E-Bay's wrapping rap
(Already gave impressions about descriptions on E-Bay rap - but ok,
yesss, David, let's talk again about one of the Gorgona of your nightmares : E-Bay
and its Sheherazades.)
Written in the English discussion
group on African ART by Veronique Martelliere
Thu Apr 12, 2007 Veronique is a member of our English
One of the Goncourt brothers (French writers of the 19s and founders of the "Prix
Goncourt") said once that "A painting in a museum probably hears more foolish remarks than anything else in the world".
Indeed, Art is a language in itself and could do well, and often better, without words (especially while breaking a language as I do - sorry again).
Yet, since Art (and craft) has entered the business spheres, it has been wrapped with the ribbons of
A piece of Art can suddenly craddle us, by itself, without warning - so, do we need all these lullabies ?
Loud auctioneers and whispering gallierists have a poor or restricted vocabulary compared to the one used by some E-Bay dealers who, for promoting an object which is supposed to be "collectable" /"collectors quality" or "museum quality", use adjectives with absolutely "no reserve".
But let's take the good side of it : this avalanche of adjectives is, for a non-english speaker, an excellent-wonderful-interesting & exceptional opportunity to refine one's knowledge in the english vocabulary - and, for the
non-marketing-hooked-english-speaker, a source of amusement (hopefully)..
The reasonable "fine" can quickly turn into "great - excellent - fabulous - outstanding" or, no hesitation, "of supreme quality" (an obvious invitation to sit next to an unknown divinity).
Some dealers will tickle all the facets of your passion :
> your inclination for exotism : ethnic - tribal - African-tribal - vintage- tribal - ritual -ceremonial - ancestral - initiation-X - chief-something ... (can you imagine, David, even the word "village" has become exotic !)
> ... and/or for esthetism : nice - pretty - elegant - beautiful - lovely - wonderful - lustrous - superb - splendid - terrific - gorgeous- exquisite - sophisticated - magnificent,...
> your hypnophilia : fascinating - inscrutable - fantastic - stunning - striking - spectacular - imposing - awesome - dramatic - majestic - glorious ...
> your emotions : sweet - interesting - charming - delightful - expressive - impressive- powerful - scary,...
> your demands : classic - original - special - very special - unusual - highly unusual - exceptional - rare - rare vintage - exceptionaly rare - extremely rare - exceptionaly rare - exceedingly rare, unique ... used - early - old - X years old - old and worn - very old, -extremely old - vintage - ancient - antique - antique ethnic - authentic - authentic old,...
> and challenging your good eyes (and in case you are a blind collector) : large - massive - huge - immense - grand - elaborate - sculptural - primitive looking - excellent patina - richly patinated - encrusted - old encrusted... ("hand-made" can also usefully be specified).
The adding of "very" can be puzzling and you must have reached a very advanced level both in the language of Shakespeare and in the philosophy of logic and mathematics when you can perceive the subtelty which hides between "unique" and "very unique"
(n.b. "exceedingly unique" has not appeared, yet).
In the other hand, the adjectives "incredible" and "incredibly" seem, most of time, to be relevant : you really cannot believe it either.
Finally, the most remarkable adjective used by some dealers is definitely : IMPORTANT.
Reading the word in capital letters makes inevitably feel struck by lightning, awaking all existential questions which fight in your private Plato cave and the hope to get the answers to the meaning of life.
But, landing back, what can be important and with regard to what ?
Or does it more trivially mean that the important dealer strongly wish to become an exportant ?
All these necklaces of words give the idea of a new game to be played with family or friends, on rainy
sundays, with the objects of your collection :
You and each participant will have to "sell" your Kulango-statue, your Guere-mask, your Fon-fetiche or your Luba staff, qualifying it at least three times .
"Important authentic, rare and expressive Dogon statue with excellent and striking encrusted patina".
The winner is the one who wraps your object with the bigger number of realistic/credible ribbons.
... take good care of you and of whom and what are important to you,
... and keep reading between the lies.
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