Sunday, January 1, 2012

Garage Saling for the Rich and Famous

The title of this post was almost "Corbin Bernsen is an eBay deadbeat!"

I bought a vintage snowdome (or snowglobe as some may know them) at an estate sale about a month ago. It was of the Empire State Building and appeared to date from the 30's or 40's. The water inside it was half gone and the snow had yellowed and decomposed to the point that made it actually quite unappealing. But I have a friend who collects snowdomes, and although he gravitates towards the kitschier plastic models (I think), I decided to pick it up with the thought that he might be interested in it. But then Christmas hit and the idea of selling off some things to finance it overcame me, so along with various other items I'd accumlulated over the past year, I put it out on eBay.  Sorry, Frank, to quote Daffy Duck, I'm a greedy slob!

The auction ended with a sole bid of $9.99 (so much for paying off those Christmas bills!). I invoiced the buyer and awaited payment. And waited. As the days passed, I thought I had a deadbeat on my hands, so I took a closer look at the buyer's history in order to get an idea of his payment habits. It was then I noticed his eBay id was corbinbernsen54. I recognized the name and to be honest, I was thinking of Barry Corbin, Maurice of Northern Exposure fame. So I googled the name and found that Corbin Bernsen appeared on LA Law and in the movie Major League. So I figured I was dealing with a fan of his. But then reading through his feedback I saw quotes like "A 'Major Leaque' bidder" and "I loved your appearance with George Wendt on Seinfeld." Then I noticed the bidder's mailing address was Studio City, California.

I did a little more internet mining and came across Corbin Bernsen's website where he is currently promoting an upcoming addition of his Museum of Snowdomes. His Wikipedia entry further confirmed his love of snowdomes, boasting a collection of 7,000 (I guess mine makes it 7,001!) which he claims to be the world's largest. If that weren't enough proof of his identity, I discovered the bidder's email address was directed to, Mr. Bernsen's production company.

Now it could very well be that one of his toadies flunkies assistants did the actual bidding, but knowing that the snowdome will end up in a high profile collection is kind of cool. Maybe one day I'll get to see it again, on his website.  Here's an interview with Corbin about the origins of his collection.

On New Year's Eve, he finally came through with payment and the snowdome is off to its new home.

Earlier when I was looking at his online museum of snowdomes, the site wouldn't load any pictures.  It finally did, and what do I see, but the same snowdome I sold him.  It's at position C2, if we were playing Battleship.  That one appears to have been refilled though.  Wonder why he wanted another.  I guess when you have the world's largest collection of anything, it's all about volume and maintaining your title!


  1. wow! cool story. no worries about selling it off -- my collection will never approach his, so it went to a much better home. : )

    i guess this qualifies as a "Brush With Greatness", no?

  2. Frank, that was almost the title of the blog, but figured you would be the only one that would get that reference!

  3. well, Craig would get it, because he watched Letterman back in the day, too, and we use that line a lot as an inside joke, too. but aside from him? yeah, maybe it's a small group who'd grok it....

  4. i have this book: which has some snowglobes in it that look very similar to this one, listed as being from the 30s & 40s. just in case you were interested. : )

  5. Thanks, Frank. Based on the font, I was pretty sure it was 30's or 40's. I don't think the base was bakelite though. Didn't pass the rub test. Of course, I'm no expert.


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