Saturday, 21 February 2015

Treasure

Beauty is in the spellbound eye of the beholder; value in the calculating eye of the investor. Treasure transcends both assays in its immeasurable, infinite worth.

X marks the pot: I've always enjoyed the dystopian novels of Philip K Dick, many of which are cautionary tales, located in a near-future beset by ecological disasters of mankind's making. 'The Galactic Pot Healer', set in the repressive Communal North American Citizen's Republic, features as its protagonist a man whose skill is to perfectly restore pottery. He 'heals' artefacts which in their day may have been very ordinary but which have become treasures because there are not so many left and no one has the skill to make them anymore; their rarity and provenance make them priceless.

Spink's cat: Just this week an old bronze bust of a cat, which was on the point of being thrown into a skip in a house-clearance exercise, has sold at auction for over £50,000. The property of a recently deceased Cornish woman, the bronze was rescued by one of the house-clearers who was intrigued to know its history. It transpired that the woman's late husband had once been managing director of  Spink & Son, a prestigious auction house renowned for its dealings in ancient Egyptian artefacts. Spinks had in fact auctioned the estate of Howard Carter in 1939; Carter being the archaeologist credited with discovering Tutankhamun's tomb. The bronze cat turned out to be 2,500 years old, a genuine Egyptian relic dating from approximately 600BC. It had stood under-appreciated in a corner of a Cornish house for decades. It also gave me the idea for this week's poem...





Curio

Cool, corrugated bronze
standing dark and dusty
on a rickety dresser
in that no-man's land
between kitchen and larder
all these years;
swag of tourism,
souvenir of one
out of the way place
left cluttering up another.

Consigned but not condemned,
if it hadn't been useful
for weighting down
her mounting pile
of unpaid bills,
she might have easily
just thrown the thing away.

Now she is gone herself.

Strange
it should turn out to be so old
and to be worth
more than its weight in gold;
it would have paid off
all her debts seven-fold.

Thanks for reading. Check your attics! Stay warm and have a great week. S :-)

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1 comments:

Adele said...

Tremendously topical. Great post and remarkable poem Mr R.