Fast forward seven years to our annual convention in Chicago where we were fortunate enough to visit the collection of one of our founding members who specialized in postal scales.
Over the years Bob S. had made many buying trips to England and by that time his collection consisted of hundreds of rare decorative postal scales highly sought after by collectors. This collection was so large he had shelves built spanning the entire length of his den from floor to ceiling specifically designed to showcase the majority of his remarkable collection. It was a scale-lover’s dream to see all of these incredible scales in one place.
At the end of the visit as the buses started loading, we held back since we were scheduled to be on the last bus to leave. Standing alone in the den in front of the shelves trying to take it all in, I played the game that I had many times before and since. Looking at all those scales, I asked myself, if I could select just one to have, which one would it be? If Bob suddenly came in and told me I could have my pick, which one would I choose?
It didn’t take me long to decide. My eye kept being drawn back to this one scale. I loved the simplicity of it with just the bit of scrollwork contrasted with the geometrically complex shape of the poise. I loved how the brass of the scale was juxtaposed with the iron of the base. The answer to my self-imposed question was right in front of me. If I could have just one scale from this amazing group it would be this one. At the same time in the back of my mind, I knew this was just fantasy and could never happen.
Later that same year it came as a complete surprise when we heard Bob was starting to sell some of his scales due to age and health concerns. Almost immediately upon learning this we called to ask if we could come visit with the idea of purchasing some of his scales. We knew a few others had gotten there before us, so weren’t sure if “the scale” was still available. Long story short, it was, and very soon we were in possession of it and several others from Bob’s collection.
Never in my wildest dreams had I considered the possibility of owning this scale that I coveted so much. Only later did I find out that it is a Simcox and Pemberton scale from England. Since then I have been able to add several more scales from this same manufacturer to our collection. Today, many scales later, it holds a prominent position on our display shelves and remains one of my favorite scales for all the same reasons that it first caught my eye.
Not only do I enjoy the beauty of the scale itself, but when I see it, it brings back wonderful memories of the time we spent with Bob and the great stories he told us about his time in World War II working for the USO as a table tennis aka ping-pong entertainer as well as his early days of scale collecting and starting ISASC. Part of what I love about scales is not only each scale, in and of itself, but the personal associations like this one that I have with many of the scales in our collection.
This Scale Tales story was writted by Carol H.