Remember when you were a little kid and collected stuff? It’s common at a certain age. Coins, rocks, cars, comics, action figures, shells–collecting provides hours of absorbing fun–hunting, arranging, categorizing, or just learning about the things that interest you. Most of us go through a collecting phase, and then move on. And even if, as adults, we do say we “collect” certain items like, I dunno, ceramic pitchers, it’s typically not with the obsessive fervor with which we pestered our grandmothers for buttons when we were young.
There are, however, exceptions. And when adult collectors get serious, they can be (to, erm, mangle a quote) the first of collectors. They have money and they have freedom. Witness, this very tiny portion of my husband’s Magic: The Gathering card collection:
And then there are the Sherlockians. Many of us start out with just a few books or videos. We feel unencumbered. Not like, say, people who are into trains or dolls. Our stuff stays on its own small shelf of the bookcase, or under the coffee table.
It happens slowly. Someone learns you like Sherlock Holmes and buys you a Christmas ornament for a gift exchange. You pick up a few books at the library sale. You get a video collection for your birthday, or pick up a neat pin from a dealer’s table at a conference. Then there are a few more books. A magazine. A funny shirt. A few more books. Before you know it, you’ve got full bookshelves, a packed closet, and you’re specializing in William Gillette’s Christmas cards.*
The Canon has its share of collectors. Holmes was one, in a way, with his tobacco samples and volumes of clippings. Grimesby Roylott had exotic animals and Timothy Sholto surrounded himself with modern French art and Asian décor. I’m sure you can see where I am headed with this, so let’s have the question:
In “The Adventure of the Illustrious Client,” Baron von Gruner has a collector’s mania for a certain kind of item. What is it, and (given that information) if he were dropped into the world of BBC’s Sherlock, in which episode would you expect to find him?
The winner of this drawing will receive a DVD of Peter Cushing’s turn as Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles. Please note that this is a Region 1 DVD; you will need a Region 1 or multi-region player to view it.
And there we are! Send your answers in via the blog comments, FaceBook PM or Twitter DM, and come back tomorrow for Day #8!
Day 6 Winner!
Congratulations to Madeline Quinones, who knew that Sir Joseph Wilson Swan invented a practical, working incandescent light bulb, which he patented before Thomas Edison’s version. There was some legal unpleasantness, which was settled when each inventor kept the rights in his own country. The two companies merged in England in 1883. While Conan Doyle uses “Swan and Edison,” what you’ll find when you google images of the time is “Edison & Swan,” later shortened to “Ediswan.” All of which Ms. Quinones pointed out in her answer. And, of course, the other respondents got it right as well!
*Which are lovely, by the way. You can see one in the University of Minnesota’s Special Collections.