Wednesday, September 12, 2007

One of Life's Little Mistakes


It seems like one of life's little mistakes, the Edsel, is now a collector's item, garnering up to a $200,000 depending on how well the infamous 1950's Ford model is restored, and marketed. One of the biggest hypes and flops of all times, the Edsel was supposed to be the car of the future, but made a dismal showing the three years it was in production from 1958 to 1960. An innovate grill that didn't allow enough air flow into the engine, production on an assembly line that wasn't designed specifically for the car, as well as a starter button where the horn normally is, and which often froze up, made this car a failure despite the tremendous promotional campaign. The term "Edsel" actually appears in a few dictionaries as a term to describe failure.

The tremendously inflated cash value of this rare car does not surprise me. Aren't the most valuable coins the ones with flaws? That precept follows in furniture, antiques, dolls, and almost anything that people collect, which spans the realm of the human imagination. The items that are the most rare, with time, become the most highly sought after items for collectors.

Art collecting may be one of the aberrations to this trend. Yes, in many cases, if you are in the league of collecting art that sells upwards in the millions, rarity can affect the price, but an artist's reputation has much more play than scarcity. The really cool thing about collecting art, for the rest of us, we have the privilege to collect and possess art that we love for art's sake.

That's a freedom that we can relish!--Ruth Mitchell

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