Last month I had the pleasure of being invited to the party of a wealthy friend of a friend, I was his plus one. The party was casual, yet since I knew it would be filled with guests from a tax bracket I hope to one day reach, I needed to dress up a bit. I was right in doing so, as the host was apparently the owned a yacht rental company and all the guests were a bit more polished then the people I usually associate with. I’m not exactly the type who social climb, but it was actually quite fun to mingle with those whose jewelry probably cost more than my car.
But what interested me the most was when the host decided to invite a few of us inside his private quarters in the yacht. The place was extremely roomy, I mean I had been on several yachts before, but this one was by far the biggest one I have ever been on. And inside were artifacts from the Byzantine Empire, and a few old books from the renaissance, along with a few more items of historical significant.
Why the Exhibits
The host was actually a history buff and loved to collect items of historical significant, there we finally found a common ground, as my love for history and museums was something we shared. We ended up talking about each pieces, and interesting events from that era. He had told me how he procured such items, which was mostly legal and some a bit more questionable, but then again some artifacts we have in museums now went through questionable channels if you go back far enough.
His love for the byzantine and roman empires’ history went beyond just someone who had an interest in history and art. He hoped that one day he would be able to procure a few artifacts that, to my knowledge, is definitely not for sale, to a level of it being concerning too. But then again a lot of the rich has that quality of thinking they can acquire anything given enough time and effort, which is why they are rich in the first place.
He had on display a klivanion which I am certain to be a reproduction, but it was made rather well, along with the aging and such it almost looked like the real thing, which is very improbable.
Another piece I was pretty intrigued about was the coin collection, a few were from the time of Justinian II, I had wanted to take a closer look but unfortunately the host did not have the key at that time. He did offer to loan it to me if I wished to study it further, but I hated the idea of losing a rare golden coin that didn’t belong to me.
The renaissance books were intriguing but again they were in a glass box and I couldn’t really see what they were, and I only had the word of the host to say that it is authentic. Again he offered to loan one of them to me at a later time, but I politely turned it down.
Because of the coin with the image of Justinian II, we ended up talking about his whole rule, and how he and his friend and general almost conquered Italy and rebuild the glory of Rome again. The interesting history of the plague and how the towers of the walls of Constantinople were used to store dead bodies with, and even the crazy “true history” that depicted the king and queen as actual demons controlling the empire.
The host was very knowledgeable and we hit it off, we actually became good friend since then and often meet to chat about roman and byzantine history. Last week he even brought one of the coins from his collection to give to me as a token of friendship, the Justinian coin, and of course I accepted, now I have a coin that is probably worth more than my mortgage in my bank’s safety deposit box. I can certainly never sell it, so I guess now I have a family heirloom.
All in all
Going to that party is something that I will never regret, as the people I met, the things I saw, and the friends I made are something I could have never experienced had I not gone.