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Its happened: MQ stuff shows up on EBAY

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    Its happened: MQ stuff shows up on EBAY

    Suzanne Martinez has found an MQ mermaid for sale on EBAY. They were both at the shipyard when Doc and I visited Aug. 2. We asked about an auction and they said there would be one, but I sure never heard anything about one. Did anyone else hear? The seller lives in Tennessee. Anyone know her? So it will be interesting to see what else appears on EBAY now.
    eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

    #2
    Judy is right, it was bound to happen. Sequatchie, TN is just a hop, skip and a jump from Hales Bar ( Haletown) on the Tenn. River and is really part of the Chattanooga area. But that's a long way from Morgan City. Maybe somebody like Ed Frazier could find out more.
    Wish I had this info last week as I was down in that country. The house ought to be easy to find as I doubt that there are many six foot mermaids on the locals porch.

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      #3
      wierd

      That is not far from Chattanooga. Actually it is only about 20 minutes. The price is so far out of my reach that I don't think I could even get a chance to see it. Woulsd be a nice piece for a museum. I wonder how it got this far north and where is the second one?

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        #4
        Hope to see her

        I sent a message to her and hope she will respond and allow me to see her. Travis is here on weekends too so might see if her would ride with me.

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          #5
          OMG , It's Daisy. ! As I seem to recall from years ago the mermaids nicknames were Lazy & Daisy.. Lazy was the Port side, Daisy was Starboard.
          She seems to have lost the Red paint.. lol

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            #6
            Got a call this evening about the poor little mermaid here at the boat. Wondering what is up with this. She is in horrid condition and for an incredible price, too! Don't think we will see a fast sell with this one! WOnder how she got to Tennessee? Where is her sister? What happened to the wheel they held over the calliope? By the way, they weren't supposed to be at the calliope. The original plan was they were supposed to be a finial on center of the top of the pilothouse. It was when they were discovered to be an air clearance problem that they were moved to the calliope.

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              #7
              Well, the seller makes no bones about where it came from--but how did she get it, and where's the other one?
              As little respect as the final owner showed he had for our history, it does not surprise me that pieces are being scattered without any real thought as to their potential value, or historical significance.
              Hmm, I wonder how much they cost when new? Someone thinks they've landed a gold mine!
              S'
              David D.

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                #8
                MQ Mermaid offered to Museum

                The Howard Steamboat Museum was contacted twice this week about the homeless mermaid, but after consideration and consultation with board members, it was my duty as curator of collections to decline the offer. Over the years I've heard the mermaids named "Maysie & Daisy" and also "Laverne & Shirley". Although the mermaids are certainly unique items from the boat, these mythical gals from the briney deep simply don't fit our Victorian era scheme of displays at the museum! Laura Burke Howard would come back to haunt us for sure!

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                  #9
                  Mermaid offer

                  Was she asking $5000 from the museum?

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                    #10
                    *RE: MQ's 'Mermaid'*

                    Hi, Steamboating colleagues:
                    Thanks to Judy's keen eye for picking up the continuing 'saga' on the pair of MQ mermaids. I quickly clicked to view the EBAY thread to see/read. Interesting...very interesting. I may have missed something along the way and ask here: What is the composition material on the mermaids? Aluminum, bronze, molded plastic etc? I agree the asking tab of $5,000 sounds like somebody is 'fishing' for a price. Again, beauty and value are often in the eye of the seller and potential buyer. Keith and the Howard Museum made a good decision in turning down the offer.

                    I seldom click EBAY to view unless I see a posting here or receive an E=Mail asking about the provenance of certain items offered. Recently I sent Lexie an EBAY photo and ad for pieces of china from the old PITTSBURGH & CINCINNATI PACKET CO. in dark gray/blue with the company logo. In the past several people have asked questions on items for sale only to hear they are reproductions or not worth the asking price. What's the old saying? "Possession is 9/10ths of the law." Well, yes and no until somebody challenges. For years a classic B/W photo of the 1st ISLAND QUEEN taken by Capt. Tony Meldahl has appeared on EBAY or regional antique/book stores. Interested buyers learn that photo is not original and has been circulating around for years. Same has been found for reproductions of the classic Donaldson Co. litho of the ROBT. E. LEE/NATCHEZ race with the moon gleaming, smoke/fire belching from the stacks. The present owner may have come by the charming mermaid fair and square...but? Do careful research if/when you see an appealing item offered on any web site. Copyright laws on ownership are clear that just because we purchase something doesn't mean we own it. Who knows and what do I know?

                    R. Dale Flick
                    Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

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                      #11
                      I think they are some kind of plastic composite. Would be interesting to know who got the job of making them. And maybe what country they were made in. Where provenance is concerned, these would be good things to know. A work of art of that size could easily cost that much, but one would want to know the identity of the artist.

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                        #12
                        *RE: Mermaid maker/Provenance*

                        Hi, Lexie & Steamboating colleagues:
                        Good question on Lexie's part. There may still be around a few people who were involved in the building of the MQ and her ornamental fixtures. Kenny How comes to mind at this moment as he was involved in the project for the engines at JEFFBOAT back then. I diligently pawed through the various design specifications, purchase orders etc. from the boat that came my way via Betty Blake. So far no sighting of the mermaid order but I'll keep digging. The company papers/records at the time were divided up and scattered following Betty's death. Betty Blake's then secretary and the company purchasing agent still live in Cincinnati and possible they could be traced down. Another possibility could be any surviving archiives at present day JEFFBOAT. Memories after all these years another question. Identification pure positive hinges on information nailed down in black and white. Even prominent antique dealers/auction houses/museums get burned more than once as they have regretfully found. Even our U.S. Navy 'never' signs off on relics, equipment, materials, ephemera found even by salvagers. This proven recently by the offer to sell the silver set recovered in World War II from the torpedoed hull of the battleship ARIZONA at Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. The Navy got wind of it with their internet investigative capacity and long memories coming down with "Not so fast here...?

                        The mermaids could have been a custom design order or, possibly, a stock item from a maker that fit the bill at the time. COKE Bottling was involved then following ONA, but how easily accessible their archive records are hard to say. Once a big corporation 'spins' off another company or brand name the records go with it--or end up in the dumpster. Who knows!

                        R. Dale Flick
                        Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

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                          #13
                          Mermaid saga

                          As I recall, the original version was sent back to be modified, can't remember the problem, but they weren't satisfactory to the owners.

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                            #14
                            MQ Mermaids

                            This is a photo I took one morning on the MQ from behind the mermaids.
                            Attached Files

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Judy Patsch View Post
                              As I recall, the original version was sent back to be modified, can't remember the problem, but they weren't satisfactory to the owners.
                              Fred Way penned in a long agoReflector that one was sent swimming back to merry ole England to get a new coif. Apparently one arrived on these shores with an afro hairdo.

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