(Part 5) 1988: Detroit, Montreal, Virginia Beach, Wellburn auction
I wrote the stamp column for the Canadian Antiquer and Collector. Show visits included a train trip to Montreal and an earthquake during the show at Place Bonaventure, where the lights went out and we all lay across our displays in the dark, sheepishly rising when the lights returned.
Steinhart and I drove to the A.P.S. Show in Detroit, but stayed in Windsor. He taught me about Tanqueray for my birthday.
I tried to walk around downtown but stopped for a red light when a well armed policeman approached me and said keep moving. Bid on Sam Nickle’s 12 penny for Dan. Drove to B.N.A.P.S. Virginia Beach convention with Bob Jamieson. Great meeting all the old time collectors I didn’t already know. Bob said whatever you do don’t drive into Washington, D.C., then fell asleep. The White House looked small and needed a paint job. Also drove out to Kitty Hawk to see where the Wright Brothers flew. Don’t bother driving across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge though.
Steinhart loved to eat and drink and take the scenic route. One night at Toronto’s Movenpick, Steinhart and Sutherland challenged me to an eating contest. If I could eat the 12 scoops of ice cream dessert, they would pay for my meal. I had a good appetite in those days.
We sold Gerald Wellburn’s Vancouver Island and British Columbia collection at the King Edward Hotel for $880,000, a single session Canadian auction record at the time. The viewing and auction were well attended by U.S. and English dealers, like Billy Lea and Stanley Piller, who liked the mixed franked covers. Thanks to Paul Maly, Ken Thomson gave me a private tour of his Krieghoff collection. I never did land Conrad Black as a client.
Brian Grant Duff is celebrating his 40th anniversary of serving the collecting community in Vancouver and around the world.
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