Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Collectors Treasury

The land of plenty for the ernstige rekord versamelaar............
Patrick Van Griethuysen

(translation: Hans Koert)
Schatkamer voor verzamelaars (Nederlands) Collectors Treasury (English)

Each record collector will recognize this nightmare: You walk in a foreign city, flat broke, and you discover in a down town lane a small, forgotten antique record shop with a banana box near the entrance wich contans a complete Robert Johnson collection for 1 US$ each .... but you ran out of money ........ Patrick Van Griethuysen from The Hague found such a place in Johannesburg (South Africa) at a visit to relatives - not broke, nor a box with Robert Johnson's at the entrance, of course, but he loves to share this collectors treasury, exclusively, with the visitors of the Keep Swinging blog .......... but please, promise, that you won't pass the word .... before we visited the place! (Hans Koert)
The stairwell (fall 2011) ( photo courtesy: Patrick Van Griethuysen)
It's all about two, rather unworldly guys - owners of a giant department store packed from the top roof to the basement, with books and records ( 78s, 45s and 33s). It's a pity that this shop is not just around the corner; it is located at the 244 Commissioner Street in Jo'burg, Johannesburg in South Africa. Last month I visited that place because of a wedding ceremony ..... My nephew suggested me to go into town and show me something very special, I'd never seen before. It was a large building with six floors and a large basement, a very very large basement in fact. Its first two floors were packed with books; the other four floors were stuffed with gramophone records - no system in it - no system at all ....... no alphabetical order or whatsoever ........ just stacked up ......

One of the store windows ( photo courtesy: Patrick Van Griethuysen)
Imagine such an old fashioned Parisian elevator with those elevator fencing doors that shove aside. You can find such fencing doors at the entrance, but the doors are locked with a large padlock. When you ring the bell a servant helps you to open it and closes the lock - You can't use the stairwell, because on each step boxes filled with books, block the entrance .... How to get up? Well, you can use the service elevator, which normally can store about two dozen men, but ......... guess - this elevator contains lots of heavy boxes with books so we're the only ones to get inside: my nephew, me and the liftboy, die swart hys moffie, as they say in Afrikaans. Wow - it's enough to make one depair .....
...... Record, records and more ......(photo copurtesy: Patrick van Griethuysen.)
Where to start
? Well, to be honest - I didn't start a search operation at all ...... I was really upset seeing this junk all around. The two guys, Geoff and Jonathan don't have the faintest idea what they have in stock .... Their father, mr. Klass sr., started to collect records and books since the mid 30s at this location and when he passed away, 35 years ago, his two sons confiscated their fathers office.
Where to start? ...( photo courtesy: Patrick Van Griethuysen )
I’ve no idea if a lot of record collectors discovered this warehouse ...... I guess I should need years to search all those piles of records ...... if I could find a room to move! The brothers suggested me to ship all records in some large containers to Holland - no, we didn't even discussed about the price - I think any reasonable offer would be accepted ...... Where should I store it in Holland? I should find a department store as large as this one ......... Oh no, I wouldn't dream of that.
Patrick Van Griethuysen (The Hague)
(translation: Hans Koert)
keepswinging@live.nl

Thanks Patrick for sharing this Collectors Treasury with us! (Hans Koert)
Each record collector knows how it feels to dream that you discover a hidden forgotten antique record shop with almost the complete Robert Johnson collection for a dollar each in a banana box near the entrance ..... but you're flat broke.... Patrick from The Hague loves to share, exclusively, with the visitors of the Keep Swinging blog such a place, but please, let's not share it with other collectors, before we'd visited it! Keep Swinging loves to share this kind of collectors treasuries. If you love to be the first to know about it, follow it at Twitter (# Keep Swinging)or ask for its free newsletter ( keepswinging@live.nl ). And if you love to learn more about the Keep Swinging blog visit its most popular blogs of the last four weeks at this site or its treasury with all 1500 contributions (!).
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