Monday, 17 July 2017

History in the making

David by Michelangelo? WRONG!

Around midday. I will be up a high scaffold practicing the magic for which I am now known. It is going to be hot, but I will have a hose pipe and spray. In a few hours I make brand new, dazzling stonework look as though it has been there for 200 years. This is why I will not be remembered for what I am now known.

It is only now toward the end of my working life that I am actually doing the thing which I was supposed to be trained for (but was not) - pure sculpture. Everything up until this point has involved making someone else's work look as though it has survived the last 200 years intact, so I will not be remembered for that either.

Historians will ask, "Who made that?' to which the answer will be, "So-and-so, 200 years ago."

Others will ask, "What the hell did Tom Stephenson do with the last 50 years of his life?"

Just now, I had an email flash up from Airbnb, who I recently subscribed to. The title of this email was, 'Wake up in a Castle!'

Although that offer might appeal to us today, it would have been a terrifying thought for someone 400 years ago.

Reading the Airbnb email in more detail, I found it elaborated with the headline, 'HISTORY IN THE MAKING', and I realised that this is exactly what I have been talking about above. This was a very timely email from them.

When I spent most of my time restoring and conserving stone and marble statuary for antique dealers, I was renowned - if not infamous - for taking a very long time to finish the jobs, and this would sometimes cause bitter resentment when it came time for them to collect and pay the bills. Most antique dealers bitterly resented paying the bills in any case, so my reputation for ignoring their jobs did not bother me in the slightest.

In those days I had business cards and letterhead notepaper, and when I was designing some new stationary, some wag suggested I should have, 'Antiques While You Wait!' as my slogan.

Oh well, I suppose I had better go off and keep a low profile again.

14 comments:

  1. Don't forget Soho and World of Interiors. That's more than I'll ever get.

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    Replies
    1. That's not the first magazine I have been mentioned in, but sadly the readers have very short memories.

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  2. They will miss you when you're gone, Tom. Not only have you not trained up a replacement, you haven't trained up your customers to your importance. On the flip side, you won't miss them, and that will be sweet.

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    Replies
    1. They will be gone around the same time as me, so we will be gone together.

      Delete
  3. You may well be famous in two hundred years time but that won't do you a lot of good though will it?

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    Replies
    1. It didn't do Capability Brown any harm. I am currently working on some of his creations, 200 years later. He was a very successful self-publicist.

      Delete
  4. I spent three hours in the direct sunshine up there, so now I am knackered and will reply to you later. NIghtie Night!

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  5. I had a friend called 'Peter the Con' who used to buy modern bronzes from The China Shop near Marble Arch, then piss on them every night (outdoors) when he returned from the pub'. Several months later they appeared in his shop as very expensive antiques. Some objects age quicker than others.

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    Replies
    1. The director of the New York branch of Sotheby's was imprisoned for quite a long time for allowing such 'antiques' to be sold there, and she didn't even piss on them herself.

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  6. It's like the women's beauty industry in reverse. I bet the people who invent nanowotsits are well-paid and unknown too.

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    Replies
    1. I think most of them are in hiding because they know what will happen to the women in 20 years time. Making old antiques look new is very easy. Anyone can do it, but it is a very good way of losing thousands of pounds for the owner.

      Delete
  7. You may well be famous in two hundred years time but that won't do you a lot of good though will it?



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