Saturday, September 02, 2006

Ascribing Value

My head has been buried in the land of auctions and estimates of value lately. It is odd as worlds go. I have a small glass bowl -- maybe 5 inches across with very delicate fluted edges. It is signed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. It is "worth" about a thousand dollars.

This makes me crazy.

Granted, it is beautiful. The irridescent color is soft and compelling, almost mystical. But at the end of the day, it is a little glass bowl. Its utilitarian value is very slight. I have a bunch of plain glass bowls that I use every day that cost me $2 each. And if one broke, I could replace it.

How does one decide that the Tiffany bowl is worth more? Is it prettier? Rarer? Made by someone our culture has decided was important?

Make no mistake; I will happily sell it for $1,000. Or more, if I can get it. But it is not holy, although those handling it treat it as though it were.

In the west we too often confuse what is sacred and what is merely expensive.


Blogger samtzmom said...

It's true... we often place "value" on things that are just "things" that others don't and can't have. Interesting concept the thought that many things are merely expensive and not holy in the least bit. In many ways, it really is that "I have one and you don't... nanananana" factor. We are such weak souls at times.

7:56 AM  
Blogger beth said...

'what is sacred and what is merely expensive'

what a powerful statement. i will take that with me this week, into my personal and work life, and it will make a difference.

thanks, mata.

6:43 PM  
Blogger The Harbour of Ourselves said...

i concur with beth....another spiritual depth charge!

11:13 AM  
Blogger Songbird said...

My response was the same. Thank you for your post.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Rainbow dreams said...

so true ... a reminder of true worth and value

6:07 PM  

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