VOLUME 8, NUMBER 3 - October, 2008
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
THE PIONEERS' VILLAGE
There have been some interesting developments over the past year that could only happen to a line of figurines that is eighty years old. First was the request to update and re-introduce the Masonic Bible for the Lodge in Marblehead. I have written about the Bible at length in the spring issue of the newsletter, but the salient point here is the project would not have happened if fifty years had not passed since the piece was first introduced. This summer I received a communication from a fellow who wondered if the “Pioneers’ Village” could be re-introduced. The answer was that it could be brought back and produced again because it had not been “retired forever” during the Lance era. This inquiry would not have happened had the “Pioneers’ Village” not been around since 1953. The inquiry came from a gentleman who had remembered the piece from the fifties or sixties when the figurine was sold at the gift shop at Pioneer Village which is part of the Forest River Park in Salem, MA. The Pioneer Village in Salem was a smaller version of the Pilgrim Plantation in Plymouth, MA. This is interesting because my father designed the house for the Plymouth Plantation in 1952. A year later he turned the house 90° and replaced the Pilgrim settler, standing by a fence, with two naughty colonialists, one in a stock and the other in a pillory. The “Pioneers’ Village” was sold to the Pioneer Village to offer in their gift shop as well as being sold as part of the Sebastian retail line. I can attest to this as during the sixties when I spent summer vacations working in the studio at 13 Bassett Street, I frequently cast and cleaned this piece. Furthermore, I remember going on a grammar school field trip to the neighboring city of Salem to visit the Pioneer Village.
When possible, we try to include in our articles about the background of new Sebastians. This information we think would be interesting and informative about as to why the piece was created. The following is the information supplied to us by David Gross from Gordon College.
“Recently Gordon College’s institute for Public History leased the ‘Pioneer Village: Salem in 1630’ site from the city of Salem, Massachusetts taking over the management of the site.
Pioneer Village was created in Salem’s Forest River Park between 1926 and 1930 by museum professional George Francis Dow and served as Salem’s contribution to the Massachusetts Tercentenary in 1930. Since that time it has been operated as a municipally-owned historic site. ‘Pioneer Village: Salem in 1630’ attempts to replicate the costal town established by colonists of the Massachusetts Bay Company which greeted Governor John Winthrop on his arrival on June 12, 1630. Following on the heels of the opening of Colonial Williamsburg in 1926, Pioneer Village is arguably the second oldest living history site in the United States. Today, visitors to the Village may see a small community of thatched cottages, palisade dugouts and English-style wigwams. The largest structure in the Village is the Governor’s House, a two-over-two Structure with a massive central brick chimney facing a 17th century-style, box-bed, kitchen garden. The staff of historic interpreters in period dress provide visitors with a vivid glimpse of life in early 17th century Salem through tours and theatrical, living history, first person programs developed by Gordon’s professional theater group, ‘History Alive’. The Village will be open to the general public from June through October.”
From personal experience I can say that when one visits the Village you wonder how the early settlers made it through the harsh New England winters. Some of the dwellings are not much bigger than a tool shed one might have in one’s back yard to store the lawn mower and a few gardening tools. Furthermore, the roof would not be as water tight as the tool shed and the walls would be a lot more porous to the elements. It is historic sites such as Pioneer Village that remind us of the fortitude of the early settlers. It makes one wonder how anyone could exist without Lowe’s and Home Depot.
Returning to the safe and comfortable world of Sebastian Miniatures; once it was decided to proceed with the project and produce a hundred pieces for the Pioneer Village, it was necessary for me to make a trip to the infamous cold storage facility to locate my father’s original design. I needed the original because it was necessary to have a new mold made to allow the order to be cast. Before I ventured off to the cold storage facility, I had a vague recollection that the “Pioneers’ Village” had been offered by Lance at one time. Since I have most of the Lance epoxy masters, from which production molds were made, in a different and more importantly closer location, I set off to look for the master.
At this time it might make this article clearer if I were to explain the difference in the terms “original” and “master”. Both items are essentially used for the same purpose; that is to make production molds. The term “original” was coined in Marblehead because the form over which the production molds were made was often, though not necessarily, the original piece on which my father worked. The production molds that were made in Marblehead took a week or so to craft by applying many thin coats of natural latex rubber to the “original”. The procedure to make production molds at Lance was different. Because of the production demands during the late seventies and the early eighties the castors at Lance needed a lot of molds in a hurry. The Marblehead method of applying many coats of a liquid rubber with a brush was too time consuming for the production needs of Lance, even though the latex molds would last much longer. Therefore, Lance decided to use RTV (room temperature vulcanizing) molds of silicon rubber. The RTV molds were poured in a large block over the form and cut off the next day. It soon became apparent that the hydrocal “originals” used in Marblehead were not sturdy enough to stand up to the demands placed on them when making RTV molds. Because Lance was proficient at making epoxy “masters’ as the first step in the pewter mold making process and because the epoxy “masters” were much stronger than the Marblehead “originals” it was found that epoxy “masters” were the solution to the problem of breakage. Therefore, in Marblehead the form over which the production molds were made was called an “original” and at Lance the name for basically the same devise was called a “master”.
Now back to my tale. I made a cursory check of the Lance masters and did not find the master for the “Pioneers’ Village”. Therefore I made arrangements to visit the cold storage facility. This time, as opposed to previous trips I was able to locate the “Pioneers’ Village” on a master list that showed the box in which it was packed. This was a help, but the box for which I was looking was not in the front of the storage area and I had to remove a number of other boxes to locate the correct one. Eureka! I found the piece in the box in which it was supposed to be. But the euphoria was short lived. One of the naughty boys in front of the house was broken. However, I brought the piece back to Wayland Studio and started to repair or actually to make a new fellow in the pillory. Although the fellow was small the repair of the piece was more difficult than I originally anticipated since I did not have a piece from which to work. Because I wanted the new piece to look like the original, this was a problem.
For some unknown reason, perhaps out of frustration, I revisited the storage facility for the Lance masters. This time I brought with me a strong flashlight. With the aid of the flashlight, much to my surprise, I found the master for the “Pioneers’ Village” hiding behind another piece. With the epoxy master in tow I set off to the shop where the fellow who does my casting lives. He was delighted to see the epoxy master as it meant he did not have to make an epoxy master from the Marblehead original on which I had been working. As you can see from the accompanying picture, the piece is in production. Because the figurine was in production in the eighties and before, you may already have one in your collection. However, should you like to add a “Pioneers’ Village” to your collection, they are available on our Special Order Form.
THOUGHTS ON THE THIRD ANNUAL CONVENTION
By Woody Baston and
By Woody Baston
We trust all of you had an enjoyable summer. Here in the northeast it was not as hot as it was in the rest of the country but it was a lot wetter. At one point in mid August the rainfall was nine inches above normal. Usually during the summer months we are running a deficit. Now it is September, or October as you will be reading this newsletter, and we are approaching the holiday season. Time flies when you are having fun.
In June, before the summer vacations started in earnest, the world of Sebastians gathered in North Reading for the third annual Convention. Before we proceed any further with our description of the weekend’s events, we need to thank John Scannell and Sally Dietrich for all of their hard work planning and implementing the Convention. It is not an easy job and they deserve all of our thanks for a job well done. In particular John spent countless hours putting together a first class auction.
The weekend started with the Friday night dinner and an after dinner talk by yours truly. The Friday night gatherings are always fun as a number of the faithful gather to kick off the weekend. By now almost everyone knows each other and the atmosphere is that of a reunion or a family gathering. Folks arrive and at once see old friends and start catching up on the events that have happened over the past year. John and Sally made sure there was ample time to mingle and to visit. After an hour or so everyone gravitated to the dinner tables and settled down to another wonderful meal prepared by the folks from the Masonic Lodge in whose hall the Convention is held. Just prior to dinner Sally gave a stirring invocation in which she remembered Jim Waite. For many of us the previous year’s convention was the last time we had seen Jim.
As the dinner came to an end it was time for me to gather up all of the pieces I had made during the past year and get them ready for the Chit-Chat. Recently the Chit-Chats have been more intimate and this venue gives me the opportunity to talk about new pieces and to tell stories about them in a less formal way. As I was discussing each of the new pieces I could not help going over the story behind the Masonic Bible that was updated for the 250th anniversary of the Marblehead Lodge. I still find it amusing that for the second time I have worked on a piece to observe an anniversary that my father first commemorated fifty years ago, the first piece was the Candymaker I did for NECCO in 1997.
During the Chit-Chats I have the opportunity to go into a more detailed background accounts than I can in the newsletter. As you know from the last newsletter there was a lot of history to tell with regard to the Masonic Bible. However, there were some more amusing anecdotes about the Constitution’s visit to Marblehead that did not find their way into my article in the spring newsletter. Make sure you attend the Chit-Chat next year so in the words of Paul Harvey you can hear “The rest of the story”. With the conclusion of the Chit-Chat folks milled around for a while and then made their way back to their homes or hotels to get a good night’s sleep in preparation for the events to come on Saturday.
Saturday morning started bright and early for the folks who were setting up tables. Margery and I were included in that group since for the first time we would be selling newly introduced pieces. Normally this would have been reserved for the primary dealers; but since there are none the honor of presenting the new releases fell to us. However, we were not the only ones unpacking boxes and arranging pieces on tables. For the first time, collectors were allowed to have a table, free of charge, to display pieces they would like to sell. This new policy is a great opportunity for collectors and a few took advantage of it this year. Next year John hopes this service will grow and that it will be beneficial to collectors who would like to sell as well as collectors who are looking to buy. Rounding out the usual exhibitors were John Scannell, Linda Garrabrandt, and Doris Edwards. All-in-all, there were a number of tables for collectors to visit. Margery and I found that our venture into direct retailing of the new pieces gave us the opportunity to chat with many of the collectors attending. This is not to say that in years past we were reclusive, but we seemed to visit for longer periods as folks decided what they would like to buy and as I un-wrapped the pieces in order to sign them.
Once the Convention had opened for business, collectors started to arrive. Many of the early attendees stopped at the counter by the kitchen for some coffee and a pastry. After folks had come to life and enjoyed a bite to eat, some of them decided to participate in this year’s Paint-Your-Own contest. There are a number of regular participants who are mastering the art of painting a Sebastian. As a result, Jim Garrabrandt and I had a very difficult time picking a winner. In the past this task had been much easier, but this year it was a challenge. There were three or four pieces that would have been the winner in previous contests. Therefore as judges, Jim and I had to analyze the pieces very carefully and our decision came down to splitting hairs over the application of paint in some very small areas of the piece. After all was said and done, the winner was; Ed Peitsch from Saginaw Michigan.
In earlier newsletters, we mentioned the Look-A-Like contest would take a vacation this year. With the absence of the Look-A-Like contest some collectors were spared a number of hours of preparation and for the first time in many years they could enjoy a relaxing lunch. In the past the contest was held soon after lunch and contestants had to hurry through lunch to allow them ample time to dress. Should the interest revive for a Look-A-Like contest, I’m sure John and Sally would be more than happy to add it back into the events of the day. The pewter medallions that, in the past, had been given to participants of the Look-A-Like contest were presented to the contestants in the Paint-Your-Own contest, with the winner receiving a gold finished pewter medallion.
As the day progressed some folks came and went, but overall the crowd grew in size. As a result, the hall was just about full for the auction. There were so many there folks in attendance when the auction began that John quipped that next year he would have to think about a larger facility. Be that as it may, the number of collectors attending the Convention has increased each year. The credit for this success is the result of all of the hard work John and Sally put into the planning and execution of the Convention each year. The results of the auction are listed on the following pages. You will note there were some good bargains while at the same time many of the rare pieces still commanded very respectable prices.
With the start of the auction, activity at the individual tables stopped. Margery and I took advantage of this time to break down our table and to pack up all our the pieces. With the van full of boxes, Margery headed off to Wayland to prepare dinner for the collectors who could make it to their home. This has become sort of a tradition and we can handle 20 to 25 guests. Before the rest of us arrived, Margery heated up the lasagna, made salads prepared beverages, set out dishes and table ware and had everything ready when all of us started to arrive upon the end of the auction and the close of the Convention. After dinner, I gave a tour of my studio for those who had not previously seen it and ice cream and cookies were served for desert. Later an impromptu meeting started around the dining room table. The topic of discussion was how to re-evaluate the line and what kind of format would be the best for the new guide. A lot of good thoughts were presented and work progressed with new folks volunteering to work on the revised values. This summer I have received back some of the notebooks from folks who had given their idea as to what the new values should be. Presently I am in the process of entering these values onto an Excel spread sheet. However this is a topic for another article.
In conclusion, the Convention was a great success. For those of you who attended, we trust you will plan to join us again next year. For those of you who did not make it, think about coming next year, you will have a good time.
By the Convention host - John Scannell
It has been 100 days since the third Sebastian Miniature Collector’s Convention, and I can’t believe that I took this long to write down my memories of that event. If there was an award for procrastination, I would be an Olympic contender.
The Friday night dinner was truly exceptional. We had roast with mashed potatoes, vegetables, salad and a light desert. However, the highlight of the evening was the meeting with Woody Baston who introduced the new items since the previous convention. I thought the hit of the introductions was the painted telephone booth, which was going to be the Midwest Fair “medallion”.
The Saturday events started early for me. I had to arrive at the Masonic Lodge at 7:00A.M. to set up my table. Fortunately, after the Friday night’s event, everyone pitched in to help set up tables for the dealers in the morning. However, I still had many boxes of Sebastians I had to unwrap and my table quickly filled with over 200 items for sale.
This was my first event without Jim Waite, and it forced me to create my own DBA (JHSAntiques & Collectibles) and provide credit card services for customers. It has been a new experience for me, and not all positive. It was amazing how many applications needed to be filled out, and fees needed to be paid. However, the end result is that I am now up and running.
This year we tried something a little different because there were a few collectors that expressed an interest in setting up a table for collectors who wanted to sell their duplicates. I think that idea worked out very well. It gave us a greater variety of pieces to sell, and the collectors were able to sell their items without having to use eBay. I think that the attendance for this year’s convention was better then last year because there was a steady flow of collectors all day. Once they entered the Masonic Lodge, they were greeted by the Sebastianworld booth, which was staffed by Woody and Margery Baston. They then encountered the collector’s table, followed by my table (JHSAntiques & Collectibles). Next to my table were Linda and Jim Garrabrandt. Linda is an official Sebastian Miniature restoration artist. The next table contained the auction items, followed by the Eastern Star, and then Doris Edwards who made a return visit this year selling some more of the Sebastian Museum pieces. The sales were brisk and consistent all day long.
The “paint-your-own” contest had the usual contestants. Not everyone wants to try their hand at painting, but we were able to raise $125.00 from that event. I also sold the pewter version of the Midwest Fair telephone booth for $50.00 each. The end result was that we were able to raise $600.00 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation in memory of Jim Waite. The card was signed as “a gift from the Sebastian Collectors”. I still have a few left, if anyone is interested. The cost is still $50.00 each plus postage. Just remember, 100% of the sales goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
The auction had a lot of really rare pieces for sale. The surprise of the lot was a Eustace Tilly that sold for only $200.00. I couldn’t believe no one else was bidding. That prize was shipped to Iowa. After the auction, I had to pack up all those Sebastian Miniatures that I had on my table. I had several people help, but it never seems like they go back into the boxes as neatly as they were originally packed. I was tired, and I just wanted to pack them as quick as possible. After all, we were heading to Woody and Margery Baston’s house afterwards.
Once we arrived at the Baston’s, we were all engaged in conversation on revaluing the Sebastian Miniature collection.
Everyone had an opinion and Woody assigned all of us some homework. We needed to add a value (code) to each and every Sebastian Miniature. However, Woody’s job was to (somehow) analyze that input and assign new values.
I believe that everyone had a good time at the 3rd Sebastian Miniature Collector’s Convention and I hope that they are looking forward to next year’s convention. There has been some discussion about having the convention in October (around Columbus Day weekend). If anyone has an opinion, please write me and let me know. My email address is JHSAntiques@aol.com and my home address is John Scannell, 181 Clifton Place, Syracuse, New York 13206-3236. I am really interested to hear from everyone.
I really want to thank everyone for the help and enthusiasm. I know that there is still a large contingent of Sebastian Miniatures collectors out there. We just need to get everyone together at once. See you at the 4th Sebastian Miniature Collector’s convention.
Scenes from the Convention
First Row: Woody, in this eighteenth century barn, packing pieces for the Convention. Priscilla and Glen Haag enjoying dinner with others at the Friday night dinner.
Second Row: Auction items on display for all to admire. Jeanne Dawe and Nancy DiMarco at their collectors' table.
Third Row: Ed Pietsch working on his winning piece in the Paint-You-Own contest. Jim Garrabrandt in the unenviable task of trying to pick a winner in the Paint-Your-Own contest.
ANNUAL SEBASTIAN CONVENTION
Following this introductory passage is a statement that John Sliwoski has on his web site to introduce himself to collectors. As you will read, John is new to the world of Sebastians, but in the space of a year or so he has become an enthusiastic collector. John brings an ardent interest in the line and some very interesting experience. John has spent a lot of time on eBay and as you will read has an eBay store. Through the store Sebastians are made available to a huge audience. Shortly after the Convention, Margery and I met with John and we all agreed it would be interesting to offer the pieces Margery and I bought from Spoontiques in his eBay store. As a result of that decision all of the Spoontiques pieces are available through John’s store and there has been activity with regard to these pieces on a weekly basis. Margery and I feel this exposure must be beneficial to the overall exposure of Sebastians to the marketplace. We tried some of the new releases and they were not as successful as they needed to have a higher price due to the expense of manufacture. In time we hope the eBay collectors will come to appreciate pieces hand painted by the sculptor and his wife in the USA. Now that John has launched a web site the line will get even greater exposure.
We feel fortunate to have John offering this service to the market. As you know the independently owned collectible/gift store is now almost extinct. Therefore the internet is the new marketplace. John spends huge amounts of time managing the eBay store and the web site, much more time than the folks at Sebastianworld could devote to this type of operation. We are fortunate that John has come along.
How can you the collector benefit from these two new avenues in which to trade Sebastians. First of all John is always looking for pieces to offer in his store and on his web site. To get the pieces he sells he has bought many collections and is looking for more to purchase. One of the more frequently asked questions Sebastianworld is asked goes something like this; “I have inherited a collection of Sebastians, do you know where I can sell them?” Now there is a place where these folks can go. Of course there are no guarantees that John will need the pieces in a specific collection, but he does move a lot of Sebastians and the probability of his being able to use the pieces is high. On the other side of the counter, should you need a specific piece to complete one of your Sebastian groupings or just a piece for which you have been looking, there is a good chance John might have it or might come across it in the future. In summation, we see John’s operation as a benefit to collectors since he buys and sells Sebastians.
Now that you have been introduced to John, visit his eBay store and his web site to familiarize yourself with what he has to offer. We also thought it would be a good idea to make it clear that what John is doing does not supersede Sebastianworld. There will still be a Sebastianworld web site and the newsletters. John’s work adds a new dimension to the world of Sebastians.
By John Sliwoski
Please let me begin by introducing myself, my name is John Sliwoski and I live in Shrewsbury, MA. Earlier this year I was introduced to Sebastian Miniatures by my cousin, who has been a collector for the past 40 years, and I fell in love with them. Since that time I have become a collector and my collection is now over 600 pieces and growing as I am always buying more.
In June I attended the Sebastian Convention in North Reading, MA, met Woody and the rest of the Sebastian team that was in attendance and decided this was something special and I wanted to get even more involved.
After many discussions with Woody and Margery as well as other collectors, I have started a new web site, www.sebastianminiatures.org, with a large inventory of pieces that are available and in addition, have created the largest Sebastian store on eBay (Sebastian Miniatures and 60s GI Joes) – (Vintage GI Joe’s is my other collection) to complement the web site. I am trying to coordinate my efforts with Woody Baston and www.sebastianworld.com and work to complement their efforts to promote and grow the collecting of Sebastian Miniatures.
I am planning on the web site being more informational (I have compiled just about every piece of literature I could find on Sebastian Miniatures from the last 40 years and plan on consolidating and adding this information to the web site in the coming months). The web site will be a place where both new and experienced collectors can come and get answers, talk to other collectors (web blog), buy and sell collections, and find specific pieces they are looking to add to their collections. I would also like to work with selected antique shops and collectibles dealers around the world to offer Sebastian Miniatures in their stores and on their web sites. I am also working with individuals who have collections to help them properly identify and sell their pieces.
Since eBay is entering a new phase in their development (my opinion based on recent and upcoming changes) and moving more toward a place for companies to do business rather than individuals, I feel it is the perfect location at this time for my store thus keeping it separate from my web site. I welcome your comments and suggestions for the web site and how to best support Sebastian Miniature Collectors.
I look forward to meeting all the collectors out there and I would like to invite you to contact me and introduce yourself either by phone 508-353-2545 or by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org). I will also be doing a monthly e-mail distribution discussing the status of the web site, the store and what’s new in the world of Sebastian Miniatures. Please let me know if you want to get added to our e-mail distribution.
BRINGING YOU UP TO DATE
In the past few newsletters we have been bringing you a discussion of the need and later a progress report on the re-evaluation project that will encompass the whole line. The process started when it became obvious that values published in the Gold Book, the Guide and on the web site were too optimistic for today’s aftermarket. Early in the re-evaluation process we floated the idea of using ranges to delineate values by a letter rather than a number. Therefore a piece that previously might have had a valuation of 25/40 will under the new system have a value of B. In order to find the dollar value of the piece in question one would need to visit the valuation key and there you would see that pieces in the B range had values of $25.00 to $40.00. By using this system it will be easier in the future to update the values. Using the same example as mentioned above, we might find that the value of the pieces in the B category should be adjusted to $30.00 to $45.00. As it now stands this would be a very time consuming process as someone would have to look up all of the pieces that have a value of $25.00 to $40.00 and change the range to $30.00 to $45.00. And we all know that time consuming processes cost money. With the new system the work would be much easier. All that would need to be done would be to change the dollar values of the categories delineated by the letters and make that change available to the collectors. This could be done on a single sheet of paper. The plan is that the new system would allow the folks at Sebastianworld to update the values more frequently.
Work has begun on the project. In Woody’s article on the 3rd Convention he mentioned the impromptu meeting around the dining room table in his house. This meeting came together after the Saturday evening dinner Margery had prepared for collectors who had attended the Convention. During the meeting there seemed to be a consensus that the “alpha” system made sense. Collectors, who so desired, were given notebooks containing a list of all of the pieces. They were asked to assign to each piece the value they thought reflected today’s aftermarket.
Fast forward a number of weeks and some of the notebooks made their way back to Wayland. Although there are still a few outstanding notebooks, enough came back for Woody to start to record the values. The first step was to create a spread sheet in Excel with all the SML numbers listed. Next it was necessary to add all of the variations to the appropriate SML numbers, The A’s, B’s C’s, etc. This was done while entering the information from the first notebook. With a large portion of the data entered from the first notebook, Woody then entered some of the other data. With more than one entry it was then possible to average the data from all of the sources. The system worked. Once the newsletter is at the printer, Woody will finish up the work, print the results, and circulate the material for review by the folks who received notebooks.
NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF SEBASTIANS
We thought it might be of interest to many of you to know the whereabouts and the activities of some of the key players in the world of Sebastians. As many of you know, Doris and Craig Edwards closed their store Stacy’s Gifts three years ago. This was a sad time for all of us. However we thought you would be interested to read about their current activities. To launch this new column, we asked Doris Edwards to write a few paragraphs about her current busy life. It should come as no surprise to anyone that Doris is not sitting at home wondering what to do. The following is what Doris has written.
As the summer ends, I find I am now inside and at the computer more. Retirement has been interesting and busy. After closing Stacy’s Gifts three years ago, I took three weeks to be completely retired at home. That ended quickly as I was bored and missed seeing people. I went out and got a part-time job at the Hallmark store in the same mall in which we had our store for so many years. I also volunteer at the Council of Aging in my hometown once a week where I answer the phones. My passion of gardening, both indoors and outdoors, followed me to the Council. When the Council found out that I have a “green thumb” they named me the “Plant Manager” and I take care of the plants at the Senior Center.
The rest of my time is filled with swimming and water aerobics, visiting with my grandchildren and writing my life story. I have been working on the story for close to ten years and I have promised my kids that I will finish it soon. I promised them I would be finished with the story for my eightieth birthday, but with my busy schedule they just might have to wait until my eighty fifth.
One of the perks of working at the Walpole Mall is that I see many of our former customers who are always glad to see me. My favorite saying was always that “I would rather make friends out of customers than customers out of my friends”. With all the warm feelings they express I know we treated everyone right.
An updated list of Sebastians from my private collection is available as I continue to sell off the pieces my children were not interested in. If you are interested, please contact me at Doris Edwards, PO Box 244, East Walpole, MA 02032 or at email@example.com. I will be happy to provide you with the list.
On a more somber note, we are saddened to report that long time Sebastian collector and supporter Quentin Banks passed on June 27, 2008. Quentin attended just about every appearance I made in New England for more than twenty years. I used to look forward to seeing Quentin in line as I was signing pieces at various stores and we always had a good time talking about a variety of topics, not always about Sebastians. One could not talk with Quentin for long without learning of his great love of railroading. When Quentin found out that we lived next to the railroad depot in Wayland, he said he knew the area well. As a youth he had shoveled coal on a type of steam engine called a “Mogul” and made the run through Wayland many times. A number of years later, after the trains had stopped running, the depot had been saved from demolition by a women’s exchange. They fixed up the building and set up shop. At one time the committee that ran the depot thought it would be advantageous to have a caboose on the tracks next to the building. I mentioned this to Quentin the next time we meet and in three days he had located a caboose. Unfortunately it did not work out for the depot group to purchase the caboose, but Quentin had found one.
When those whom we like and enjoy pass, I like to recollect the good times we have shared and Quentin’s enthusiasm for Sebastians and the railroad are what I remember most about him. I am sure his family and close friends also have many pleasant memories of him, that is the kind of person Quentin was. Quentin is survived by his wife Ruth.
IMPORTANT NEW INFORMATION
POSTAL RATE CHANGE
For a number of years Sebastianworld has had one flat rate for all of our shipping. We know that the rate might be a few cents high for packages mailed in New England, but outside of New England the rates were low and for collectors on the west coast they were a bargain. With the postal rate hike this winter and the prospect of another hike looming in the not to distant future we have come to the regrettable decision that we will have to devise a graduated scale that will cover the lower forty eight. After visiting the USPS site for some guidance, we discovered after an hour of clicking every button we could find that a simple plan was not to be had. So we decided to use a little Yankee ingenuity and came up with our own plan. Here is our new rate system:
New England plus NY & NJ
For an order of 1-4 pieces $7.00
East of the Mississippi but west of New England plus NY & NJ
For an order of 1-4 pieces $8.00
West of the Mississippi
For an order of 1-4 pieces $9.00
From the time we started Sebastianworld we have tried to make it convenient to shop at our web site or to use the order form we enclose with the newsletters. However, this spring we took a beating on postage. In part the higher postage reflected the fact that two of the pieces we were offering were heavier than the average weight of a Sebastian, the Henry Price Bust and the Gingerbread Church were the culprits. Adding to the dilemma is the fact that as for the private label pieces Sebastianworld passes them on with no markup. If the private label sponsor is asking $35.00 for a piece we offer the piece to you at $35.00. As a result there is no markup to absorb the additional postage. There were many collectors who ordered a Henry Price and lived somewhere in the heartland or on the west coast where the postage was in excess of $10.00 and Sebastianworld was charging only $6.50. Selling a piece at no markup is one thing but loosing money on the sale is not a smart business practice. However, the rate structure we have implemented seems fair to us. In reality we think that for collectors west of the Mississippi, Sebastianworld may still be subsidizing the postage. So, we will try this rate system for this newsletter. After looking at the new rate structure, should some of you who do more shopping via catalogs or on line than we do have suggestions, let us know.
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Revised: March 29, 2010