Digest>Archives> August 2002

Collectors’ Corner

New innovations make for clever collectibles

By Sharon Coartney


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Lighthouse collectors expect the best from Harbour Lights. This family-run company is always inventing new ways to capture the magic of lighthouses, seeking out unpredictable and clever ways to surprise their collectors. The June 2002 releases are no exception!

Turkey Point, Maryland is an innovative new sculpture. The tower and Keeper’s Quarters are charming and have undeniable appeal. When you factor in the down-home porch scene and the meticulously etched brickwork, Turkey Point is a real standout! But Harbour Lights did not stop there. To add an extra special surprise, they created a tower that opens to reveal the interior detail! Swinging ajar on its hinges, the tower’s circular metal staircase comes into view, providing an intimate look into the beacon’s inner beauty. Some collectors may wish to display their Turkey Point with the tower closed, and wait for admirers to discover the hidden door themselves. Others may leave the tower open. It’s up to you to decide! Turkey Point is strictly limited to 5,500 pieces worldwide.

Clark’s Point, Massachusetts is a noble sentinel that stands atop the rustic walls of a military fort. The City of New Bedford restored this lighthouse in June of 2001 and re-lighted it under the fanfare of fireworks, cannon blasts and the “1812 Overture,” before an enthusiastic crowd of 3,000! From the product photograph, you can only catch a glimpse of the interior detail. But when you see the Harbour Lights Clark’s Point in person, you’ll be amazed at the ingenuity! You can actually see through the fort, viewing the rustic doorways and stone floors from each side. It is almost as if you are standing inside, witnessing a time in history when the military occupied the fort - complete with raised relief maps, storage crates with detailed labels, a wooden bunk bed and down pillow, realistic torches to illuminate the dark hallways and more items for you to find for yourself. Each time you look inside Clark’s Point, you’ll find another detail that you missed before! It is not hard to imagine the feel of the cool stones and the scent of gunpowder and salty ocean air. Limited to 5,000 pieces, this one won’t last long.

Old Minot’s Ledge, Massachusetts, is a truly unique sculpture with an extraordinary flair. Harbour Lights founder, Bill Younger, originally developed the design for this piece, waiting impatiently for technology to catch up to his idea! Since Minot’s Ledge is fondly known as the “I Love You” light for its distinct flash pattern, Bill selected this sentinel in honor of his 50th Wedding Anniversary and presented it as a surprise to Nancy Younger at the Summer Regional Event in Chicago. The dramatically lighted piece is as unique as the Youngers themselves.

Lighthouse lovers familiar with this Gone But Not Forgotten beacon can appreciate the significance of the violent waves that appear to overtake the skeletal tower. Originally, the iron pile lighthouse was designed to resist the forces of nature by offering less surface area for the water to come in contact with. Unfortunately, the project engineer decided to omit the lower bracing, believing that it would lessen rather than add to the tower’s strength. The lighthouse went into service on January 1st, 1850. In April 1851, a storm of hurricane proportions pounded relentlessly at the tower, causing a discerned lean towards shore. People staying at a nearby hotel were jolted awake by the furious ringing of the lighthouse bell. At daybreak the next morning, observers found the tower gone, having been broken in the exact place where the eliminated braces would have been. The bodies of the courageous assistant keepers were eventually recovered.

The amazing Harbour Lights sculpture depicts Minot’s Ledge as it appeared just before its demise. Huge waves engulf the structure and you can almost hear the frantic ringing of the bell. A departure from the usual sculpted waves, Bill selected a clear resin to replicate the stormy, powerful waters that light up from within. In addition, the lantern flashes a 1-4-3 pattern, “I Love You”! Minot’s Ledge is a Special Open Edition.

This story appeared in the August 2002 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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