Wednesday, February 19, 2014
A hobby I used to have.
From about 1976 until 1986, I collected military figurines. Seems odd, I suppose, but I was very interested in military history. I traveled a lot, so I had the opportunity to get some interesting pieces for the collection. The fellow up above is a Capodimonte , a full figure of a Roman Legate. The detail is really exquisite. My wife and I went to Florence on Christmas, and there's an ancient bridge there called "Ponte Vecchio." It has lots of tourist shops. I bought this piece there. Today it's in our China cabinent. Amazing it made it through the different moves but I always took it to the base pack and wrap, and I never shipped it via the packers.
This is a Lladro Guardia Civil from the Navy Exchange at Rota, Spain. The Guardia are associated with Franco and the Nationalists to this day in Spain, and I never saw one of these offered for sale in Spain outside the base, though I traveled extensively. They still have feelings about their Civil War as some of us do about ours.
I particularly enjoyed collecting figurines based on the Napoleonic Wars, since those uniforms were the most elaborate and colorful I know of. I also had an extensive set of Osprey Man at Arms books with which I could verify the authenticity of the figurines appearance . I bought a set of 20 volumes on uniforms in Paris, at the bookstore located adjacent to Napoleons tomb. They were all in French of course, but my wife could translate for me.
My father was interested in the history of the Old West, and while I was on Okinawa in 1980 I ordered a pair of Michael Garman statues for him. They depicted Cavalry Officers of the 1870's. When my father passed away, my mom returned them to me. They are out in the barn, packed in newspapers and cardboard boxes, with about 90% of the collection.
It's been a long time since I looked for these. Once we got settled, there were more important things to do and I didn't have either the time or the disposable income for a lot of hobbies. The pass times that were more practical, like shortwave radio and shooting, I kept on with. But a lot of the things that were just for fun have gone by the board.