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I thought that some of you might enjoy a brief report on the OMSA convention which was held last week. For Imperial German collectors, it was a pretty good affair.

Most notably, our fellow member Andreas Schulze-Ising led the parade with a fine assortment (different states and different price ranges) of items, to be followed by two other collectors; one of which had some nice individual pieces and another who had some fine groups along with a Griffin grand cross set. Yours truly brought along his kennel of cats and dogs.

Throughout the bourse, there were still many other pieces pretty much on a ?here and there? basis and, as always, the many ?under the table? items; which brings up a matter which I think is worth mention.

For the benefit of those of you who have never attended an OMSA convention, especially those who are just getting started in Imperial German collecting, I cannot strongly enough urge you to do so. Not only does it give you a chance to see and study pieces that you may not ever see again, it gives you an opportunity to discuss them, and of course any others, with some of the most knowledgeable people in the business; all of whom I have found to be most accommodating and even eager to share their experience. I?ve been collecting for thirty years and am reminded annually at the OMSA convention how much I still have to learn.

Naturally, this also presents the opportunity to establish relationships with these people which can come in very handy in the future in that if they know what you are looking for and interested in, items just might come your way before they go public - ?under the table items?. It also often, as it did this year, affords an opportunity to actually see and discuss items that will be coming up in future auctions.

A fellow collector asked me if I might have a certain piece that

he has been looking for. Not having one, I suggested that he check with a dealer who has an auction coming up later this year; and sure enough...

One last point is that there is nothing like actually seeing and handling an item. I bought two items, one Imperial German (see below) and one Mongolian, both of which I had seen before on the net; and although mildly interested in both, actually seeing and handling did me in.

Consider it and best wishes,

Wild Card

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Let me take the opportunity to support Wild Card's report. I also like to say that it is very important to use the opportunity to enlarge your network on a more personal basis at those functions.

It has been an eye opening experience for me many years back. You will be surprised what it will do for you.


P.S.: Thanks for the kind words.

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Yup, I had some eye opening experiences :unsure:

Definitely, for you medals and orders guys, it is the Mecca next to OMRS meetings in London (the Medina?)

My experience I'm sure was atypical.

I find these amateurs (in the best sense of the word) sometimes lacking in professionalism. MAX and SOS might be strewn with landmines but most dealers act fairly consistently.

A few examples from OMSA several years ago:

1. A member had a fitted case with a Bulgarian, Austrian and Prussian flying badges, plus a few foreign orders to one relatively unknown pilot. If you are nuts for it it would be worth 6,000-7500 tops, and hard to justify at that level. He wanted $20,000 because he had a picture of the pilot, who edited a newspaper after the war, standing next to Hitler. At Scottsdale he still had the group, but the price was now $50,000. If that was too much he would sell pieces of the group for 10,000 each.

2. Another member was selling a WW1 U.S. wing. At 11am it was $1200....At 2pm it was not for sale. At 3:30 it was 1400...The next morning, not for sale again...

3. Another old and experienced member sold me a ring with an aviation theme. I counted out the money. Two hours later he came to me and said I shortchanged him $20. TWO HOURS later. I was furious.

There. I vented. I feel better. I think eccentricity is healthy but gets in the way sometimes of buying and selling. I did also meet Tim Tezer at that OMSA and he is a super guy as we all know.



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Odd, I have found the one (and only, even though a few miles away) MAX I even attended to be a cruel joke, populated by fairly knowledge-challenged folk who mainly seemed motivated by their love affair with the 3rd Reich. OMSA has a more interesting, professional, focused, coherent, often knowledable, and frequently wise group. Pricing? Whatever the market will bear. Blame capitalism. And if you don't like the prices, you don't have to buy; there is a room-full of vendors.

Much as I love the OMRS, their meeting is a one-day shark feeding frenzy. Great to see friends, bad to get medals, and no seminars or anything else of reddeming social value. Unless you want to be in person at the DNW auction of do research in London, give it a pass. And, relevant to many here, it will be mostly British; great for some of us, but perhaps not for others.

Sorry to miss OMSA this year, shall give OMRS a miss, and shall never bother with another MAX even though an 18 minute drive away (may meet one dealer, if he comes again, in the parking lot).

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Thank you Ed. You reminded me of an item that I did not mention in my ?report?. Due to previous commitments, I was not able to attend any of the evening seminars; but I can not recall hearing so many favorable reports about them at past conventions from those who did.

I am sorry to say that I will be skipping the MAX Show this year. This will be the second time in over fifteen years. The first was due to a family emergency two years ago. This time it is intentional; it has become, as you so accurately said Ed, a ?cruel joke?. I don?t mind the overabundance of Third Reich items; after all, that?s what the show is built around. It?s the overabundance of absolute schlock that has gotten to me; I?ve descended to being on a first name basis with each of a well known dealer?s shrunken heads; and I really have no use for Aunt Millie's old silverware. Last year, by noon on Saturday, yes Saturday, the place was deserted and downright depressing. No thanks, Louisville has definitely stolen it?s thunder.

John, you make a good point with regard to pricing and I certainly cannot offer a logical answer for the examples you give. As has been mentioned, we are dealing with supply and demand coupled with personalities. I would say, however, that the problem lies with the individuals and not the venue. I would guess that these incidents would, or could, just as easily occurred at MAX or SOS.

One thing along this line that I must concede is that it took me a full day to recover from the ?sticker shock? I encountered at OMSA. Of course, while I was recovering, I lost out on a couple of items to European dealers who were only too anxious to unload their pathetic US$?s.


Wild Card

P.S. Rick, you are sooooo right; but I?ll work it out.....somehow,somewhere.....

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