Introduction to Collecting Elephants

Written by Michael Don Knapik

Continued from page 1
Things to be wary of include: *ivory vs. bone vs. synthetic: how to tell:repparttar hot pin test - reference link: Ivory Test*Bakelite vs. other plastics: how to tell: The Rub Test: Rubrepparttar 116328 Bakelite object in question with a clean, dry finger until you feel heat being generated. If you smell an odor like formaldehyde,repparttar 116329 object is Bakelite. The Hot Water Test:. Heat some water close torepparttar 116330 boiling point, and place a part ofrepparttar 116331 object inrepparttar 116332 hot water for a moment and remove; If you smell an odor like formaldehyde,repparttar 116333 object is Bakelite. The Hot Needle Test: Heat a needle to red hot. Touchrepparttar 116334 needle for only a second to an inconspicuous spot onrepparttar 116335 surface. If you smell an odor like formaldehyde,repparttar 116336 object is Bakelite. Also, ifrepparttar 116337 needle penetratesrepparttar 116338 surface ofrepparttar 116339 object easily, it is probably NOT Bakelite!.*post-ban ivory imported into US *fake signatures on e.g., Lalique *reproductions and re-introduced models/namesAs with all other collectibles, your familiarity withrepparttar 116340 subject will help you identify a reproduction fromrepparttar 116341 real thing. Reading books, like those referenced in Section 4, monitoring internet auction sites like eBay, attending shows, flea markets and live auctions, and talking to specialists and other collectors, all contribute to your knowledge and expertise. Insurance Heaven forbid something bad happens to your elephant collection. If you don't have them stored away in a safe place - like Fort Knox, a bank's safety deposit box, or an in-home vault (see Storage/Protection subsection), if disaster struck you would want some way of recoupingrepparttar 116342 loss.If your elephant collection starts burgeoning in terms of sheer numbers, cost/replacement value or just sentimental value, you want to consider getting insurance to cover them. Check withrepparttar 116343 insurance agent forrepparttar 116344 company that covers your home; many timesrepparttar 116345 coverage for personal belongings is some percentage ofrepparttar 116346 coverage for your house. So if your house is covered for $100,000 say, and your personal belonging coverage/content is covered for 30% ofrepparttar 116347 value of your house, then you are automatically covered for $30,000. Now, assume your furniture, TV/VCR/etc., clothes and kitchen wares etc., are worth 25,000, and your elephant collection is worth $3,000 (or you paid that amount overrepparttar 116348 years), then you may be covered torepparttar 116349 extent you need to be. But, if inrepparttar 116350 same situation, you paid $25,000 for your elephants over 20 years, or they are currently valued at $25,000, you definitely want to add an insurance rider to make uprepparttar 116351 difference in coverage Fixing broken elephants Of course,repparttar 116352 old adage: "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." applies to elephant collectibles as well. Butrepparttar 116353 sad day inevitably comes when, by moving an elephant inrepparttar 116354 home, or by shipping accident, or other mishap, an elephant becomes damaged. Some collectors buy damaged elephants and either fix them or leave them alone, claiming it increasesrepparttar 116355 charm or "character" ofrepparttar 116356 find. Others buy a damaged elephant if it is especially rare or if a perfect one would be too expensive.One note of utmost importance: it is not advisable to clean or otherwise repair true antiques, unless a professional does it and you understandrepparttar 116357 consequences. For some antiques, refinishing or repairing certain flaws actually diminishes value, even though it may makerepparttar 116358 elephant look better cosmetically, or restore a missing part. Some dirt or dust can be removed on pottery, metal or wood with nothing more than a damp cloth.The most common damage I have seen is missing or broken tusks. For many types of elephants - tusks can be repaired or replaced. Wood, plastic or ivory tusks can be re-created with a little ingenuity and skill. For example, a dowel rod ofrepparttar 116359 appropriate length and diameter, soaked in water or put in a steamer for a few hours, can be bent intorepparttar 116360 appropriate curve and held there for several hours to setrepparttar 116361 shape. Then further shaped with carving tools, can produce a most-pleasing replacement wood tusk. Add paint or stain to matchrepparttar 116362 elephant or an existing tusk. Replacement ivory can be carved from mammoth ivory (legal and available) to replace tusks and toe-inserts or missing pieces on ivory elephants.For common pottery elephants, breaks or cracks can be repaired at home using common glue or epoxy cement. More expensive elephants can be taken to repair shops that specialize in such repairs. They usually re-breakrepparttar 116363 piece, treatrepparttar 116364 surfaces, re-glue and thenrepparttar 116365 most important step - re-glaze/firerepparttar 116366 piece;repparttar 116367 result is a repair than only trained professionals with a microscope could tell. Highly recommended for that favorite, expensive piece.Metal elephants can be repaired by skilled metal-working artists. I have an old brass elephant box that had missing tusks. I took it to an metal artist who used brass rod to create and re-solderrepparttar 116368 tusks intorepparttar 116369 holes. Natural aging should even outrepparttar 116370 patina. Brass, bronze, aluminum, copper, and chrome elephants can be cleaned and protected withrepparttar 116371 common, non-abrasive metal cleaners and polishers. Rubin-Brite is a museum-quality cleaner/polisher that leaves a carnuba-wax protective finish onrepparttar 116372 metal. Iron and steel elephants can rust, which requires more work. A rust remover jell, followed by 0000 steel wool cures most rust spots. Again, for older, rare or true-antique metal elephants, unlessrepparttar 116373 corrosion is so advanced or bad that it further endangersrepparttar 116374 elephant, leave minor discoloring and surface blemishes alone.Ephemera - paper images, prints, posters and paintings - can be repaired by professionals, ifrepparttar 116375 item is pricey or rare, and some repairs can be done byrepparttar 116376 home hobbyist. Pencil marks on paper can be removed by gently rubbing with an eraser-like material called "Magic-rub" by Sanford. A more thorough cleaning can be gained using Lineco's Document Cleaning Powder. Paper items can be deacidified using Bookkeeper Deacidification Spray. Tears can be repaired using Lineco's transparent mending tissue.Lastly, a great reference on caring for your elephants (or any collectible) is: Kovels' Quick Tips: 799 Helpful Hints on How to Care for Your Collectibles (Kovel's 1995) Sources of elephants Elephants can be found almost anywhere other products are found. Because there are so many types of elephants - even specialty stores (like a Kitchen & Bath shop) or venues may have that obscure elephant needed for your collection. Here are some places I have found elephants:*Almost any retail store like Wal-Marts, Hallmark, Sears has elephants - mostly mass-produced. *Estate Auctions *On-line Internet auctions like, *On-line antique stores and malls like *Antique stores *Flea markets *Yard Sales/Garage Sales *Looking for elephants wherever you go on vacation.

Besides being an obsessed elephant collector, Michael Don Knapik is a Software Architect specializing in object-oriented analysis and design, artificial intelligence. Michael is especially interested in the cognitive neurosciences. Michael has built two custom homes, is a Master SCUBA diver, chess player, weight lifter and real-estate investor. Contact Info:

Coffee on Campaign: How to Roast Your Coffee Like Civil War Soldiers

Written by Paula McCoach

Continued from page 1

Heatrepparttar water until just below boilin’. Don’t ever pour boilin’ water onrepparttar 116327 ground coffee. Remember, these Civil War soldiers only had one cup, so after they would chop it with their bayonets, they would pourrepparttar 116328 cold water right on top ofrepparttar 116329 grinds and heat it overrepparttar 116330 fire. To make a better cup of coffee, heatrepparttar 116331 water in another container until it is hot and pour it over your grinds in your cup. Give yourself about 2-3 inches of space atrepparttar 116332 top ofrepparttar 116333 tin cup, so you don’t burn your lips when you drink it.

A crust will form on top afterrepparttar 116334 water is poured inrepparttar 116335 cup. Stir it untilrepparttar 116336 crust falls torepparttar 116337 bottom. Letrepparttar 116338 crust rise again, and stir it down one more time. Now, sit your cup of freshly made coffee with freshly ground AND roasted beans onrepparttar 116339 ground andrepparttar 116340 crust will go down. Your own roasted and ground coffee, just likerepparttar 116341 soldiers used to do, is ready to drink.

Now, you are back inrepparttar 116342 field with those heroic men and you have an excellent cup of coffee to enjoy your time there and appreciaterepparttar 116343 Confederate and Union soldiers for their bravery and pure stamina while you drink your cup of coffee.

Coach and Paula McCoach have been serving coffee inrepparttar 116344 field to America’s reenactors since 1997. Cups of coffee made with their special coffee makin’ technique, Open-Pot Brewin’ have been enjoyed by thousands Coach’s Coffee isrepparttar 116345 creator of many blends and coffee enjoyin’ techniques.

For specifics directions onrepparttar 116346 exact temperature ofrepparttar 116347 water,repparttar 116348 feel ofrepparttar 116349 fine grind, what to look for before you stir, what type of strainer to use, and how to serve, and for more information, email

ã2003 permission granted to reprint this article in print or on your website so long asrepparttar 116350 paragraph above is included andrepparttar 116351 contact information is included to

Coach and Paula McCoach have been serving coffee in the field to America’s reenactors since 1997.

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