Tuesday, October 15, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Fong Sam, President of Blacksparrow Auctions and Curator of "Dr. Shocker's Auction of Horror"

Fellow Horror Fans,

Here is more information about the incredible vintage monster memorabilia auction:

Dr. Shocker's Auction of Horror

I sent an email to Blacksparrow Auctions to find out more about these items. Mr. Fong Sam, President of Blacksparrow Auctions, was kind enough to answer my questions about his auction. 

QUESTION #1 - This is an amazing collection.  Ever since the passing of Forrest Ackerman, it seems unusual to have such a large amount of vintage horror collectibles.  Is Blacksparrow aiming to be the next Forrest Ackerman or did you just have a lot of monster items this year?

ANSWER:  First of all, let me direct you to our website for more information on the Dr. Shocker Auction:  
In particular, you should view the catalog that we have produced. It's loaded with lots of information. 
You will see that the collection belongs to actor, Daniel Roebuck, who has spent a lifetime collecting classic monster and horror memorabilia. In fact, Daniel had a private museum of his own, inspired by Forry Ackerman. But all good things must come to an end. I subscribe to the philosophy that a collector, at any given time, is simply a caretaker of an artifact until the time to pass it along to the next collector. This is what Daniel is doing and luckily for everyone else, this is the chance to grab a piece of monster history. (Please see the opening letters from Dr. Shocker and Daniel Roebuck in the auction catalog). Furthermore, Daniel is producing a documentary that talks about monster collecting and many of the items in this auction appear in the film.
QUESTION #2 - Are these items from a few collectors or have you been actively gathering these items for years?

ANSWER:  Blacksparrow is a boutique auction house that specializes in catered and themed auctions. This allows us to celebrate the collector and his or her collection. I believe we can be more focused this way and the results will be more satisfying.

QUESTION #3 - Are all of your items consignments or do you go hunting for them?

ANSWER:  The items in our auctions are on consignment. Fortunately for me, I have been in this business for 14 years now and have cultivated a nice network. So when I go look for items, I don't have to do very far. We can put the word out so to speak and get offerings fairly quickly.

QUESTION #4 - Are you personally a monster memorabilia collector?

ANSWER:  Whenever we take on a project, my team and I get immersed in the subject and we research and study it as best we can. As a result, we get to learn a lot. I was a monster fan before, but putting together the Dr. Shocker catalog made me appreciate the genre and the history so much more. I encourage everyone to read the catalog and see for yourself what a rich  and colorful history classic monsters have had. Plus, like all history, I believe it needs to be retold to new generations so that they can learn and appreciate and eventually pass it on to subsequent generations.

QUESTION #5 - What are your favorite items from this auction?

ANSWER:  My favorite items from this auction are the Dracula dirt (lot 13),

vintage 1964 Horrorscope and View-Master pak (lot 42), 

Evil Ash head (lot 73), 

Hitchcock life mask (lot 85)

and all the artwork. There is a lot of great stuff in this sale!

QUESTION #6- What were the hardest to find?

ANSWER: Believe it or not, the hardest things to find are not the most expensive. Sometimes it's not even the most coveted. In this sale, for example, the rarest items were the door posters (lots 268, 269 & 270). These are almost impossible to find in any displayable condition.

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QUESTION #7 -Do people really buy life masks?

ANSWER:  Yes! Life masks may seem morbid, but they offer an intimate connection to the people that you admire and are fans of. I just think the Hitchcock head is amazing. I am a big fan of his work and the story behind the head is just so quirky (read description on page 31), so Hitchcock, and therefore so hilarious.

QUESTION #8 -What were the hottest items from your Monsterpalooza Charity Auction this spring?

ANSWER:  The hottest items from the Monsterpalooza Charity Auction was the Nautilus model, the Mile Teves Frankenstein and Phantom heads, and all the Disneyland Haunted Mansion items.

QUESTION #9 -How did you get Haunted Mansion items and do you expect to get any more of them?

ANSWER: I have a very good source for Haunted Mansion items. We will have more to offer in the future.

QUESTION #10 - Any tips for vintage monster memorabilia collectors?

ANSWER: For any classic monster collectors, the Dr. Shocker auction is a great way to start a collection or expand on one. There are absolute gems to be found here. There are also really good resources on the internet when it comes to learning about this genre. This collection has something for everyone, with price ranges to fit any budget. Monster collectors are a passionate bunch and they are willing to share. Reach out and touch someone!

QUESTION #11 - What is a collectible item that you would love to find?

ANSWER:I have a long wishlist! But generally I love all things art. I would also love to put together a vintage magic collection. Any leads??

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