Highclere Castle

Why Americans Love “Downton Abbey” (and why we wouldn’t want to live there)

By Holly Culbreath: The popularity of “Downton Abbey,” the brain child of creator/writer Julian Fellowes and ITV, is something of a cultural phenomenon.  While the show is universally adored, the fever pitch that fandom reaches on our side of the pond is somewhat surprising, considering the longevity of shows like Friends and Seinfeld.  By way […]

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Guitars on a Budget

Guitars on a Budget

Let’s face it. Not everyone can afford a six figure 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard or a $70K and up Fender Mary Kaye Stratocaster. Fear not. For those of us who have to collect guitars on a budget or may be new to the vintage guitar collecting world, there is still hope! You don’t need […]

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LAIKA

The Next Big Thing for LAIKA

By Holly Culbreath: Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past few years, the Oscar nomination for LAIKA’s Boxtrolls will not come as a surprise.  The studio’s two previous forays, ParaNorman (2012) and Coraline (2009), both received Oscar nods for Best Animated Feature Film.  Here’s hoping third time’s the charm. The world of […]

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women and handbags

Women and Handbags: the Love that Dare Not Speak its Name

By Holly Culbreath As romantic expressions go, even old standbys like candy, flowers, and an evening out have become hackneyed, requiring little thought or effort.  To be fair, no gift or romantic gesture can adequately express the depth of feeling for your beloved, and many women even tell their significant other not to make a […]

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tweezer holding diamond

The Kelsey Lake Mine: Colorado’s Hidden Gem

By Caroline Ervin Many fantastic diamonds come across my desk to be catalogued and put up for auction. I often wonder about the exotic locales from which they were sourced…India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa (a name synonymous with diamond mining) or perhaps a more recent source, like Australia. I think about the incredible journeys these […]

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paddington art

A Paddington Bear Guide to Fine & Decorative Arts

By Holly Culbreath Continuing with our Paddington Bear series, I’ll be examining Paddington and the Old Master[i] and Too Much Off the Top[ii], where Paddington learns a great deal about art and antiques from his friend Mr. Gruber, who owns a shop in the Portobello Road.  Their friendship not only affords cocoa and buns every […]

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A Paddington Bear Guide to Auctions

A Paddington Bear Guide to Auctions

By Holly Culbreath Like many little girls, I was once crazy for teddy bears, evidenced by the storage boxes collecting dust in my mother’s attic.  Paddington, a “very rare bear” from “Darkest Peru”, was the bear that started it all.  As a child, I identified with Paddington Bear because he resembled me: well-intentioned, but out […]

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The Enigma of Joan Clarke: Numismatist

By Holly Culbreath Like many Holidays-makers (happy to be off work, though desperate to escape their relatives), I recently saw The Imitation Game.  Based on true events, The Imitation Game chronicles the struggle of Alan Turing, father of the digital computer, to break the “unbreakable” Nazi Enigma code during World War II. I initially went […]

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Christmas Truce

A Moment of Peace during a Time of War: The Christmas Truce of 1914

By Bryan Booher Christmas is a magical time of year for me.  I come from a fairly German family (my mother hails from a small town near Ludwigsburg in the German state of Baden-Württemberg) and there is no time of year that I feel more “German” than around Christmas.  While we celebrate like most Americans […]

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1879 Flowing Hair Stella, XF Details Judd-1635, Pollock-1833

Condition Significance in Collectible Coins

By Sarah Miller When we happen upon a pile of old coins in an estate’s closet or safe, usually our first reaction is to look for the oldest coins in the cache. It may be counterintuitive however, that age is not always the biggest determinant of value. While coins minted in the mid 20th century and […]

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