Wednesday, 6 June 2012

pokal and fly-wheel

Some time ago, H found this beautiful and stern, smooth and geometric, loving cup or trophy (Pokal). There is no engraving or dedication, only a small plaque in the form of a winged wheel. I suspected that this logo was covering up something else but I’d never risk taking a peek, and is a little mysterious, like an unawarded prize and it is not clear what the symbol refers to: it could be the sign of a watch-making guild in München at the turn of the century or it could be a sign for the old Imperial Railroad (Reichsbahn) that preceded the Deutsche Bahn. Taking a walk around lunch time, I noticed for the first time this ornamental cornice piece of a cherub mounted above that same logo (although there’s a bit of variation with the spokes) cradling a steam engine. H found this treasure at a massive antique flea market (Flohmarkt), rather than in one of the sadly endangered emporia of hordes and cast-offs. It is has gotten increasingly harder to find a traditional antique or junk store, like this one occupying an old brewery building.

As this space and hobby gave the owners a mission to completely fill every available inch with stuff, one used to find a lot of store-fronts hanging on as vanities, something to showcase on the side that never sees much traffic or revenue, like photography or second-hand shops, proprietors got to have relaxed fun. Certainly the weekend markets are wonderful to explore and have traditions and trappings of their own as well, and though there’s a regularity to their season—with frequent and planned routes and tours and always a good excuse to discover some place new, I think towns and villages need this sort of kooky, lazy, sleepy enterprises (rather than ubiquitous telecommunication shops and fast food joints) as potential and permanent repositories of treasures.