Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Neil Armstrong CheckA $10.50 check auctioned for $27,350 last week at RR Auction in New Hampshire. It was signed by astronaut Neil Armstrong on July 16, 1969, the very day he took off for the moon. It is the only known Apollo-era check signed by Armstrong. He has not given an autograph to anyone since 1994.

In 2003 a professional mover in New York City was paid to haul trash away from the home of an artist who had died. He took the rubbish he was asked to remove and stored some of it, including a cardboard barrel, in his warehouse. In 2008 he opened the barrel and found ancient Mexican figurines, bowls, and jugs now valued at $16,500. The mover says he likes a different kind of historical relic and hopes to sell these.

The antiques shops are open for business again in Baghdad, although they close early and have extra security. Dealers there sell ancient treasures as well as early 20th-century antiques that belonged to wealthy Iraqi families. Silver, brass, and gold items made by expert craftsmen, china, paintings, and--of course--rugs. Prices are reasonable, but Iraq is not a place that's popular with tourists who would buy.

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