Friday, September 6, 2013

A New Book About Picking, Collecting and Dealing in Antiques and Folk Art

First of all let me introduce myself and why I decided to write this blog.

My name is Shaun Markey and, among other things in life, I have been an antique picker, collector and dealer for over 30 years.  My primary areas of interest are Canadian country furniture and folk art - both traditional and contemporary folk art. 

Several months ago, I discovered an on line Facebook group dedicated to Canadian antiques and I became an active participant.  Among my early "posts" to the group were two that included a photograph of my paternal grandmother's ancestral home near a little place in Eastern Ontario known as Throoptown.  I also wrote, with permission, two rather long posts about finding specific antiques and folk art years ago.  I gave each of these posts titles - almost like they were chapters in a book. And it was at that point I had my "eureka moment."   I thought that perhaps what I had written was actually the start of a book not the end of two postings to the on line group.

I decided then and there to actually write the book and dove into the project with enthusiasm.  I had never written anything longer than a 2,000 word essay so a book seemed like a remote possibility.  But I already had the first two chapters in hand and they had received quite a positive reaction from the on line group so I was encouraged.

While I envisioned a printed, soft cover book sitting on bookseller's shelves, I knew that the work might never see the "commercial" light of day. I was content with that thought because what I wanted to accomplish, first and foremost, was a detailed account of my years as an antique picker, collector and dealer.  I wanted something in writing that one day my grandchildren might read, hopefully with interest.

So, to bring you up to date. As I write this first blog the book is now a manuscript of some 53,000 words in length. It contains 17 chapters plus a "preface" and an "introduction". The working title of the book is "Folk Art in the Attic" which is also one of the chapter titles.  It's been a lot of work but also a lot of fun writing it.  Of course, the project also caused me to dig into old photograph albums to find pictures of the objects I found over the years.  In one instance I found a 35 mm slide of a pine cupboard I bought at an auction in 1983.  I had the slide scanned and a print made.  I hadn't seen that particular image in over 30 years!  I also used one old photograph taken around 1985 of me standing beside my truck with a load of antiques in the back and simulated a book cover with it. Just for fun.

So, that's where things stand today. Over the past month I've been searching for a publisher and or an agent.  I can tell you finding antiques and folk art is an easier task!  In any event, I've got a "finished' manuscript on my hands and the handful of people who've read it seem to really like it. That's encouraging. I've also created a "pre order" list of individuals who can register in advance for the book. No obligation or money is involved.  I'll post another update in the near future. Thanks for reading this one!

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