. Thus that cost is a flat zero.

Finally, there are my books. I have rare books from 150 or more years ago. Condition varies from very good to lousy. I also have what may be one of the best collections of Judaica and NY history in private hands. I have a preposterous number of books on anabolic steroids, general physiology and a superb collection of philosophy and fiction. I want to keep only those philosophy books that are personally connected to me, either through my contributing chapters to them or being mentioned in them, or being thanked in the prefaces for not having tried to kill the authors. Thus, I will hang on only to about thirty books and the remaining few hundred [400?] are yours. The price is crazy at $1500, so you may not peek and decide which you want. You will come out a winner even if you want only 1/3 of them and sell the rest. Once upon a time I had the best collection of track books in the USA. These came from over two dozen countries and were perfect for statistics fanatics. Did you want to know who finished 4th in the girls junior high school championships in Bohemia in 1895? I knew that and, shamefully, I confess I knew the answer to every other trivial question you can come up with. After my wife, Natalie, died in 1990 I decided I wasn’t interested in anything whatsoever any longer and allowed some thief to give me $3000 for the whole kit and kaboodle. Still, I recently discovered I have a few things left and they are included in the grand giveaway. A perfect batch if you are one of those weird guys of whom it may be said, “We are the souls that time men’s tries.”

You know how to contact me. Spare me the agony of being cheated by a jobber. I prefer cheating myself.

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  1. If you have Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” I will give you my marker for it. I plan on replacing my mirror with the painting.

    I’m a sucker for genuine gold-plated Rolex watches that go for 20 bucks. Do you have any more of those left from your table at Broadway and 82nd? I’d also love to acquire a pre-war white spaldeen and a wartime black rubber-substitute low-bouncer. Do you have a first-edition Blue Beetle comic book? All the stuff you donate, including your paddle ball collection and the snuff flicks, can be “written off” on your income tax return.

  2. I’ve got everything you need and then some. Make me some realistic offers.

  3. For the box containing a gross of Trojans, autographed by Julius Schmid, I offer $1. Remember: they are well past their expiration date, as am I.

    For the ear of the kidnapped John Paul Getty III, $3 million.

    For John Barrymore’s much-traveled corpse, $7.99. He’s not as fresh as he used to be.

    For the suppressed film of me sprinting to beat Landy at Turku — priceless.

  4. Sidney, I fear that the contributors to this journal are in the same leaky boat you’re in, trying to get rid of priceless stuff for a song. By the way, I’ve got a nine-volume set of Kant’s complete Werke in the German. Any offers?

  5. Hi Sid, You have so many interesting items, and perhaps I would even make an offer for something — like your Judaica and New York History book collection. But I have no space, and the items I do collect are bursting from every closet and box in the house. Pity. But I thought I would offer up a suggestion for you — perhaps you might consider donating your relevant books (& other items too) to a special library, museum or Society, like the Brooklyn Historical Society or The New York Historical Society. They might even name it after you and you could feel like you are sharing your “goodies” with future generations. Just a thought. :-)

  6. Len:

    Kant’s Werke has been digitized and is available for free download. Otherwise, I would have traded my 40 volumes of Victor Appleton’s Tom Swift, in the English, for it.

  7. Sheila,

    Nice to hear from you. Give me the name of the contact person at the Brooklyn Historical Society and I’ll look into the matter.


    P.S. It was fun to drink wine and break break with you last December in Washington, D.C.

  8. Al, my friend, you don’t get it. These are books! How can you compare digitized stuff to books. Books are going out of style. But if you want something modern, you can buy my book: The Essential Tie Between Knowing and Believing: A Causal Account of Knowledge and Epistemic Reasons (Edwin Mellon, 2011). It cost’s $109 in the hardback, but only $49.50 in the soft cover. You can buy Kant’s complete Werke for a lot less than that.

  9. My publisher, Edwin Mellen, will now refuse to print any more of my books because I misspelled its name.

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