Oxymoron or not?

Here’s a little question. Can a High Street retailer such as John Lewis, in all seriousness, offer ‘Modern Rarity’ through it’s 34 department stores across the UK? Maybe I am a bit too old-fashioned, but to me rarity means uniqueness, scarcity perhaps one of a kind.

JL-rarity1Something may always have been rare

One of a kind – ‘The Laughing Cavalier’ – Frans Hals. 1624 Oil on canvas. Painting size: 83 x 67.3 cm Wallace Collection

or simply a lone survivor of a once common everyday item.

Now scarce – 1960s Christmas bauble originally mass-produced in their hundreds of thousands.

Perhaps it was a Friday afternoon at the branding/advertising agency when someone suggested ‘modern rarity’ and they all thought ‘Mmm, sounds intriguing, not too edgy, but maybe just unsettling enough’ – for a clothing collection. You might have guessed that I am rolling my eyes!

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

8 thoughts on “Oxymoron or not?”

  1. Rarity indeed! You’re quite right of course. And that rare Christmas bauble of yours. I’ve got a bauble or two from the 60s, and an angel for the top of the tree which may even date from the late 50s. I think we can both trounce John Lewis.

    1. I think we can! . . . . . unless when I open the box, after what will probably be almost a year in storage at this rate, it’s all crushed into minute shards.

      1. Yes, and some with swirled shapes. I also remember those aluminum trees with the rotating translucent colored disk on the floor in front of a light, that turned the tree different colors. I wanted us to have one of those so much, but my parents thought it tasteless…

      2. Yes, my sister and I were always disappointed as my mother was very strict about no fairy lights because she knew a little boy who once got an electric shock from them.

  2. I get fed up when people talk of rare photos. Meaningless. Every old photo is unique and then when it’s on the internet the image is hardly “rare”.

    1. Ah I hear rumblings of a major Art History old chestnut re nature of reproductions – if you’re interested ‘classic’ text is Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’.

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