Wednesday, February 22, 2012
"The Russians Are Coming!"
During the weekend, an email from Stu Farnsworth waited to be discovered and opened. Attached to the email were some astounding photos of his newest Russian float acquisitions, and a wonderfully rare Russian float.
Perhaps the readers are acquainted with the Hammer & Sickle float, the 2. and the 3. Russian floats? The Hammer & Sickle, and 3., are not common at all. The 2. very rare. I have heard that one collector has the 2., but have never seen a photo of one. Stu's float - described below - is not only very rare, but this is the first time that I've known of its existence.
The following are a couple of Stu's emails during our last exchange:
Wanted to share with you my good fortune over the last several months. A purchase, then a trade, have added two very old and very hard to find Hammer & Sickle floats to my collection. I now have three, and in my life have had four. Once, I did have two at one time, but traded one, and always felt a bit haunted by that. You know how it is when you let go of a great float. Now, that is a thing in the past.
Just wanted to tell you some very good news that has come my way. I never thought that I would ever be looking at three in my collection at one time. I'm basking in float heaven!
After reading Stu's email, and having my socks knocked off by the photos, a happy reply was sent to to congratulate Stu. The next morning, another email was sent, asking Stu if he would like me to write about his good fortune on the blog? Stu wrote back to say that he would be very happy and proud to see his floats there for everyone to enjoy.
Also, Stu sent another email with a description of the very rare Russian float
Here are a few scans of the float you asked me about. This is actually one of my very rarest floats. I have had it for about 18 years.
Traded a ROSE H float and the Ocean Fresh float during the time I had several of the West Coast Collection. This is the rarist Russian float I'll ever have as I have never seen another, and even Walt wanted to trade for it way back when. It has a Snakeskin float's texture, and a very crude "1" stamped into a circle. It was blown into a 2-piece mold like the Sickle and Hammer floats. It is my real gem, and one I would never trade. It adorns the front of my display case as its place of honor.
Thanks for asking.
Something's been going on. Unlike last year's slow start, and long waits between exciting floats appearing, this year has started off with great floats appearing regularly on the auctions and in trades. Those who live on the West Coast have been experiencing storms with onshore winds, a lot of Japanese debris washing in, large plastic Scallop floats in the drift, logs, and if those onshore winds keep coming, there will be some very fine beachcombing for glass floats soon. With an accumulation of Black Current debris crossing over and into the onshore currents, the spring could be terrific for glass balls.
I've been fortunate to have experienced a setup like the one the West Coast is now experiencing. That year's late April through May was fabulous for beachcombing. I even found a beautiful trio of glass floats after a late 24-hour onshore storm in July.
That spring, on any onshore breeze, glass balls washed in, and many Rolling Pins were hiding in the drifts of Vellela. To find the floats, one needed to look with eyes sharp and focused. It was very easy to lose one's concentration by looking too far ahead, or too quickly over the Vellela. The floats blended into the jellyfish, and in order to find them, I had to look close to me, and cover the patches of Vellela from front to back, and side to side, working slowly and carefully up the beach. Many times excited beachcombers passed me by, talking together and looking everywhere, but without the necessary focus. To the side, and sometimes right in the path they had just walked through, lay a Roller, or small round ball waiting for me to scoop up.
Good luck to all of you West Coast beachcombers, and thanks for sharing Stu.
P.S. The photos are easily enlarged by left clicking on the photos. Enjoy!