In January, while visiting the Naples, FL area, we went to an antique fair at a local community center.
One of the exhibitors was a glassware booth. Lots and lots of stemware crowded together on mirrored displays. No room for clumsy. But clumsy I was. I reached for a beautiful & delicate Moser cordial and knocked it into another glass - which wasn't nearly as delicate. End of cordial.
Of course, I felt terrible about it. And of course, it never crossed my mind to not tell the booth owner and not offer to pay.
I did have to wait a minute or two. He was in the middle of a sale to another customer and hadn't heard the glass break. So I guess I could have just walked away.
When I got his attention, and told him what had happened, he was very gracious. I even thought to myself, "Wow, this guy is pretty laid back."
With what in retrospect I now realize was delight in his voice, he told me that I wasn't going to be happy about the price. (By the way, I knew this already, because I knew the value of this kind of work.) He generously offered to sell it to me at the reduced price of $150.00. I paid, and took my broken treasure with me. At least I'd have the handmade Moser sailfish cordial -- even if I couldn't use it.
We continued to explore the rest of the exhibit. As we were about to leave, we rounded a corner and found ourselves in the same aisle -- just in time to hear the glass dealer comment with obvious smugness to his neighbor --- "Well, legally, I couldn't have forced her to pay. But, I got lucky. She thought she had to pay me, so I just pretended like she did."
His face, when he saw me standing there, and he realized I had just heard what he said was priceless. I just smiled sweetly and kept on walking.
So, here's where I'd like to give Karma a little help. This is a picture of the guy’s business card. If you visit antique shows and you see his booth, do me a favor. Walk in and tell him why you won't be buying (or touching) anything of his. Do it loudly so other shoppers can hear. And if you live in Linwood, NJ, don't shop at "Last Chance Antiques", either.
And, since I've paid $150 for a glass I can't use, I've decided to spend a couple of hundred more to salvage it. The technique for attaching such a detailed appliqué of hand painted glass is almost a lost art. I'm going to take it to a glass blower and ask her to cut an oval of the surviving piece of glass that surrounds the sailfish. Then I will take that delicate piece to a jewelry maker and ask her to frame it in a gold oval pendent for me. Take that, Jerry Taylor !!!