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Newspaper Page Text
THE PEACHBLOW VASE
By Gerald Fyce
(Copyright by W- Q. Chapman.)
The old pawnbroker-Jooked in as
toriishment at the object which was
set down upon the counter before his
'A peachblow vase, only 15 inches
high," said the well-dressed man who
had come into the shop. "One of the
only pair in existence, and valued of
ficially by the American museum at
"How much do you want on it?"
inquired the pawnbroker, more from
force of habit than anything else.
"Two thousand dollars," answered
All the while he kept his hands
carefully about the precious object
resting in its velvet case. The pawn
broker stared at it It was worth its
weight in gold, and something more.
Jones had the only pawnshop that
was also an art museum. He had han
dled half the private objects of vertu
in collections, perhaps. None knew
but he how often the rich man needs
a large "loan. He was cognizant with
the peachblow vases, and he had
heard of 4 this unique pair, one of
which rested in the American mu
seum, the other being the property
of some unknown European.
"Of course you understand I must
have an expert " he began.
"Quite so," answered the man.
"Oblige me by signing this receipt
and liability and I will be back in a
Jones signed. The deal would mean
only' a small sum, but his curiosity
was thoroughly aroused. With trem
bling fingers he locked away the tro
phy in his safe. Then he telephoned
Smith, the famous expert in porce
lains. The expert arived that afternoon
and looked the vase over.
"It's the most brazen imposture I
have ever met," he said quietly.
"It's a fake. Mr. Smith?"
"Not at all It's the vase from the
museum. Stolen," of course, and no
doubt the authorities are keeping it
dark while they hunt down the thief
I'll telephone the curator at once. By -the
way, was the man who brought
you this a tallish man with a slight
cast in one eye?"
"Yes," said the pawnbroker.
"He's the fellow that foisted the
spurious Botticelli on old Campion
last year. Painted it himself, and it
"It's a fake, Mr. Smith?"
took a microscopic knowledge of the
original to ejiable me to detect that
a certain sinew of the hand, which
Botticelli always gets wrong, was
right in this picture. Cleverest thief
in Europe. Hello! Give me the mu
Five minutes later he looked up at
Jones in amazement
"The museum people laughed at
me," he said. "The vase is there,
right where it has always been, in a
special case. Let me look at that