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As we come closer to that most unholy and witching day of the year, of orange pumpkins and pointy hats, when children head out into the night dressed in costume and receiving sugary delights, we mustn't forget the dark origins of what is one of the darkest of Pagan Holidays, Samhain. Rituals abound and not just on the day but of the whole month leading up to the moment of high sacrifice. Dark revelries and sinful temptations.
Tongues taste and teeth bite, but not before the secret contents of the Green Man's Cabinet is revealed. Here in this Carte du Jour belies one of my proudest artworks (well, I can say that for many of my pieces) but I hope that you may agree that this one is unrivalled by many. Please enjoy the fare.
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I. THE CABINET OF THE GREEN MAN (1 public artwork, 1 color artwork + 1 alternate version)
You can read Latin? Impressive. The inscription is definitely an ominous piece of expression. This piece here is quite a curiosity. Its true age and origin is yet unknown and we have yet to have an appraiser take a look at this but if I've to guess, it would have to be at least 150 years old judging by the craftsmanship and the material used.
My eyes are drawn to the figure at the top of the cabinet. I've seen that before.
Yes, I've come across that imagery throughout the years managing antiques. That's the sigil of the Green Man. Some say he is also a representation of the Great God Pan. The seducer. The trickster. The Oldest of Pagan Gods whose representation is sometimes echoed throughout the ages and even religions in every far flung corners of this planet. Some say even older than time immemorial from the era of the forgotten great flood of the biblical myth. You may find many of the symbolisms repeated throughout history, in ancient folklore and even some pagan and occult practitioners today.
Remarkable. How did you find it?
Interesting story, that one. This was found in an unoccupied house in Hampstead Heath. The previous owner had died without heirs and it had been left abandoned for 38 years until through government auction, it had come under new ownership. The property had been completely stripped and looted, but somehow this piece survived. Surveyors found this piece relatively untouched in a hidden room and with the new owners being the religious lot decided to sell this off for pennies on the dollar to us instead of keeping it for themselves. I have a feeling as Russian Orthodoxes, they were quite turned off by the pagan imagery.
Have you opened it. Were there any contents inside?
Funny you asked. You know come to think of it, it was definitely strange that this piece remained untouched in the house because when we opened it, we'd found a collection of curious. There had been old dried out garlic clove, herbs, fruits of some kind, persimmons perhaps I wasn't quite sure. They had long been dessicated, hung on a metal beam across the top. A broken crystal decanter that seemed rather ornate. Quite a pity. It could have fetched a handsome price. Then there was a brass spice rack with a peculiar ornate carving of a horned bull which thankfully remained intact. But among them was a single red high-heeled ladies' shoe.
Oh? And I'm guessing that the shoe is the item that did not belong.
Oh yes. It looked contemporary, not something that you'd find in the eighties or earlier so it was definitely placed there by someone who had known about the hidden room long after the previous owner had died. Do you do know what a Dybbuk Box is, my friend?
Yes. It's a Jewish win-cabinet said to be a cursed item. I've seen that on some Ghost Hunting reality show on television.
Then you know how we felt when we opened the doors and to come across these odd assortment of items similar in that sense of odd foreboding. It did feel like we'd unleashed some sort of misfortune upon ourselves by disturbing its contents. But so far so good. You've found me still in good health here so knock on wood, that shall continue to be the case! We had the items bagged and inventoried of course until we decide if we're to include the items with the cabinet as an entire set or to sell them separately. We had no use for the shoe, that we threw in the dumpster after we've found out it was a Givenchy made in the mid-2000's.
Oh, that's a pity. I was hoping to purchase that along with the entire cabinet.
I'm sorry, good Sir. Until we have the appraiser come have a look, this cabinet isn't for sale.
My employer had been looking for something like this to supplement his master bedroom. Are you sure a cheque of 50,000 pounds wouldn't suffice?
This is a pleasant surprise. That is a tempting offer, but in my line of experience, something tells me you know something I do not.
I was hoping to do business quickly. I will be honest. I was rather duplicitous in feigning my ignorance at the imagery that adorns the top of the cabinet. The Green Man. Pan. It had been a test. Part of me would have hoped you'd be nothing more than an ignorant pawn shop keeper who wouldn't recognize it other than being a sculpture of a man's face and I would have written a cheque for much, much less, but I've seen that I have misjudged you. Good sir, you are indeed a specialist and a true antiquarian! My employer has tasked me to scour the country for antiques with this imagery for he is a collector and it seemed to me that I have found one right here. You are right. This cabinet is indeed rare. But I will assure you, my second offer will double that of what your appraiser will estimate. I will write a cheque worth 100,000 pounds right now. You will not find a proposal better than 75,000 pounds which will be my offer if you remain adamant in having it appraised. It will be your choice. Here's my card and a number on how to contact me. The offer of 100,000 pounds ends the moment I step out of the door. You do have time to think however, if you would be so kind to point me to your restroom.
Oh. Oh yes. Back, to the left and the 1st door on your right.
Thank you. And of course, my employer will offer another thousand for all the contents that you've found within. I assure you, they are just as contemporary as the red shoe which is rather unfortunate that you have thrown it away. Knowing the man, my employer is quite an appreciator of unstirred discovery no matter how innocuous. Who knows? He may have offered you another thousand for it.
-- the end?--
II. BONUS ART (2 shaded works in progress + 1 alternate version)
III. BONUS SKETCH (1 black & white inked artwork)