We all have secrets—and we all have stories. Usually we hide our secrets, rarely revealing…
Author: Occulta Thesauri
The most interesting aspect of Septuagesima Sunday, even more so than pancakes, is that on this day, the church “locked away” the word Alleluia, and it was not used in the liturgy again until Easter Sunday. This idea of “locking away a word” intrigued me, so I dived deeper into the history, etymology, and usage of the word “Alleluia.”
It’s rare to find an intact antique atlas. Many atlases are cut up and sold to collectors as individual maps. Even when you find a atlas that hasn’t been chopped up, it’s very difficult to track down the provenance and original owner of a 200-year-old book. But we were up for the challenge!
How is a self-published booklet entitled “Memo-Prop” connected to the 1950s child star who played the beloved character Eloise?
What could be more fun than play cigarettes? For decades, smoking was not only socially acceptable, so was providing toy cigarettes to children so they could pretend to be just like mummy and daddy.
People used to purposefully wall up cats in buildings for good luck? It’s true! Learn more about Mortimer and how he ended up in a display case at a going-out-of-business sale.
Life-sized body parts made of beeswax? What are those for? In holy places throughout Europe, such as Fatima and Montserrat, ex voto anatomico are purchased then presented to saints.
Every book-collector dreams of finding a rare first-edition jumbled in with tattered paperbacks and dusty old text books. Before we even opened this beautiful gift book, we knew it was special. It might not be worth thousands of dollars, but it is indeed a first edition. And the story we discovered is perhaps more valuable than the book itself.
When we found this $20 vellum leaf at an estate sale, we knew nothing about St. Agatha. But after bringing it home, removing it from the frame, and rather clumsily translating the verse by channeling Fr. Kelly, my high school Latin teacher, we made the connection to St. Agatha.
We thought that tracking down the owner of this Freemason hat might lead us to uncover tales of intrigue and some of the mysterious brotherhood’s long-hidden secrets. What we actually discovered involved an unfortunate shooting, a burglar in ladies’ boots, a bon bon dish, and a railroad man.