Almost a Mango Moment
Yesterday our nephew joined us for dinner. He must have smelled the BBQ ribs from across the village and he made his presence known. He loves his Tita’s BBQ ribs and chicken! While here, he shared some pictures on his new cell phone of an old knife that his friend’s father found up on the farm on the mountain. After taking a quick look at his photos, I noticed the inscription “Siam” on the handle. It looked somewhat brassy and tarnished, with a mostly wooden handle, and to me, it looked like something that could have easily been mass-produced. He was certain that they had discovered a lost relic from years gone by…maybe left by a Spanish King or maybe it once belonged to some rich and famous Asian oligarch. Upon Googling “Siam Knife”, a plethora of Thai made flatware bearing the same markings filled my screen. After seeing the results displayed, I explained to him that their find was most likely worthless and the look of excitement he arrived with immediately shifted to that of total disappointment and disbelief. It was the same look you would expect with someone finding a buried and crusty old padlocked treasure chest, only to open it and discover that it was full of nothing but sand.
I assured him that his friend’s find was most likely part of a larger set of tableware from Thailand as I pointed out the “Siam” inscription. I could sense a little distrust in his voice when he asked “But uncle, how could this knife get all the way to this mountain?” With a sweeping motion, I quickly pointed to all the things in our living room and responded “the same way all this stuff got here! Somebody brought it with them.” Again, I could see he was a bit flustered and then he relayed to me that his friend had already been offered P1,000 for the dirty old knife. Just short of advising them to take that offer and run far away, I simply suggested that I would do some further research, just to appease him and his friend. He was somewhat relieved with that and quickly disappeared back into the kitchen to the plate of freshly cooked ribs.
I didn’t have the heart to show him what I then found….the entire 11 place setting could be purchased on eBay for only P2,760! …or, that you could save really big pesos and get the “replica” set for just P459! And with a potential resale value of P1,000 per piece, that surely would be a worthwhile venture!