Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Thrifty Spinster!

First off, I've been terribly lax lately, mainly because I've just finished a very good book and I wanted to write something that would do it justice instead of just dashing off yet another opinionated ramble.

But I just had to post something about this great Reuters "Oddly Enough" article, because it was too awesome not to share (I love their "Oddly Enough" pieces)!

Apparently, a Spinster in England had stashed away an $8million art collection in her "modest home," unbeknown to her family and friends:

"Jean Preston, a thrifty 77-year-old spinster who rode the bus and ate frozen meals, died in 2006. But art experts and auctioneers have now completed the sale of the exceptional works hoarded in her modest home.

Preston, who worked as a librarian for much of her life, inherited many of the works from her father, a keen collector. Her relatives were stunned by the artworks she had tucked away.

"My aunt bought her clothes from a catalog, ate frozen meals and went everywhere on the bus," the Daily Mail newspaper quoted one of them as saying.

"Who would have thought she had the equivalent of a winning lottery ticket in her spare room all these years?"

And she was a librarian to boot!

I nominate her for Spinster Aunt of the Year.


Anonymous said...

They say 'hoarded' as if everything about her were crazy. She took the bus? How eccentric. Well, none of them are winning the Spinster Aunt award, are they?

Spinster Aunt said...

I think it's very interesting that she chose to keep her treasures all to herself, not so much because she didn't sell the lot and make a bundle, but because I'd think there would be a desire to share such beautiful things with the world. I know it would drive me nuts not to be able to show everyone such lovely paintings. And the Chaucer!

Of course, on a purely practical level, she might have been afraid to let people know the extent of her riches. A woman living alone must never be too careful.

From what I've read of her, she seems worthy of admiration (who knows, maybe she was a monster, the article doesn't go into that). I admire her for what was evidently her enjoyment of the objects for themselves, and not the money the were worth.

Huzzah to those who know the value of everything and the price of nothing, as it were.