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Premium characteristics of postage stamps.

A stamp need not possess all the premium attributes in order to be a premium quality stamp. In fact it is virtually impossible to find a sound. large margined, perfectly centered, never hinged, post - office - fresh. The analysis of premium characteristics on a stamp-by-stamp basis is designed to help you know what to expect from each issue, to know when you can hold out for total perfection, and when you should be ready to compromise. Knowing the degree of difficulty of premium elements also assists you in calculating their value. And that skill will prove more and more useful because the demand for premium quality stamps is accelerating.

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5 Reasons Burning Man is Considered the “Greatest Trip” of All Time

Do you ever feel there’s something…. missing, from your day to day interaction? Not quite as honest or fulfilling as you’d think sometimes, right? When it seems everyone just wants something from you, and you just want something from anyone else, life loses its color. But I know of a place where the color explodes. It transforms into the most unique artwork and fashion I’ve ever seen.

Ever heard of Burning Man? Been There? Even if you have, keep reading. Come, take a trip down Cyberpunk Lane, where everything is radical. Let’s take a trip to Black Rock Desert in the mind’s eye for a moment – become a fellow “burner” as we look at 5 reasons why Burning Man is considered the greatest trip of all time.

In the Middle of Black Rock Desert, “Anything Seems like Everything”

With a timeline that reaches all the way back to 1986, Burning Man took its current festival form when the founders, at the behest of the local police in their hometown San Francisco, moved the event to the Nevada desert: Black Rock. From far away, it’s about as unforgiving and barren a landscape you can imagine; it literally looks like the backdrop for a Mad Max movie.

In this, the attendees find all their unique artwork has a blank canvas – the entire desert landscape. The Ideas that spark from this nothingness, and transform this wasteland into a neon cyberpunk dreamland, are nothing short of remarkable. By following the ethos espoused by the 10 principles of Burning Man, it seems the rarest, most unique, decommodified kinds of artwork find an oasis to thrive in. Burning now has regional partners in major cities like New York, San Francisco, and even Chicago; this keeps the Burning Man ethos alive year-round, until everyone can gather together in Black Rock to Build and Burn the statue once more.

Radically-Engaging Artwork, Unique Sculptures, Robotic Structures, and the Greatest Cyberpunk Installations Ever

The most eye-popping, aesthetically incredible part of Burning Man are how the artwork installations, unique statues, and robotic installations light up the Black Rock skyline. It’s truly a sight to behold, and many have never, ever seen anything like it.

And after they leave, they’ll never see anything like it ever again.

Because of the “Decommodified” nature of Burning Man, consider the artwork so rare that you will probably never see their designs again – it’s one of a kind. Check this link for a list of the best art installations in the history of Burning Man.

The Greatest Electro Dance Part of All Time

Apparently, music was not a significant part of Burning for the first 20 years or so; in the mid 90s, electro was accepted as a fitting backdrop to the desert celebration. Now, it seriously looks like the greatest dance party ever. There are no limits to the kinds of installations that get put up to house different DJs and genres. Imagine if Coachella’s tents didn’t suck and had way more innovative artwork that they currently do.

Point is, at Burning Man, you get down to dance under the prettiest lightshow you’ve ever seen.

And the fashion – WOW! We can’t even get into how incredible and varied the fashion is; some people look like sexy desert bandits, others like a physical manifestation o EDM. Some dress more casually (think summer dress and some tights), and even wear formal attire the last day as if they are attending a cocktail party! Needless to say, if you need some fashion inspiration, check out what people are wearing are Burning Man!

A Place to Properly Mourn

Burning Man makes a real effort to not just become some mindless party where everyone boozes for a week; some of the unique artwork installations are for pure fun and awe, but others are done for more solemn purposes. In 2000, David Best and Jack Haye made a memorial, called the Temple of the Mind, to their friend Michael Hefflin; he had recently passed away from a motorcycle accident. In 2001, the artwork installation was renamed “The Temple of Tears,” and an annual tradition was started. Now, the temple is a mainstay of the Burning Man community, where everyone comes to reflect on how to further find meaning in the fashion, artwork, and life they pursue outside of Black Rock.

A truly great trip doesn’t just talk about all the fun; it helps you brace for the challenges we must endure when we come back from it.

A Place to Start Anew

However, these temples are not all dreary! Think about it – after everyone gets a chance to properly mourn or reflect on important people and moments in their life, the temple is burned with the Burning Man at the end of the festival. Burners say this is a very moving and cleansing experience, to watch something you built, that housed such emotion for you, char into the desert. However, the power is in how it reminds us just how fleeting our existence can be; carrying that lesson forward leaves a permanent imprint on many attendees of Burning Man.

Concluding….

Meaning can seem rare to come by, and it is coveted like water. Like we said, Burning Man has regional affiliates in San Francisco, New York, Chicago, and more! In fact, the most recent “B.U.R.N” events took place in Sacramento, Saskatchewan, New Mexico and even France! Cyberpunk has gone international, and its beautiful to see this kind of radically-expressive artwork thrive in all corners of the world. Cheers mates, and hail to the Burning Man!

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Holotropic Breathing – An Alternative Trip

When it comes to exploring new modes of being in life, part of the thrill is the sheer novelty of it. It’s why intelligent people in certain subcultures tend toward unique novel experiences. On the good side, that keeps the new discoveries coming! On the other hand, folks predisposed to this way of thinking risk finding the “normal world” too boring, constantly escaping to an alternative one through psychedelic drugs.

What if we told you there was a way to escape the “normal world” using only your God-given breath, not drugs? No accessories needed, except oxygen?? Welcome to holotropic breathing baby!!

Disclaimer: Before you rage at someone saying that a breathing exercise can induce an acid trip, know this therapy has been considered an experimental alternative for decades! We’re not saying the first time you try holotropic breathing, you will fly through the clouds and shake hands with God himself. Well, maybe. More likely, you’ll have a rare “transpersonal” experience, where emotions you have buried in your breath give rise in your spirit. For those who subscribe to any spiritual realm or subculture, this practice is for you.

We know it sounds ludicrous at first, so check a few clinical reports here and here to prime you for more info on holotropic breathing!

Who is Holotropic Breathing For?”

If you suffer from bouts of anxiety, depression, or a general sense of directionless-ness in your life, holotropic breathing may have a place in your life. Issues like anxiety are very “human” issues to tackle - so much so science doesn’t really have the best answers yet. So, people turn to spiritual subcultures and alternative medicine. While we certainly recommend other good practices, Holotropic breathing could prove an interesting one to explore further!

The good thing about Holotropic breathing is if your heart-healthy, it is completely virtually risk-free. Clinical trials of over 500 patients doing holotropic breathing found no adverse effects. Like we said, no accessories needed!

What Does it Do?

If you saw it from far away, you might think Holotropic breathing looks like some goofball is hyperventilating – seriously. That’s kind of the fascinating part. In the right setting, and the right mindset this repetitive breathing creates a rare atmosphere where you essentially transcend yourself, uncovering and releasing pent-up energy and emotions. It is argued that physiologically, we can accumulate these nasty feelings in our bodies, and it shows in our posture, how we walk, how we talk, and how we interact with others. Holotropic breathing is a unique exercise intended to loosen up that tension, allowing the body to jump-start the healing process.

Conclusion: Holotropic Breathwork is Going Mainstream

Wrapping up, holotropic breathing really is one of those unique, rare practices that comes at no cost and requires no ingesting of foreign substances. That really sets it apart as far as a unique practice that provides a “touch of the transcendent” to the practitioner. That’s probably why little subcultures and communities have popped up around it as a transcendent breathing practice!

Alternative medicine practitioners and spiritualist subcultures will probably dominate the discussion around breathwork, but holotropic breathing is considered more mainstream because it lacks any risky drug use. If you consider yourself having a certain “vibe,” and you like activities like yoga and meditation, definitely read this article here – it’s wild how much you can chance with just your breath. Cheers mates!

Really is one of those unique, rare practices that comes at no cost and doesn’t require you ingesting foreign substances

of I have, quite literally been he

Self aware

Activate healing properties of the psyche

Almost like doing a grueling workout for your brain

How can I find it into my life?

Self-awareness

Healing properties of the psyche by entering a special set

How to Get Started on Breathwork The Right Way

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Ephemera: Transient Documents of Life

Filling your home with meaningful/amazing artifacts is fundamental to human expression. It essentially lets us “think” outside our bodies, leaving reminders of what is important to us through the artifact’s placement and presence. Some favor old manuscripts and books lined across rustic bookshelves. Others prefer music from old records or unique graphic notations for experimental music. These vintage items, tastefully displayed, enlighten our perspective more fascinating ways of viewing the world.

… Funny all those majestic feelings can come from art meant to last a day! We’re talking about Ephemera artifacts in this article, showing how old advertisements and newspapers give a truly unique window in how past generations saw the world.

Remind me What Ephemera is Again….

Simply put, think of ephemera as the daily documents of everyday life that grow more rare as generations pass. That’s why newspapers and advertisements from earlier centuries are good examples, but when you really starting thinking, there are literally hundreds of different ephemera artifacts to check out! They get auction off as unique and rare antiques in most marketplaces. A few of our favorites are below:

⦁ Newspaper

⦁ Poster

⦁ Luggage label

⦁ Advertisements (old time ads from the 50s like Coppertone girl)

⦁ Bank checks

⦁ Birthday cards

⦁ Bookmarks

⦁ Brochures

⦁ Cinema lobby cards

⦁ Invitations

⦁ Magazines/newspapers

⦁ Manuscripts

⦁ Maps

⦁ Menus

⦁ Pamphlets

⦁ Rare books

⦁ Postcards

⦁ Posters

⦁ Programs

⦁ Stock bonds

⦁ Tickets

⦁ Timetables

⦁ Antique graphic notation

⦁ Trade catalogues

⦁ Those little plastic cards you get for your hotel room door

⦁ Like a thousand other things like this

Anyways, now that you have a firm grasp of what kinds of artifacts ephemera entails, check out a few ephemera pieces that provide simply crazy windows into the past. It should help get you thinking what kind of unique ephemera pieces you might be interested in picking up! There are ephemera auctions held online frequently, so check that out too if you want to dive into the unique world of ephemera antiques!

Three Shockingly Interesting Ephemera Art Pieces

Bayer Pharmaceuticals Sold Heroin Alongside Aspirin

Check it ouuuuuuut, you used to be able to pick up some nice clean heroin with your Bayer Aspirin! Awesome! Wow, the early 1900s were just a good time, weren’t they? America was manifesting its destiny, and it proudly advertised heroin to children. God Bless it, anyone who hangs this up in their house somewhere is an absolute legend. Perfect example of a unique graphic from a certain point in time. Some people have compiled old books of all the craziest advertising pitches from these generations; they make for a real cornucopia of imagery. This was one of our favorites because look at the kids in the corner; they are seriously considering drinking that bottle of lean on the kitchen counter. What kind of world did people from this time live in? Jesus. Moving on to more unique auction ephemera…

The Letter that Inspired Beat Poet Jack Kerouac’s On the Road

This old manuscript is apparently the letter that inspired one of the Beat Generations greatest poets: Jack Kerouac. As far as old books and rare books go, you can see why this manuscript may be treasured by literature lovers of a new generation. You can almost still see the imprint of the pen and the fingerprints from Kerouac sealing up his letter. His side notes look like they were scribbled in English class, and there is something so serene knowing this unique manuscript led to some of the greatest books of the 20th century. It’s a unique find, and if you ever find something like this up for auction, take it!

Led Zeppelin Original Posters

For music lovers, this could be considered the best ephemera on the list: some original Led Zeppelin posters. The one of Jimmy Page playing at the Forum is particularly unique. Some antique graphic notation of Zeppelin’s sheet music or lyrics would be crazy interesting to find too, so keep an eye out for auction items that involve writings like that. For now, we that these posters would get you thinking about all the crazy music ephemera that is on auction! Everything from hip hop to EDM to Jazz, there must be thousands of highly unique collectibles out there.

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The Cursed Poets

Back in Blood: The Accursed Poetry of Baudelaire & Verlaine

If you create something so earth-shattering that a state government bans it, know you have found some powerful, and are wielding it correctly. This post looks at French poets so remarkable in their time, Parisians couldn’t handle their poetry’s themes of finding beauty in life… through the malignant, persistent evil that nips at all of our heels. Their works were banned, and they lives a fair bit shattered by the end.

These are the stories and verses of the “accursed” poets – Charles Baudelaire and Paul Verlaine.

Baudelaire & Verlaine: Heart of the Symbolist Movement

Poetic Approximations

During the mid-to-late 1800s, the world was changing – everything about society was just…. Changing. Within 40 years, a millennia of Industrial progress was made, inspired by in no small part the Industrial Revolution. People began to think that, even in the realms of art and poetry, the world could be broken down into objective realities – physical laws and reduced in a cold mathematical fashion. There had to be a pure state of “reason” people could reach through observing the material world, and that could ultimately solve all of humanity’s problems.

Most of you may love saying phrases like, “That’s just not rational!” Or, “Think logically for a second.” You know why those phrases don’t always work? Why they don’t always “make sense,” even if they seem, “Sensible?”

Because not everything about reality is logical. Some of it can only be conveyed through a more layered, poetic expression.

Describing the material world solely in naturalist, realist, objective terms was not enough; there was something that language was missing in describing what Ginsberg would call “Absolute Reality.” The art and poetry of the Symbolist Movement – driven by Baudelaire and Verlaine, sought a more esoteric, ethereal mysticism that better conveyed a powerful sense of being. It didn’t describe the human experience as a mechanical, objective thing that could just be bottled up; language only did its best to frame the indescribable sensation of existence. Baudelaire and Verlaine took this sentiment to the heart of a new artistic and literary movement: symbolism.

Banned: The Accursed Outcasts Baudelaire and Verlaine

Paris actually banned six of Baudelaire’s poems from The Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs del Mal) for being so risqué in its exploration and taboo subjects. Sexuality, the raw modern life experience… love… death. These guys covered it all and spawned entire artistic subcultures centered around the foundations of their poetry.

Charles Baudelaire and Paul Verlaine found life’s purpose in poetry: their art distilled beauty from the harsh depravity of reality. Poets saw the curse humanity had laid upon itself, and changed language through their gentle yet shockingly intense verses. If you doubt that, Baudelaire introduced the terms “modern” and “modernity” to common lexicon. You ever call something “modern?” You were invoking the sentiments of Charles Baudelaire without even knowing it.

To give you an idea of how Baudelaire perceived the world around him, The Flowers of Evil – specifically Lesbos – are required reading for poetry fans. He is the Godfather to the Modernist movement that swept over the world during the early 20th century:

Lesbos, where kisses are as waterfalls

That fearless into gulfs unfathom'd leap,

Now run with sobs, now slip with gentle brawls,

Stormy and secret, manifold and deep;

Lesbos, where kisses are as waterfalls!

And since that time it is that Lesbos moans,

And, spite the homage which the whole world pays,

Is drunk each night with cries of pain and groans,

Her desert shores unto the heavens do raise,

And since that time it is that Lesbos moans!

Never before had a male poet so artfully stepped inside the mind of a lesbian woman! By evoking Greek mythology and the island of Lesbos, Lesbos the poem tells the story of a lesbian woman excommunicated from her community by deciding to make love to a man, too. It’s such a layered and mystical, yet realistic relaying of how it would feel to have a gay subculture or community condemn you because of your changing “preferences.”

Even writing about a woman’s sexuality was totally off limits, so this poem, along with 5 others, were banned in Paris. Naturally, that only made the man more popular, inspiring a wave of poets and artists leading the Symbolist subculture movement. He once said about taboo topics like sexuality, “Everything that gives pleasure has its reason. To scorn the mobs of those who go astray is not the means to bring them around.”

Paul-Marie Verlaine:

All we can say about Verlaine is he would have been a songwriter in this generation. His poems are very bouncy in their rhythm, and his word choice and phrasing are certainly interesting. We’ve talked about Baudelaire mostly to this point, but Verlaine coined the term “cursed poets” to describe the art and poetry scene around him. Accursed because they saw perhaps what “could be” Verlaine’s earlier writings have an infectious enthusiasm and gentleness. Very interesting to get the guy’s firsthand take on his contemporaries!

Decadence Destruction & Symbolism Everlasting

Sadly, Baudelaire and Verlaine didn’t only lead the Symbolist Movement – they also were also men of an almost fiendish decadence. Their freewheeling lives were fueled by essentially a rock star lifestyle: drugs, sex, and booze. However, by the end, they died crazed alcoholics and addicts, alone.

Yet, remarkably, despite this tragic ending, they live in the remarkable subcultures that were inspired by their works, including future Modernist and Existentialist Thinkers. They were rare talents in the art/poetry, world, and we give them a bit of shine here. For more than one artist has said it’s better to burn out that to fade away. My, it appears the cursed poets felt the same.

And later an angel shall joyously pass

Through the half-open doors, to replenish and wash

The torches expired, and the tarnished glass.

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Harmonious religions and Emanuel Swedenborg

Much of our interest on this site – and life in general – come from subcultures that are truly a little niche of only a few thousand. Maybe even a few hundred. It’s like unearthing a rare gemstone. Over time, you build up a collection of all these unique stories, and it helps break the mold of stale thinking.

Today’s story is about a man who provided an alternative interpretation of the Bible – Emanuel Swedenborg – and before you get put off by the potential of religious dogma listen here: the guy thought everyone had a chance to heavenly salvation!! He wasn’t about subscribing to some specific doctrine or ideology. Swedenborg focuses on living according to the “spirit” of the Bible’s words.

In honor Swedenborg’s “New Church,” one of the world’s most interesting spiritual subcultures, we present the 3 most fascinating, unique insights from Emmanuel Swedenborg:

All the words of the Bible have an underlying “spiritual” meaning; it is not meant to be taken completely literally.”

Whew! That’s refreshing to hear! Followers of this Christian subculture are rare in this unified belief: The Bible’s meaning can only be discovered when putting together the meaning of every word and phrase. To Swedenborg, not a single word is meaningless within the Bible, and the deeper “spiritual” meanings only reveal themselves when you string together the most important parts of its outer shell: the “earthly meaning.”

Think of it like this: common sense tell us that there are layered meanings to the Bible. Swedenborg defined these levels as “earthly, spiritual, and divine.” To Swedenborg, the Bible’s meaning was layered like… let’s say a cake. Think of the Bible as a layered cake where every layer is absolutely delicious. That’s pretty much what this guy thought about the Good Book. You could only get the full experience by tasting each layer.... mmmmmm Bible cake Moving on!

He only Considered 5 Books of the 27 Books from the New Testament as True Gospel ”

On some real though, this really is interesting. For a time when religious dogma was much more prevalent in Western societies (the 1700s), Swedenborg explicitly states in Sacred Scripture, one of his early interpretive works, that only specific books from the Old and New Testament contain each layer of this “inner meaning.”

All Books from Old Testament

4 Canonical Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)

Book of Revelations

The fact the man saw fit to simply claim the other parts of the Bible Canon were essentially meaningless is really interesting. It makes you think: what did the guy notice in the other books that may him say, “Pffft.. I’m gonna tell people not to read all these Letters Paul wrote in Corinthians. Shit is garbage. They can just read Revelations, and be good.” Seriously! It’s a pretty rare thing to see a religious writer openly declare that 22 books of the New Testament lack “inner meaning.” It’s really refreshing to find a Christian subculture that stakes its credibility on saying the Bible is to be taken spiritually, not literally. No, there are not literally gonna be 4 Horsemen. They were just trying to scare you, ok? Jesus Christ, some people believe anything they read.

Anyone from any religion can get into heaven ”

This is perhaps the best aspect of Swedenborg’s religion: it allows anyone who discovers their “inner divine” being, guided by the True Word. That means to Swedenborg’s followers, people may “inwardly” follow Christ, even if they don’t act like an earthly follower by attending Church. Because of the rank hypocrisy that can come from earthly religion, Swedenborg left open the option that divine beings may have taken other earthly forms – living by different religions – and yet nonetheless have a spot reserved for them in heaven. This focus on the kingdom of Heaven being inside of you is one of the best parts of Swedenborg’s unique perspective. It empowers the individual to help find their own salvation, instead of putting it in the hands of an imaginary being. Cheers to Swedenborg for that!

Heaven for all people if they live best they know

Not a particular doctrine, but inner experience opens the kingdom of heaven + salvation

18th century Swedish scientist, philosopher, and theologian

Polymath and seemed very amiable in conversation, even when discussing

Faith + 1

Look at the layered spiritual meaning of the text

Goes through Revelations giving the spiritual meaning… one of the worst things I have ever read

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Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel: Queen of 20th Century Fashion

Fun fact: Coco Chanel is so remarkable she was the only fashion designer on Time Magazine’s “List of 100 most influential People of the 20th century.” There, she’s listed alongside military commanders and heads of state… all for helping women pick the right outfit, jewelry, and designer handbag for the occasion

Nowadays, vintage Chanel’s products are priceless for designers and collectors at auction; the fashion world still deeply admires Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, and it shows in how record-breaking the numbers for her pieces can go now. Celebrate this unique and historic fashion icon with us below, as we look at the 3 most expensive Coco Chanel collectors’ items ever sold at auction!

Chanel Bag for $32,500”

How adorable and striking is this designers bag? This is the Métiers D'Art Paris-Shanghai Black Lucite Matryoshka Evening Bag with Gold Hardware. It sold at Christie’s New York in an auction for $32,500. We just cannot get over and unique and chic this little dumpling of a bag this is; imagine the fashion statement you make walking into a restaurant and hanging this bag around your chair. High. Class. Shit. A very unique item, but much cheaper Coco auction items can be found, too!

1923 Fuchsia Silk Satin Evening Cape for $20,400”

How incredible is this designers cape, sold to a fashion collector for $20,400 at auction? This piece was created in 1923, but the silk and satin have clearly been restored to a brilliant color. Look at how rich the pink is on this unique piece: timeless. We can see why a century later, this garment went for the cost of a car at auction. Truly a fashion designer’s dream garb – one of the more unique collectors’ items you’ll ever see.

Coco Chanel’s Desk sold for $223,860 at The Ritz Paris, France Auction”

Yup. You read that right. A quart mil not for a car, not for a house… for a fucking desk. BUT NOT JUST ANY DESK! A designers’ dream desk: the desk of Coco herself. This is the quintessential fashion collector’s item: a unique piece of furniture owned by an icon of the fashion industry! Even a century later, Coco Chanel remains among the chicest brands in fashion, and this Coco Chanel suite would bring. It may look fairly ordinary to the untrained eye, but collectors out there decided this piece was unique enough for a seriously huge price tag. In fact, the auction organizers were stunned themselves; they said they had estimated the desk and chair to sell at $750, 300 times less than its auction price.

Check Our site for Chanel Designers Items in Future Auctions!”

If you search around the Internet enough, you’ll find Coco Chanel vintage items for auction. Check our Ouslet auction website for any fashion or collectors’ items you feel may bring a little elegance to your life!

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Antique books

No e-book will replace the atmosphere offered by a printed book with a touch of age. A solid old hardcover book is a jewel of any home library and handover tradition.

Pen or pencil scripts are artworks that are collectors prized and sought after. Electronic books cannot provide you with a truly unique manuscript of lost art. This artwork is not just a thing, it is also a story that awaits discovery inside the book. Stories that survive thanks to collectors for generations and create an image of society.

This "artwork part" existed only in manuscripts, which were then transcribed. The first printed edition was from the invention of the printing press around 1440. The books were printed in fifty sheets (block books) and are very rare. Most of these books come from 1460 and later. Dante was the first writer to describe the human being as a product of the time in a particular place under certain circumstances. In 1472, the first edition was published in Tuscan. Allegorically the poem tells of Dante's journey through the three realms of the dead and is a vision of the afterlife through which the narrator must travel to better understand the workings of the universe. It follows the numerical formula 9 plus 1, ie a total of 10: 9 circles of hell. 7 elements correspond to a specific moral scheme. Love is the theme of the whole The Divine Comedy. Unfortunately, no Dante manuscript has been preserved in the original version. There are only copies.

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Coins and Sunken Treasure

Throughout American history, tens of thousands of ships have been lost at sea and inland waters. Only a handful of these vessels were reported as having had significant quantities of coins aboard. In recent decades, numismatists have been front-row center as wrecks from several sidewheel steamers lost in the 1850s and 1860s have yielded rare coins.

The SS New York was lunched in 1837, carrying passengers between New York City and Charleston, South Carolina. The steamer was carrying $30,000 or more in money when she encountered an unexpected hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico on September 5, 1846. Captain John D.Philips ordered the anchor dropped, hoping to ride out the storm. The wind and waves increased, however, and for two days those aboard watched as the rigging and other parts of the ship were torn apart. On September 7 the storm prevailed and the New York was overwhelmed, sinking into water 60 feet deep. An estimated 17 people-about one third of the passengers and crew-lost their lives. Decades later, in 2006 and 2007, treasure seekers recovered more than 2000 silver coins and several hundred gold coins from the shipwreck. Most of the silver was heavily etched from exposure to the salt water, but certain of the gold coins where in high grades, including some of the finest known examples of their date and mint.

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How to properly evaluate the item, I want to sell?

What is a historical item - artifact?

In general, it is considered historical, an item older than 100 years. If the item is old but does not meet the criteria of a hundred years, it is considered as Vintage. Vintage design is easily recognizable and wanted in recent years. The handmade item before 1830 is generally considered an antique. It has increased value due to its original condition, collector's value, importance and age. Historically, the item is empirical evidence, not theory. These are artifacts of past stories in collections.

How do we divide product values?

Relative value

Determines the approximate value of the valued item based on comparable items at the current time.

Market value

Determines how much a product will sell for, based on the number of recently sold similar products, in a similar condition, in similar area. The actual price of the product based on the customer's willingness to pay the requested price. Must meet rational expectations.

Historical value

The value of a products grows depending on the time, exclusivity and uniqueness of the item on the market. It includes the regular updated value of the product and recording at a value at which they can currently be sold on the market.

Collector's value

The value of the item is different for each collector. Each collector has a different relationship, meaning to the item and therefore its price will vary. For most collectors, the goal is not profit. Profit is not the ultimate goal, but it is a useful part of collecting antiques.

In general, we can say, that antiquities as a whole do not lose their value over time, but on the contrary, their value grows and they are a good investment and protection against inflation if you later decide to sell your collection. Surely there is always a collector who just misses an item from your collection and is willing to respect your price so that the item has in its collection. If you like antiques, you can start here:

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What is lucid dreaming? An Ouslet Perspective

Normally, we are passive observers in your dreamland. Dreams can feel extremely real, but sense of reality where the events going on inside your dream are, simply, out of your control.

Ever curious of what would happen if you “woke up” during your dream? I mean, it’s literally a figment of your imagination. Being aware of the fact you are dreaming is the secret to lucid dreaming. You know you’re asleep, you know what you’re seeing is just a mirage from your brain… and yet there you are.

Would you be able to change your dream as you see fit? Maybe you start flying. Maybe you rob a bank or hike up Mount Everest in 20 seconds. Maybe you’re super boring and just Netflix and chill inside your dream.

While lucid dream earns an ethereal and esoteric reputation, it’s a very real scientific phenomenon. Scientists can tell when someone is lucid dream, in fact. Their eyes during REM move according to the reality inside the patient’s dream. And boy, some people have serious imagination’s on them. The society and world we create in a dream state may reveal layers of your consciousness you have trouble accessing during the waking day!

Master of Your Reality: Why Lucid Dreaming is so Powerful

To frame the secrets of lucid dreaming in a more scientific context, it helps to know that roughly 55% of adults have lucid dreamed at least once in their life. A quarter of them experience dreaming once a month, and barely 10% have regular lucid dream experiences.

And this may be a good thing, for while lucid dreaming is the definition of a “trippy” spiritual experience, it leaves the dreamer exhausted. Studies show that brain waves during lucid dreams are neither that of a waking state or REM sleep… it’s some weird hybrid in the middle.

Amazingly, the exact cause of function of lucid dreaming is still a confounding secret to scientists. However, a recent study suggested that lucid dreamers have a strong connection between three main networks in the brain:

- The frontoparietal network, responsible for executive decision-making by interacting with other control networks across the brain.

- The Default mode network (DMN), which lights up when individuals are focused on introspective topics, metacognitive functions, and memory retrieval – anything unrelated to the external environment.

The Dorsal Attention Network, one of two sensory orienting systems in the brain. The DAN is related to what we voluntarily decide to take in as sensory information and what cues we respond to when choosing where to direct our attention

The scientific curiosity behind lucid dreaming does not seem to be slowing down. In fact, as hyper realistic video games and virtual reality/metaverse activities become more popular in society, lucid dreaming will continue to be explored.

Lucid dreaming may help you answer this question:

IF you could control every molecule of reality and bend it to your whim, what would the choices you make say about deepest secrets? About who you really are?

Read more on how to lucid dream here

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Experience the ancient teachings and rituals of Shamanism on Ouslet

Humanity’s First Spiritual Intermediary: A Brief History of Shamans

Before we take you on a “spirit flight” through shamanic history, let’s point out a few obvious modern forms of shamanic practice:

Your religious leader takes a page right out of the Shamanic playbook when they talk about the “afterlife”

That time you felt “pure ecstasy” seeing your favorite performer live? You were tapping into the same energy shamans devote their entire lives to

Any time you’ve sat in a room with people you loved or respected, and you could feel the flow of the energy in the air as angels and demons fought overhead

Ever do drugs and have a good trip? Bad trip? All part of the shamanic tradition. Maybe you felt like you went to the “edge of the abyss” and back again. You’re a modern baby-shaman! Congrats!

Ever acted in a play? Pretended to growl like a tiger, or act like an animal? You’re borrowing imagery and embodied ideas of shamans millennia ago

There’s a reason thousands of scholars – and millions of people – feel such a strong attraction to the ethereal mysticism that cloaks shamanic rituals. The idea that we can, through ceremony, communicate with the spirit world to find eternal truths, speaks to the deepest sense of meaning we human beings seek in life. Shamanic practices, while varying widely in their aesthetic across the globe, all hold a singular aim: solve the pains and never-ending terrors of the human condition. Read part 2 to get the web’s most singular take on the relevance and influence of shamanism in modern life – brought to your by your friends at Ouslet

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Shamanism

A Quick Note on Animism

While this series of posts illuminates the evolution and influence of shamans in the modern world, it is important to note the existence of its “spiritual counterpart” – animism. Considered the world’s earliest religion, animism dates back to hunter-gatherers over 50,000 years ago. It encapsulates the idea that all material objects – trees, rocks, animals, humans, stars – have an interconnected spiritual energy flowing through it. While animism and shamanism are not one in the same, they relate closely to each other. Even today, religions like Shintoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism practice elements that could be considered “animist,” including leaving sacrifices at special shrines for the spirits overhead. Think of animism as the “mother” of all modern religion – it is that enduring a religious ideal for humanity.

To simplify, picture this:

Animism is a way of seeing and being in the world that evokes a constant spirituality. It’s observed like a religion. Animists feel “at the whim” of the spiritual world – kind of a “go with the flow” fatalism.

Shamanism is an active spiritual practice, not just observation. The shaman believes he can speak to, and engage with, this spiritual world. This sense of sacred individuality empowers shamans on their quest of fulfillment.

In a nutshell, if there was an “evil spirit” lurking in the air, the animist would say “oh no! There’s nothing we can do. Let’s try offering a sacrifice to appease this demon.” The shaman would remark, “I can enter a state to communicate with this evil spirit and tell him to get the hell outta here!”

…ok, maybe not in those exact words. But you get the point ? Shamans were much more hands-on in asserting their individual spirit when communicating with the Spirit World.

Unintentionally Biased: the Western Conception of Shamanism is Incomplete

Modern Western conception of shamanic practices started with the 1871 publishing of Primitive Culture by English anthropologist Sir Edward Taylor. What a guy. While Edward Taylor gave the basic framework westerners use to conceptualize shamanism, it’s important to remember for people that really want to dig into shamanic ritual that their perception of it may be a bit tainted by a this straight-laced Englishman. The form, purpose, power, and subtleties and shamanism may be glossed over if you overgeneralize shamanic rituals. While religious practices resembling shamanism appear in world cultures all over the world, the ethereal nature of each practice holds its own unique key to the universe. Don’t forget that as you read on.

It’s important to be respectful when talking about such ancient religious practices that filled our ancestors lives with color, connection, and meaning. So, please note that Shamanic practices refer more directly to rituals and cultural practices that came out of Siberia ~30,000 years ago.

What’s incredible is that, with remarkable synchronicity, Mesoamerican, Asian, Indian, Native American, and other indigenous cultures all developed their own unique spiritual “mediums” – ones who connected the living and the dead. The material and spiritual.

HOWEVER! These folks are not technically shamans. Some would argue that the term shamanism has been applied far too broadly. Indigenous cultures may consider themselves “naturalists,” “spiritualists,” “psychic mediums,” or priests – but NOT shamans.

However, don’t feel bad if you’ve overgeneralized shamanic practices! While each shamanic ritual is wholly unique in of itself (if done right), the sacred elements underpinning shamanism predate organized civilization by ~27,000 years.

To help grasp the purpose of the shamanic journey, check out the “4 tenants of shamanism” listed below:

Shamans are mystics who can communicate with the Spirit World

Shamans and the people they treat make use of psychedelic substances (e.g. – mushrooms, ayahuasca, salvia, cannabis) to attain a trance-like state, where spiritual engagement takes place

After experiencing the “edge of sickness and death” themselves, shamans tout the ability to heal people and transcribe prophetic messages for humanity. To an enlightened individual, a shaman is simply a sick man who has healed himself.

Rhythmic and harmonic “set and setting” encourage a sense of “religious ecstasy” – imagine the peak moment of seeing your favorite musical artist live. The rhythmic movement is intended to tap into the pulsations and vibrations of the wider cosmos, whose have been validated through scientific instrumentation.

You will learn more about Shamanism in the next part.

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7 Expert Tips To Do Antique And Vintage Wall Art

Antique and vintage wall art have emotional significance, but scattering it around the house will make it look dull and outdated. There are numerous ways to use wall arts to create a timeless aesthetic in your home.

High-quality antiques and vintage art never go out of style. Using these items to spruce up a space is thought to be a trendy, practical, and entertaining way to do so. Some of the better options can be found in online catalogs.

But, if you want to add character to your home, it's time to get off the treadmill of not so long-lasting trends and bring in some fantastic antique items. Finding vintage and antique wall art can be difficult. It is possible to bring vintage wall art products into your home on a budget, but only if you shop wisely.

Here are seven professional recommendations for selecting high-quality antique and vintage wall art to decorate your home successfully. Check out the following vintage wall art ideas to make your home look amazing.

Ÿ  Choose Some Unique Items

You can select unique wall art in a variety of styles and then combine them to make a nice arrangement in your home. Pay special attention to how some retailers have paired up different things you love.

As you know, antique shops are masters in displaying their goods for sale. Use this to help you decide what to put where in your house. Look for little works of art that may be displayed on bookshelves as well.

  • Recognize the Value of the Wall Art

Incorporating vintage wall art into a contemporary setting can be a difficult task. As a beginner, you must be aware of the indicators of aging.

Know that real vintage items will have a natural patina, such as wear around the crevices and grime on the handles. Ask as many questions as possible, as this is the only way to ensure that the antique wall art is genuine vintage.

  • Make Sure The Vintage Wall Art You Want Is Legitimate

Anything vintage or antique you choose for your home must be authentic. But how can you know if the stuff is genuine? Simply zoom in on their images. You will, in fact, find tiny dots that look like real artwork.

A few antique and vintage oil paintings have craquelure, which is a network of fine cracks on the canvas. However, craquelures are not seen in all antique wall art and paintings. As a rule of thumb, the darker the skin, the older it is.

  • Refinishing Vintage Wall Art

There's no harm in repainting or refurbishing ancient and vintage wall art if the situation calls for it. Many people are unaware that such items are available in a reasonable price range. Yes, spend less on a unique item and then tweak it to give it a fantastic look.

By using colors and patterns creatively, you can quickly restore any work of art. This will give the impression that the items are unique. Take a look at the antique wall arts you have right now and imagine how they will look with a new design or color.

  • Take Into Account The Wall Art's Condition

Just because you're looking for something old and antique doesn't mean you can get your hands on anything in terrible condition. It is impossible to find vintage art forms in excellent condition because they are over 100 years old. Minor flaws are acceptable because they add character to the item, but large canvas tears or missing frames should be avoided.

  • Always Buy From Reputable Sellers

The traditional approach to buying vintage wall art and other items is rapidly changing. People used to flock to the shady corner stores, but those days are long gone. Companies are now displaying their art forms in impressive settings.

They also restore and change the artwork to make it a perfect fit for a home. As a result, sticking with reputable dealers is always a good idea. They will provide you with high-quality items. However, pay attention to how the antique was made and look for signs of age.

  • Price

One of the main expert tips while buying antique and vintage wall art is to consider its price. Create a budget and look for items that will not force you to go over your allotted budget. This generally requires careful browsing and searching of antique and vintage wall art stores and sources.

Final Thoughts

These are the top tips to find vintage wall Art in a perfect way. Stay updated with these vintage wall art buying tips, and you will never go wrong. We hope you find the best vintage wall art for decorating your home—best of luck.

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How To Find The Best Vintage Art?

Vintage art is a must-have in our houses. People not only enjoy thrifting vintage art, but they also enjoy learning about the tales behind each item. Between vintage art and dull or uninteresting art, there is a thin line. People who choose vintage art require some extra guidance because they end up getting uninspiring and outdated items.

We've got some pointers to assist you in starting looking for your own treasures for that gallery wall, eye-catching statement piece, or extra home decor. Let's look at some of the most incredible ways how to find the best vintage art.

How Do You Select the Best Art for Your Home

Even for professionals, art may be scary. The Subject quickly devolves into multi-million dollar price tags, high-profile frauds, and everyone's favorite question, "what is art anyway?" It feels safer to go to the local HomeGoods for something blandly reliable than to go to the local flea market for who knows what.

We'll go ahead and spoil our favorite and top tip of vintage wall decor for you right now: Purchase what you adore. It makes no difference whether your favorite item is from Christie's or the discount bin at your local thrift store. Display it with pride. For the remaining advice on buying genuine vintage paintings with confidence, read on.

1. Analyze Your Area

Take stock of your available wall space and decide if you want one giant statement piece, two or three collaborative works, or a gallery wall display. Take measurements of the space and keep them with you as you look for paintings and frames.

You should also take note of how the light works in the room. Watercolors will fade in direct sunlight and may require UV protection glass, whereas acrylics are unaffected by the sun's rays. The colors in the piece will also be affected by the lighting. In a dark environment, details in a dark artwork will vanish, and yellow incandescent lighting will change the entire color pallet.

2. Take into account the Subject

Consider the subject matter of the artwork to which you are already drawn. Do you enjoy a good landscape painting or a still floral life? Vintage portraits are extremely popular right now. Your walls are the ideal spot to express yourself in your home.

If you've already painted the walls white and purchased a neutral sofa, the artwork is the place to be daring and explore the room's themes and color palette.

3. In Spaces With Vivid Paint, Use Black And White Art

Another thing to consider for getting the best vintage art is the quantity of color in the room. If you choose a bolder hue for the walls, perhaps you have fewer bold colors in your artwork. In these instances, people like to include black and white etchings or art with similar colors in muted tones.

They're a terrific way to add interest to the room without detracting from the paint color, whether they're of cityscapes, landscapes, or people.

4. Conduct More Research For Original Art

Have you ever been taken in by vintage paintings with phony brushstrokes? Do additional research on Is it an original? Buying original vintage wall art is always preferable to buying prints, not that prints are inherently inferior.

It's only that if it's an original artwork, you'll be much more likely to buy it. Touch the surface and come up close, like inches away, to look for tell-tale printing dots to see whether it's an original.

5. Condition

Tears, gouges, scratches, discoloration, stains, and peeling paint are all red flags that should be considered when determining the selling price. Consider whether you are comfortable showing the piece in its current state or whether it is worthwhile to engage in restoration. Checking the condition of the best vintage art should be your first priority.

6. Choose Attractive Art

This one is a little more difficult because the concept of beautiful vintage wall art is so subjective. and trends shift all the time. When selecting art for yourself, it's best to go with your gut instinct.

Do you think this piece is particularly lovely? If so, why or why not? Those answers are based on art theory and art history, but you should buy what you want.

Just don't choose famous or expensive vintage art to make oneself look cool, but instead choose charming vintage art that you find lovely and appealing. So, who cares if the artist is well-known or if a similar item is $200 on Etsy? All that matters is whether the art you've recently discovered makes your heart sing.

7. Different Sized Gallery Art

It's also vital to add some interest to the gallery wall by using varying sizes, vintage frames, and mats. Having varying-sized vintage wall art allows you to fill in gaps while also producing eye movement. Another fantastic approach to creating interest is using a mix of black, wood, and brass frames.

Having a single general type of frame, prevents the eye from noticing each and every distinct element. A gallery wall is an excellent place to experiment with various sorts of art. This is the spot to put some low-cost prints. It's all about keeping things interesting.

Final Thoughts

Finally, it all depends upon what you're looking for. Finding the best vintage wall art is one of our favorite aspects of designing a home, and these techniques and tricks are what most people have implemented in their lovely settings. Everything, including art, appears better in natural light. Replace your light bulbs with a natural, soft white glow that mimics the sun.

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Trendiest Hipster Look

Though the hipster appearance can now and then appear convenient, cultivating it, in reality, takes quite a chunk of effort. Hipster women have a completely positioned-together yet laid-lower back fashion, however, to get this, you need to devise your hipster clothing and add-ons ahead of time.

The important thing to nailing this hipster appearance is progressively building up a few unconventional and vintage clothes and combining them with secure garments. Even in case, you spend hours mulling an outfit over, you mustn’t allow anyone to realize! Being laidback is the aim of the sport, don’t permit everybody to realize how an awful lot of notion went into your style – you had been born hipster.

Hipster styles are constantly in. Whether you choose a more boho vibe or a darker goth look, there are so many style proposals that will help you rework your dresser from fundamentals to indie this year. Hipster style is wonderful and has a hint of vintage and rustic style that evolved from pop culture. If you’re unsure what aesthetic fits you, have a look at the fashion tips for the hipster lady article that will help you locate your true style.

1. Include the boho

Hipster girl garments are laid lower back and sit back, however, if you need to take more notions from the 1960s and Nineteen Seventies, have a look at a few boho alternatives too. Combining the standard hipster jeans and t-shirts with a few girly boho styles and jewelry can preserve the look antique and tailored to you. High examples of boho prints are paisley prints and florals, particularly daisy prints. Rings with colored gemstones also are present-day within the boho fashion, and the usual rule is the more, the merrier! You could even get antique-style t-shirts with astrology or floral prints that look like they’re from the 70s to complete the hipster and boho fusion. p>

2. Vintage styling

Hardcore hipster fans love vintage shops. Some can even spend lots of dollars seeking to get the pleasant proper antique pieces to complete theirs seems. Whilst this is a complex hobby, spending a lot of money and time looking for vintage garments isn’t handy for every person. In case you want to locate an alternative, try your nearby thrift shops! Thrifting can occasionally be disappointing; however, you never recognize what hidden gems you’ll discover at the racks of your neighborhood store.

3. The enduring appeal of shirts

Button-down shirts are commonly notion of as work uniforms and not style clothes, but we’re right here to remind you the way stylish those may be –specifically in case you’re after a hipster style. Outsized is regularly favored as you could tuck the saggy blouse into denim or put on it open with a thrilling bralette under it. From stripes to standard cloth, shirts are a reasonably-priced and antique manner to begin dressing extra hipster. You could even locate ones in subtle paisley prints or florals, which combine the hipster and boho aesthetic if you want.

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Tips To Design A Commercially Strong Fashion Collection

Are you planning to design a commercially strong fashion collection for yourself? Not sure from where exactly are you going to start off? Well, running a fashion brand is not at all something really easy. You must keep in mind that a successful fashion brand should not just concentrate on the range of products. Instead, they should also keep the quality and the cost of the products in mind. So, here we are with some of the important things that you require to keep in mind while trying to design a commercially strong fashion collection for your customers:

Follow a signature style

All your products should have a story to tell. They should reflect the personality of the wearer and also completely blend with his/her figure and personality. One of the main elements of creating a good collection is to have a signature style. The style may evolve with time but it should always remain recognizable. Your signature style is what sets you apart from other stores. It also creates a name for yourself in the fashion industry. So, try to create a signature style for yourself and design clothing items on the basis of that.

The collection should be versatile

When it comes to fashion, versatility is the key. You must offer a huge variety of clothing items to your customers. What might look good on one customer might not look that beautiful on someone else. So, you must have something for every customer. You will find a lot of the designers who specialize in creating a certain type of clothing item only but this should not be the case for you. You should always keep the likes and desires of all kinds of customers in mind and create your fashion collection.

The clothing items should be available in sizes

While designing your clothes, make sure that you have items available in different sizes. In that way, you will be able to offer your clothing items to a large number of customers. As a result, your customer base will increase and your brand will also fall to the notice of all the fashion lovers out there. This is going to do really good for your brand.

The price is also important

A successful fashion brand should offer choices of all types to the customers. The choices should not just be in terms of colors and design but also in the form of pricing options. You need to have clothes available in a wide variety of price ranges. In that way, you will be able to offer your clothes to all types of customers. No matter what their budget is, they are definitely going to find something suitable for them.

To end with:

And this is how you can design a commercially strong fashion collection for your brand and take the success of your brand to an entirely new level. For more details on the same, you must keep visiting us.

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Build an Exclusive One-of-a-Kind Wardrobe

Are you planning to build an exclusive wardrobe for yourself? Not sure how exactly are you going to achieve your goal? Well, building an exclusive wardrobe is not something really simple. You need to be very particular about your choice of clothing. You also have to keep your budget in mind and depending on that, you should build your closet. Your closet should also contain unique pieces that are exclusive to your personality. So, here we have listed some of the things that you need to keep in mind in order to create an exclusive wardrobe for yourself:

Do your research:

First and foremost, you need to start off by doing research on your own. You will have to try and understand your style and personality and depending on that, you need to do your research on what kind of clothes might look good on you. Do not blindly follow trends. Instead, go for something that you are comfortable in and you also look stylish. If you are not comfortable in a particular piece of clothing, then no matter how expensive it is, it will not look good on you.

Try to be innovative:

Simply investing a huge amount of money on something is not enough. Instead, you need to be innovative. You should come up with unique ideas by which you can give a complete makeover to your wardrobe. Sometimes, being innovative will help you to come up with outfit ideas within a budget. You can also mix and match outfits and create a completely new look for yourself. So, try to be creative with your thoughts and go for those clothing pieces that you can wear around on different occasions and look good in them.

Go thrifting:

Thrifting is the best shopping option to build a unique wardrobe for yourself. When you buy vintage clothing items for yourself, not only do you get unique items, you are also saving yourself a lot of money. Also, you will find a huge variety of clothing items at a thrift store. Shopping at a thrift store is also really fun and interesting. It can also be an inexpensive way of picking clothes that are going to last for days. However, you need to choose your story carefully and pick the best clothes for yourself.

Versatility is the key

You must always try to maintain versatility while you are filling your wardrobe with clothing items. Always go for versatile clothing pieces for yourself so that you can wear different clothes on different days. Investing your money on the same type of clothing items is not a really good idea, so buy different clothing items and give yourself a unique look each time you step out of the house

To end with:

.And this is how you can build an exclusive one-of-a-kind wardrobe for yourself. You should also make use of your innovativeness and creativity and pick clothes for yourself that will give you a smart, stylish and sophisticated look.

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Some Unique and Most Valuable Stamps in The World

Stamp collecting is regarded as one of the most profitable hobbies for the majority of individuals. It's a hobby that not only entertains and makes you happy but also teaches you a lot. Stamp collecting teaches geography, biography, history, culture, and art to the collector. Stamps are world mirrors, reflecting the outer world. For certain governments, stamp collectors are a significant source of revenue. They produce limited editions of beautiful stamps aimed mostly at stamp enthusiasts. 

The Treskilling Yellow:

One of the most costly postage stamps in the world is the Treskilling Yellow. The three-skilling print was planned to be printed in a blue-green color, but it ended up being printed in yellow. In 1855, Sweden issued a stamp that had been printed incorrectly. It's thought to be the sole copy in existence. That is why it is valued at more than $2.6 million. The Treskilling Yellow is the sole one of its kind, making it Sweden's rarest and most valuable stamp, as well as one of the world's most valuable stamps.

Canada 12- pence black: 

The Black Empress of Canada is another name for the Canada 12-pence black. The first issuance of this scarce stamp was in 1851. The stamp features a depiction of Queen Victoria that is extremely similar to Alfred Edward Chalon's portrait. Chalon Head is the name of this design. The stamps were printed in over fifty thousand copies, but just a few were sold. The majority of the unsold stamps were destroyed in 1857. According to some estimates, fewer than 100 stamps of this type remain today. 

Baden 9 Kreuzer:

Another significant stamp is the Baden 9 Kreuzer, which continues to be Germany's rarest and most expensive stamp. The stamp is notable for being printed in green rather than pink, and the error was not discovered until 44 years after the stamp was first issued. 9-Kreuzer was printed green instead of pink one day when printing. Only four of these stamps were supposed to exist for decades: three were attached to letters, and one remained unused. In May 2019, an ardent philatelist discovered a fifth stamp in an album he had started as a child. The stamp, according to the unnamed collector, belonged to his grandmother. 

British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta:

The British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta stamp, labeled the "world's most famous stamp," is currently the most expensive stamp in the world. The stamp's most famous possessor was John Eleuthére du Pont, who was convicted of the assassination of Olympic wrestler David Schultz. After du Pont's death, the stamp was sold as part of his estate. This stamp sold for $9.48 million, making it the most valuable stamp in the world!

 

Whole Country is Red:

This Chinese stamp is highly sought after and has a fascinating backstory. It was never released since it was believed to be too large. However, a smaller version was released subsequently, displaying China in red and some people carrying Chairman Mao phrases. During the Cultural Revolution in 1968, it was first published. 

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Hand-Painted Shoe Ideas

The idea behind hand-painted footwear is to make your shoes stand out. The creativity and talent of a designer can make any shoe look unique by giving it a fashionable touch of customized artistry.

Shoes are a great way to add interest to your main outfit and express your creativity and individuality. An original pair of shoes makes the right outfit look dull and lifeless. However, hand-painting your shoes with unique designs or intricate patterns transform your outfit and give you that little confidence you may need to get through a tough day.

Why The Need For Hand-Painted Shoes?

More people now opt for custom-made, one-of-the-kind shoes, clothing, and accessories. Not only are hand-painted shoes great for the individual, but the move towards unique, custom-made shoes instead of bulk-produced shoes is growing.

With growing environmental concerns and a shift towards sustainable fashion, bulk shoe production is losing momentum. Bulk-produced shoes consume large amounts of natural resources, are costly, and are harmful to the environment. Unused shoes, shoes that haven't been worn end up on ever-increasing refuse heaps and become an environmental hazard.

Fashion Trends Around Hand-Painted Shoes

Recent fashion trends and the buzz around fashion news show an increase in hand-painted shoes with unique designs. Custom-designed shoes are different; no two pairs of shoes are the same, they make unique gifts, and they are ideal to be handed down through the generations.

From the shores of India to the inner hub of South Africa, there is a growing trend towards hand-painted shoes.

A Pakistani artist, Haider Ali, uses a pair of Nikes as his canvas and creates unique designs, commonly called truck art by local Pakistanis. The designs are intricate, colorful, trendy, and unique.

Since showing off his work on Instagram, his social media account has blown up with requests worldwide.

Another example of trendy hand-painted shoes is those from South Africa. At the Dubai Expo 2020, which took place in 2021, South African contemporary artist Ester Mahlangu showcased her Ndebele designs on a pair of Air Jordans.

Another example of trendy hand-painted shoes is those from South Africa. At the Dubai Expo 2020, which took place in 2021, South African contemporary artist Ester Mahlangu showcased her Ndebele designs on a pair of Air Jordans.

Her unique shoes, hand painted with a chicken feather, went unsold, although they were worth approximately $500 000. The shoes went on tour to the art cities of the world to raise awareness and funds for Ester Mahlangu's pet project, Ayashisha Amateki. The organization assists rising artists with scholarships and funds small businesses.

Several artists and footwear designers from South Africa showed off their hand-painted designs and creations at the Dubai Expo and brought attention to their spectacular footwear ranges.

Whether you're looking for a way to spice up an old pair of shoes or start from scratch with an entirely new pair, you should explore different paint techniques, motifs, or stenciling to create your unique pair of hand-painted shoes.

5 Reasons Why Hand-Painted Shoes Are The Future

The trend towards selecting custom-made, hand-painted shoes over bulk-produced ones is increasing. And it's not only the Gen Y's who've caught onto this growing trend. It's caught everyone's attention.

Here are five reasons why people choosing hand painted shoes;

1. Hand Painted Shoes Offers Unique Designs

When you walk into a hall, you are assured the person across from you does not have the same pair of shoes as you! Each pair of hand-painted shoes is like the artist's signature or thumbprint. It has a unique mark that cannot be imitated.

2. Hand Painted Shoes Are Comfortable

Artists and footwear designers often use acrylic or fabric paints on shoes. However, before applying the paint, the shoes are scrubbed clean, and a special layer of varnish treatment is applied. The varnish protects the shoes but also prevents the paint from peeling.

You would be wrong in thinking that a hand-painted shoe is uncomfortable and stiff with paint. To prevent the shoes from being stiff and uncomfortable, artists treat them before and after the applying the paint.

3. Hand-Painted Shoes Are Safer On The Environment

There is some contention around whether the paints are environmentally friendly or not. However, if you see how consumerism is destroying our beautiful planet, you will have a change of heart.

Hand-painted shoes have a less environmental impact, reduced production waste, reduced energy loss, and reduced pollution.

4. Hand Painted Shoes Are Custom Made

Before the impact of bulk production, every clothing item was handmade, leaving a mark on so many. Handmade garments and shoes were a testament to quality.

Recently there's a shift towards custom, handmade products, like hand-painted shoes. That's as more people realize handmade shoes offer better quality, are personalized, and make terrific gifts, and you receive your custom-made hand-painted shoes delivered to your doorstep.

Life does not get better than that!

5. Why Blend In When You Can Stand Out?

Bold, bright, and colorful, splashes of pattern, floral prints, checks, anything goes on hand-painted shoes. Your hand-painted shoes will draw attention.

Some may perceive you as weird, one of those artsy punks, but your shoes reflect your unique style and taste! People will gossip about you anyway, so why not give them something to talk about, right?

Conclusion?

For those looking to explore their artistic side, hand-painted shoes are a unique medium for artists and hobbyists. Hand-painted shoes add personality, color, texture and humor to your custom-designed footwear. You can create a truly one-of-a-kind piece that will turn some heads.

Hand-painted shoes can also be an excellent career opportunity for those creatives looking for another canvas to express their unique style.

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How To Choose Color Harmony For Artwork

Working with visual references is generally more challenging than working with real pigments and live scenes. With respect to this, I usually picture the scene in my mind and allocate colors that I think the illustration should have. For example, I would choose a variety of blues for a night scene, or warm colors for a daytime one. This phase will largely depend on the color of the key light.

I choose a warm palette, because I know I want to have cool key light and lot of warm shadows. It is important to steer away from vivid light contrasts in these initial stages.

This color (dark) base is simply a starting point, so there is no pressure to get every light and color aspect correct immediately. In the end, if you work like me, you will do so many corrections that your image will completely change and have almost nothing to do with the starting point. There are a number of reasons we use this base, not least because it is less intimidating to work on than a plain white canvas.

These are as follows:

1. It is very difficult to judge a value over a white background. Every color appears dark in comparison to the white and therefore your color choices will be inaccurate. Notice how different this value may appear when it is applied on top of different color values. This is why it can be tricky to begin with a white canvas, because everything looks to dark.

2. You are more likely to have good color harmony in your final piece if you start with a good color harmony. You should be able to relate your colors to each other easily and more effectively throughout your work.

Now your color harmony is established, you can begin to sketch out the shapes you want to include in your image. With your base color spread in mind, you should also begin to consider the value and color for each individual shape.

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Alt Fashion Trends

Alternative fashion gives people a way to express themselves in one of the most eccentric modern styles. Style is a unique personal expression of individuality. Once an alternative style becomes popular, it is reproduced and loses the appeal of uniqueness and rebellion.

A few examples of how alt style slips into the mainstream.

Steampunk - Digital and traditional style is mixed into a retrofuturistic style where the basic element is the roughness and rawness of the Punk subculture.

Cyberpunk - Is a combination of high technology and modern underground culture in cyberspace. It is inspired by Punk and Gothic. It focuses on social aspects in society after the third industrial era.

Emo - This emotive Punk style works more like free-associative poetry or an intimate confessional. Emo fashion is associated with skinny jeans, black eyeliner, tight T-shirts with band names, studded belts, and flat, straight, jet black hair with long bangs. The truth is that the mainstream sees Emo more like the new Rap rock or the New grunge.

Goth - The style is based on Punk, New Wave and New Romantism and is a link between aesthetics, fashion and music. Mythology and cults are an integral part. In the course of the development of the Gothic subculture, classic horror literature from the German Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, the composer and author of horror, the American writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe, and the French poet Charles Pierre Baudelaire played an important role. In any case, of all the subcultures, Gothic has been out of the mainstream the longest.

These Punk subcultures, rejecting the aesthetics of industrial fashion design, are paradoxically becoming mainstream.

Ouslet Society - The principles and style on which the community is based is inspired by fringe subcultures from Underground, Beat Generation through Punk to Hippies.

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Witch's Herbal Apothecary

Mother Earth is a living entity in her own right. It holds a sentient being with powerful therapeutic remedies for communities’ physical and spiritual ills. Sadly, many people are cut off from access to this vital food source in the modern world. Today we will make you learn the rhythms of the natural world and how to reconnect with them using the cycle of the calendars as a guide.

As far back as we can trace back, we can find evidence of herbs being used as a sacred symbol. There's a long-standing fascination with and interpretation of this living thing as a bridge between "two worlds" because its roots extend below the surface into the underworld.

You will be able to access the tremendous Earth Magick of birth, growth, decay, and rebirth mysteries by working with plants, the seasons, and the cycles. With the opening of the magical doorway that occurs with the change of each season, you can collect the earthly and ethereal bounty that nature has to offer at that moment.

Herbs stood for development, power, steadiness, and adaptability. Strangely, it serves as a reminder to communities of their own immortality and rebirth, as it has repeatedly died and risen to life over the course of many years and many seasons. The natural world's cyclical nature secrets of life, death, and rebirth were embodied for man through these sacraments of the plant world. Additionally, the tree "represents the living universe, continually replenishing itself.

The Herbal Apothecary  "symbolizes the ever-renewing vitality of the living universe." It also represented a sense of interconnectedness in light of the knowledge that life is real, death is real, and that these two follow one another and move together for forever.

The History of the Apothecary's Origins

Once upon a time, in a public health era that now seems impossibly remote, there existed a world where narcotics were freely available at any time and place. In this era, apothecaries utilized those exciting druggists who precisely blended plants and minerals, sometimes with the addition of animal fat or earwax, to cure their fellow man’s ills.

Traditional usage of the word "apothecary" encompassed both the drug manufacturer and the drug dealer. Apothecaries, though staples of fantasy cultures, were not supernatural, magical individuals that possessed secrets of great worth.

Legends of an Old Communities Healer

There is a long and rich, mysterious history of using plants for medical purposes that connect people worldwide. Herbs, plants, roots, flowers, and fungi all played essential roles in developing the first medicines.

Archaeologists have discovered various subculture artifacts dating back to the Paleolithic period, about 60,000 years ago, indicating medicinal herbs being utilized. The Sumerians of ancient Mesopotamia created the earliest credible record of herbal treatments more than 5,000 years ago. Over 250 different plant species were represented in the medicine concoctions carved into clay tablets.

The Vedic writings and the Ayurvedic (the science of life) traditions of East India are rich with descriptions of edible herbs and their uses. Charaka 800 B.C and Sushruta 500 B.C were two of the first Ayurvedic herbalists to document the use of the plant, mineral, and animal preparations. These early formulations, or herbal mixtures, were used to create therapeutic prescriptions.

Herbal Apothecary and its Intricate Ritual Tapestry of Death and Rebirth

Inventions of novel medications from medicinal plants have global significance. In Europe, 90% of the 1300 medicinal plants used come from the wild, while in the US, around 118 of the top 150 prescription medications are derived from natural ingredients.

In addition, up to 80% of people in low-income regions rely only on herbal remedies as their primary healthcare, while more than 25% of Western medicine is based on natural herbs.

Historically, the practice of Herbal Apothecary and its effects on the mind-body connection has been held in high regard, almost to the point of the sacrament.

Some contemporary animists have analogized this to a vast web of life, where each node represents a unique life and the interconnected strands branch out in myriad ways. When a person passes away, their consciousness is reabsorbed into that vast web, and a new node is formed over time. Is this node comparable to the one before it? Probably not. It has developed and matured, and the process of evolution and growth continues.

Embrace the wonder of life with herbal remedies for pampering and spiritual practice. Give your loved one the gift of soulful reflection with this assortment. You can give a jolt of energy to the person in your life who always gives 110% with a herbal kit that contains a nourishing blend of mystery ingredients to help them stay healthy.

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Occult Facts about Paganism, the Strange Ancient Religion

A Quick Note on Paganism

Unlike any other religious movement, paganism with its 1.5 million followers within the U.S alone is an esoteric spiritual tradition that is more holistic in the sense that its members comprise groups that practice nature-based polytheistic religions. This is based entirely on ancient religions. Beliefs among pagans are varied with deep roots on various traditions but all have a strong reverence for the natural environment and the physical world, and a strong bigotry to any form of authoritarian religion.

Pagans simply perceive the world as a place of joy and life, and not of sin and suffering. They hold the belief that the divine is already here in the natural world and not somewhere else beyond the clouds, a place imagined to be full of milk and honey. They are earth conscious and venerate nature and the earth deeply. Additionally, in a world of paganism, there exists a strong belief in multiplicity of Gods and Goddesses, and not a single immortal being. Some pagan subcultures refer these as gods with mere names whose work is to grant them easier access to the divine.

Paganism Defined

This is a polytheistic or pantheistic religion that is based on the reverence and worship of nature. It dates to the ancestral ages of humanity and has remained unchanged for centuries. The esoteric spiritual tradition is widespread globally among less complex subcultures and more prominent in complex civilizations in parts of the world such as India and Japan.

Various religions of classical antiquity that included Rome, Germany, Persia, Greece, Slavic ethnic groups, and Egypt embraced paganism. The ideology behind the religion is a deep reverence to nature and the worship of many deities, comprising gods and goddesses. The word paganism is an umbrella term derived from Latin word paganus, translated to mean those that reside in rural areas. It was the emergence and subsequent spread of Christianity within the Roman Empire that led to the prominence of the word pagans. Christianity was at the time mostly practiced in cities and not by those on rural areas. Therefore, anyone that did not practice Christianity was referred to as a “pagan” since they believed in the “old ways”.

A pagan is the follower or worshipper of nature-worshiping pantheistic or polytheistic religion. Seasons or the natural cycle in nature are viewed by pagans as models of spiritual renewal and growth. As such, pagans hold sequence of festivals, in line with the cycles to access the different divinities depending on the time of year. The earth is viewed as sacred, and some pagan followers offer the first libation of wine to the earth.

The Single Defining Aspect of Paganism

All pagan religions uphold the feminine face of divinity. No single pagan religion or subcultures will exist in the absence of a goddess(s). In fact, pagan paths that offer special adherence to a male god do not refute the existence of other goddesses and gods. Examples of these include the cult of Mithras and the cult of Odin. All pagan belief systems have a goddess or goddesses.

Modern Paganism

Modern pagans are widespread and are primarily defined as followers of the polytheistic or pantheistic nature-worshipping religions. There exist some subcultures of paganism with clear distinctions, for instance, witchcraft, Christo-paganism, Wicca, and Druidry.

Pagans are a mystery community with eight major holidays observed, with specific rituals attached to each holiday. These may involve chanting, processions, singing, and many other actions. These events are done communally and privately. Followers are free to do as they please.

Pagans are instinctively free and to some extent amorphous. They never judge themselves or others and view all religions as equal. In fact, most of the followers of modern paganism comprise members that view institutionalized belief systems such as Christianity and Judaism as restrictive and subjective. Most have had negative experiences with these religions.

To help shade lighter on the mystery community of paganism, see below 3 Core principles of modern paganism:

-- Responsibility for your own beliefs. No one recruits anyone into paganism. The freedom is in your hands to join them if you like. The pagan culture and subcultures are therefore widespread.

-- Freedom to choose your own deity and worship it. This also means do what you will if it does not harm others.

-- Reverence or worship of nature. Nature is seen as a manifestation of the divine and not a fallen creation. The changes in seasons are seen as signs of spiritual renewal and growth.

Conclusion

Pagans alike hold the belief that no single religion is superior to the other. No wonder the number of Wicca/pagan followers keeps growing, with the number in America expected to hit 6.6 million by 2050. You can find out more about paganism and other practices in our site and mystery books.

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Top 10 Unusual Artefacts

Archaeologists often unearth truly extraordinary and odd discoveries. Sometimes the discovery is so astounding that it is phenomenally rare in terms of its origin, usage, and time of creation. These artefacts help us learn about our ancestors and even the unknown world that once existed. Here is the list of the top ten unusual artefacts. 

Antikythera Astronomical Calculator:

The Antikythera mechanism is an unusual artifact that dates to 2000 years. It is made of bronze and was found in the year 1900 on the island of Antikythera, Greece, in the buried debris of a Greek cargo ship. The amazing facts about it are the mechanism's intricate gears and dials. It is an astrophysical computer that can predict solar, lunar, and planetary positions. The mechanism is very strange because the technology to make it work was only developed a thousand years after the instrument was made. The analog computer-like gadget uses advanced technologies beyond its era.

Ubaid Lizardmen:

Several 7,000-year-old artifacts showing anthropomorphic creatures with lizard-like traits, including long heads, almond-shaped eyes, long, elongated faces, and a lizard-like snout, were found at the Tell Al Ubaid excavation site in Iraq. The antiques look to be dressed in a helmet and have shoulder protection of some kind. Other figures were discovered holding a staff or baton, as a sign of justice and authority. Male and female sculptures were discovered in a variety of poses, but the most peculiar is the female figures holding breastfed infants with lizard-like characteristics. Ubaidian culture is old. It lived in Mesopotamia from 5,500 BC to 4,000 BC, but the amazing fact is that the found artifacts are 7000 years old. 

The Bolshoi Zayatsky Island:

The Bolshoi Zayatsky Island in northern Russia is a mystery community. The 3000 B.C. Island features communities, an irrigation system, and an esoteric spiritual tradition. The structures have vast stacks of boulders with bones, petroglyphs, and cryptic stone labyrinths that marked the border between earth and the afterlife and helped the deceased move on to their next life as reincarnation accessories.

Baghdad Battery:

A 2,200-year-old earthen jar found in Bagdad is approximately six inches tall and three inches wide. The jar with an asphalt plug held a copper layer laid into a pipe over the opening. A copper disc had an asphalt lid at the bottom of this tube. A thin iron rod was pinned through the anterior asphalt plug and hung limply in the middle of the pipe without contacting it. They could electroplate gold onto silver.

Nebra sky disc:

Being found near a mount in an old village named Nebra, this disc is regarded as having been in use for 200 years before it was buried. It shows the night sky with stars, a crescent moon, and the sun. It was a reminder of when it was time to synchronize the solar and lunar years by adding an extra leap month. 

Piri Reis Map:

The Piri Reis Map was discovered in a library in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1929. It was created in 1513. The map's depiction of Antarctica, a continent that was never found until 1818, is what stands out the most. Amazingly, someone could have known about Antarctica in 1513.

The Salzburg Cube:

The Salzburg Cube, also known as Wolfsegg Iron, was discovered in 1885 and buried in coal near Austria. It was initially thought to be a meteorite, but it was later discovered to be an artifact created by an unknown source. The age of the Salzburg Cube would be at least sixty million years. Its origin remains a secret.

The disk of Death:

Currently found in the Anthropology Museum of Mexico, this disk was found in 1964 at Teotihuacan. Though it is unclear what this sculpture is about, archaeologists believe that the halo-like structure behind the skull is related to sunrise and sunset, as the ancient Egyptians associated life and death with the daily cycle. 

Advanced stone Age tools in Keezhadi:

According to genetic evidence, more than 90% of modern humans descended from a small group of Homo sapiens who fled Africa around 60,000 years ago. However, Keezhadi, a site in southern India where ancient human ruins have not been thoroughly explored, demonstrates that people lived there more than 200,000 years ago and used sophisticated technologies. It's interesting to think about whether this means that different hominids developed similar skills on their own or that our ancestors left Africa in stages or belonged to their subcultures.

Codex Gigas:

The name translates to "giant book," and it is a giant and one of the mystery books of the world. The book includes both the old and new testaments, as well as topics such as exorcism, medical works, a calendar, and much more. But what makes this book "The Devil’s Bible" is just one page. One page has no explanation. That page has a huge, fully colored rendering of the Dark Lord.

Conclusion

These artefacts, even though considered to be man-made, possess a mystery, and modern science thrives on solving the puzzles. But the discovery of these treasures is truly a gift to mankind, and they add spice to our lives.

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