SBCS members Mike and Jon Merwine have produced a book for us to savor in our hunkered down, isolated state.
“Replica Buildings: A Visual History”, contains over 2400 items cataloged with clear, high resolution images along with material, maker, size, location, function and age information per piece. It is over 340 pages with a hard cover – detailing pieces from the Grand Tour all the way to the modern miniatures made by InFocusTech.
“What started as a hobby in 1998, quickly became the Merwine family business – what many collect today as Cast Metal Buildings by InFocusTech. Over these past 22 years, the company has created over 1000 building replicas from all over the world in various shapes and sizes. This hobby was greatly influenced by the souvenir building collecting obsession – one held by both Mike and Jon. While the collection was around 300 very common pieces in 1998, it rapidly grew over the past two decades and currently sits above 4000 items. Being a family of collectors and creators we felt a great way to express our passion for the hobby was to create a guide using our collection.And also to inspire others to take up the mantle of collecting as “Monumental Miniatures” by Majua and Weingarten did for us 21 years ago.” Jon Merwine.
It’s a Sunday Bunch! Join with fellow SBCS members on ZOOM in a virtual “MEET & GREET” at 2PM Eastern on Sunday, August 9.
Not wishing the Society’s camaraderie to languish during the 2020 Pandemic, cancellation of Convention 2020 and the long wait for Convention 2021, the Executive Team started this monthly virtual gathering. Join us for our third monthly Sunday meet and greet.
The platform is ZOOM. The moderator is Mark Fine. The length of time is 45 to 60 minutes. The loose plan for the initial meeting includes:
EMAIL INVITATION: An invitation to all paid-up members will be sent via EMAIL from Joe Kopitz on Wednesday, August 5th. Members wishing to participate will need to use the ‘register in advance” link in Joe’s email to indicate their interest in attending the virtual “MEET & GREET.” This initial email will explain how to sign up for free ZOOM (if not already a user), and the steps you will need to take when you sign into the meeting.
EMAIL REGISTRATION: A 2nd EMAIL, which will come from AMY MATCHEN (Account holder), is generated by ZOOM and sent to only those members who used the link within the 1st email to indicate their interest. This 2nd email will contain the LINK and PASSWORD needed to join the meeting. On the day of the meeting sign in at 2PM EDT or a few minutes earlier. Refer to the instructions in your first email.
3. This month’s Show & Tell continues the theme of a Great Story. Where you found it, how you found it, a special moment, a story about the piece itself, etc. Please do not plan to take us on a tour of your collection.
THERE ARE PLANS FOR FURTHER MEETINGS. Please let us know your recommendations for themes or topics. As of now the recurring date and time is the 2nd Sunday of the Month at 2PM Eastern. Be sure to stay tuned.
The last box was loaded onto the U-Haul rental. All items fit snugly in the 10’ Box truck. The Bob Kneisel Collection was ready to travel 2600 miles across country from Los Angeles to Oldwick, New Jersey.The trip was planned and executed to complete the planned dispersal of the Collection four years after it was bequeathed to SBCS by Bob Kneisel.
The destination was RSL Auctioneers in Oldwick, where Leon Weiss and his Associates, Julian and Andrea will take over and prepare the items for a “cyber” auction later this year.
The travel plan included a drive-by stop at Steven and Ethan Chevalier’s home in Ridgewood outside of Jackson MS. There, eight of the boxes were unloaded to await the 2021 SBCS Convention in Jackson.
The route was simple but a jumble of interstate routes.First it was I-10 to I-20 straight into Jackson.Then, back on I-20 to Birmingham, northeast on I-59. East on I-40, northeast again on I-81 and then due east on I-78 to New Jersey.The road trip included several picturesque parts of the country, including the Mississippi and Alabama forests, The New Mexico and Arizona Sonoran Desert, and the Shenandoah Valley.
All this done in 5 days.And yes, we were employing best social-distancing practices in accordance with our current National situation.
At the New Jersey location, Joe Kopitz met me, and we unloaded the truck along with Leon Weiss, his son Julian, and Andrea Abernethy. But, as a surprise to Joe and me, it included unloading and moving those 144 boxes up a flight of stairs.Yes, RSL Auctions is on the second floor of a commercial building with no elevator. Even though fitness centers are starting to reopen nationally, no StairMasters were needed that day.
After the delivery, Joe started his meandering way back to Brooklyn, intending to stop at several New Jersey thrift shops that he had not visited in the past.
Me?I chose to relax until my flight from Newark to Los Angeles the next day. Up to that point the trip was extremely satisfying. However, commercial flying today is challenging… but that it another story.
RSL intends to issue the Kneisel Collection as an exclusive two-day cyber-sale, meaning that is will be on-line only for two days and only include items from Bob’s Collection.Look for announcements regarding the sale on the SBCS and RSL websites and by email blasts from SBCS.
Update from Chris Spry. The Kneisel Collection Committee Mediator, Moderator, Maintainer of Decorum, Boxes, Documents, and Long-Haul Deliverer! Thank you!
Bring a full cup and join with SBCS members on ZOOM in a virtual “MEET & GREET” at 2PM Eastern on Sunday, June 14th.
Not wishing the Society’s camaraderie to languish during the 2020 Pandemic, cancellation of Convention 2020 and the long wait for Convention 2021, the Executive Team is working to establish a series of virtual programs to bring members together.
The platform is ZOOM.The moderator is Mark Fine.The length of time is 45 to 60 minutes.The loose plan for the initial meeting includes:
EMAIL INVITATION: An invitation to all paid-up members will be sent via EMAIL on Wednesday, June 10th.Members wishing to participate will need to REPLY to this EMAILand indicate their interest in attending the virtual “MEET & GREET.” This email will explain how to sign up for free ZOOM (if not already a user), and the steps you will need to take when you sign into the meeting.
EMAIL REGISTRATION:A 2nd EMAIL will be generated by ZOOM and sent to only those members who responded to the 1st email.This 2nd email will contain the PASSWORD for the meeting.On the day of the meeting sign in at 2PM or a few minutes earlier.Refer to the instructions in your first email.
MEETING: The MEET of this initial meeting includes self-introduction (Name, locale, collection specialty) – in other words – short and sweet!
SHARE:Several short pre-selected building presentations by members.
THERE ARE PLANS FOR FUTHER MEETINGS.We have some ideas, but let us know your recommendations for topics.The suggested recurring date andtime is the 2nd Sunday of the Month at 2PM Eastern.Be sure to stay tuned.
This slideshow consists of photos taken at Bob Kneisel’s home during the 2009 SBCS Convention in Pasadena and of photos taken in 2016 of the emptied cases. Some of the buildings depicted could be in your FLASH SALE Box.
If you missed out on the Bob’s Better Buildings sale last year – here is your chance to score! And for those who did score – a second opportunity to add more wonderful buildings to your collections.
The up-coming Kneisel Collection Flash Sale #6 is Monday, March 16th. This Flash Sale will consist of more of Bob’s Better Buildings and be limited to 30 boxes (with an average of 4 items per box). The cost will be $60 by check or $65 by PayPal ($60 plus $5 processing fee) per box.
As a reminder, each SBCS Member in good standing (membership paid through 2020) can order only ONE box. If you are part of a Family Membership and wish to purchase TWO boxes (one box for each Member), please include BOTH names and pay double the box price.
Keep an eye out for the official FLASH SALE Notice on March 16th and remember to follow the instructions.
It has been three years since the SBCS was willed the Bob Kneisel Collection.As in every other aspect of Life, Time marches on.The Kneisel Committee, an ad-hoc group designated by the SBCS Leadership in 2016, was organized.The Committee started a series of meetings to determine how to best use Bob’s Legacy for the benefit of both the SBCS and the Souvenir Building Community.
Kneisel Bequest 2016
Initially, the goal was to donate the entire Collection to an Organization that would curate, and display all or part of the Collection in a public setting.This would allow both SBCS Members and the public at large access to the comprehensive Collection and provide a fitting Memorial to Bob.
There were several interested candidate Organizations.Most were non-profit and required that SBCS include an ongoing endowment for curating and managing the Collection, something SBCS is not in a financial position to support.Other interested Organizations wanted to market the items as a fundraising plan for their own organization thus splitting up the Collection.
One Institution that did receive the benefit of a donation of buildings from the Kneisel Collection was the Cultural Foundation of Pakistan, Museum of Architecture.The Museum used the souvenir buildings as part of a larger display of world architecture aimed toward school age children.This was a rewarding donation for SBCS, but was not a venue available to the North American public or SBCS Members.
In 2018, the National Building Museum announced the pending acquisition of a Souvenir/Miniature Building Collection like Bob Kneisel’s Collection.This event changed the focus of the Kneisel Committee.With the other Collection becoming available in a National Museum at a national level, the Committee looked to other ways to utilize the Collection.
Discussion at both the 2017 Chicago and 2019 Kansas City SBCS Conventions revealed that many Members in attendance wanted a chance to obtain pieces from the Kneisel Collection.The Committee then looked for ways to honor this request.
Bob’s Collection had over 4000 pieces and was very eclectic.At each SBCS Convention since 2015 a selection of items was presented and distributed to SBCS Convention Members through auction, sale or raffle.For these events items selected from the Collection were themed toward the Convention location.
SBCS 2017 Convention in Chicago
These distributions only benefited the small percentage of SBCS Members who attend the SBCS Conventions.The Committee wanted other ways to start the distribution of the Collection to benefit as many SBCS Members as possible.
The Committee started offering Category and Flash Sales to all qualified Members.Initial offerings were specific categories in the Collection including certain levels of souvenir building quality and/or other types of Collectibles categories such as human and animal figurines, snow globes, charms, stadiums and crested porcelain.
FLASH SALES! And Bob’s Better Buildings Sales
Grouping of Stadiums
These sales allow for an expanded group of SBCS Members to participate, but do not meet the desire of the SBCS Organization to distribute the remaining Collection into the hands of more SBCS Members or the Collecting Community at large.
Moving Forward in 2020
As the Flash Sales end in Spring 2020, we will be moving to the next and final phases of distributing the Kneisel Collection.It will happen in two phases that will start concurrently.
Phase 1 will be the offering an expanded selection of items from the Collection at the October 2020 SBCS Convention in Jackson MS. This selection of items will be offered in the traditional way items have been offered at past Conventions including a Swap Meet,a silent or live Auction item or as raffle items.
Phase 2 will be the offering of the entire remaining Collection through an Auction House.The actual scheduling of this event is still in the planning stages, so it may or may not happen in conjunction with Phase 1. One Auction House under consideration utilizes Live Auctions allowing a greater number of souvenir building Collectors (and SBCS Members) to have access to the auctions without having to travel to the auction site.
Through these two Phases, SBCS Members will reap the benefits of the Kneisel Collection
SBCS Management and the Committee will be holding one part of the Collection as a legacy SBCS Collection.The SBCS Convention Souvenir Buildings from 1999 through the 2019 Kansas City Convention will be held by the Society for historical purposes.Bob Kneisel had collected all of the Commemoratives through 2015, and the Kneisel Committee has added each year’s Commemorative since.
All fees charged to date, and all future fees charged from remaining Flash Sales and the profits from the two final Phases are used to defray costs for distributing the Collection and support other SBCS activities.
The SUMMER 2019 edition of SOUVENIR BUILDING COLLECTOR has been mailed, emailed, and is available in the Member Section of this website.
There is a glorious “Photo Essay” rendering of the SBCS / SBCCA joint 2019 Convention in Olathe, KS for your viewing.
You will want to read Howie Gelbtuch’s (with help from Anton Tremblay) take on “DOWNsizing UPgrading.”
For those of you who bask in SOLs – you know who you are – there is a tid-bit.
And …..Joe Kopitz contributed “Souvenir Buildings of Classic Sites.”
The next round of SBCS member opportunity to capture some of Bob’s Better Buildings was detailed in the newsletter. One box per member, but … If we do not get full Member response, we will open it to additional boxes after the first round. You can click here for a printable copy of the order form.The LAST DATE for participating is OCT. 19.
Coming in November will be a series of HOLIDAY FLASH SALES – Each Flash Sale will feature a single category of souvenir building collectible, the number of boxes in the offering will be limited by the number of items available in that category.
Keep these sales in mind as gift boxes to that special collector. The Flash Sale will be via email blast and a post. Be sure Joe has your email address on file.
The SBCS FaceBook community is a hive of activity and pictures.Souvenir Building collectors (SBCS members and non-members alike) have been sharing photos, tips, stories, and exchanges, sales, wants, etc.Click here to join in the fun. Be sure to answer the questions asked of all who request membership in this closed group.
SBCS WEBSITE NEEDS A WEBMASTER / EDITOR:Donna must step down.This site is a wordpress.com site.The site is registered to SBCS.
This is no ordinary offer! Last year’s Bob Kneisel Committee’s Box Metal Pot Luck offer was a tremendous success.This time they are offering items from Bob Kneisel’s Collection that are NOT BUILDINGS.This offering will be souvenir statues, busts, animals, transportation items and other non-building items.Here’s the link to ALL the information.