[The auction for this Significant Object, with story by Rob Baedeker, has ended. Original price: $1. Final price: $17.82.]
Baron Von Blauheimer “Muscle Dove” Statuette
This is a porcelain statuette of the Baron Von Blauheimer holding a “peace dove” on his cocked fist.
The statuette dates from the 1980s, but it is modeled after a real historical figure from an earlier time — the 1970s. The man is my uncle, Ray-Ray “The Baron” Von Blauheimer, and he is depicted here in his full baron regalia, which doubled as his only clothes.
In the 1970s it was still rare for a grown man to go to work in a lace cravat and petticoat breeches, especially if that man, like Ray-Ray, worked as a garbage collector for the City of Newark, NJ.
Ray-Ray was a bundle of contradictions: sensitive but hard-edged; coquettish yet vengeful; fastidious but filthy. A compassionate civil rights activist, he was also a bodybuilder who delighted in beating up hippies.
This statuette represents Ray-Ray’s attempt to reconcile two sides of his personality. The cocked fist is a symbol of the fight-ready posture he adopted so many times at pool halls, punk-rock concerts, and fondue orgies in the ’70s, while the white dove atop his hand represents his message of peace. As Ray would say, “It’s up to you, friend. Give peace a chance… or taste the Five Knucklemen of Von Blauheimer!”
Uncle Ray-Ray ordered this statuette of himself through a Chinese toy company whose advertisement he found in the back of a Beetle ‘n’ Bonsai magazine. The statuette was modeled after a full-size chainsaw sculpture self-portrait that Ray-Ray made one night when he was loaded on strawberry daiquiris. He sent the photo to the company, Wen Hong Toy, and they produced the custom miniature. The paint — the matching blue touches on the shoes and eyes, the brown strokes on the moustache and eyebrows, and the faint blush on the cheeks — was added by Ray-Ray himself, on another night when he got shellacked and weepy on frozen mango margaritas.
This item is in “Very Fine” to “Very Horrible” condition, depending on your values.
There is a small chip in the dove’s head from when Uncle Ray-Ray threw the statuette at the television during Ronald Reagan’s second inaugural address.
Uncle Ray-Ray is my new hero.
Methinks this piece is in “very fine” condition.
Indeed. He’s the Ken Kesey of the baroque bareknuckle boxing set.
Pretty hilarious. “Coquettish yet vengeful” (Such an apt description of this object’s paradoxical gestalt!)
This made me ell oh ell:
“This item is in ‘Very Fine’ to ‘Very Horrible’ condition, depending on your values.”
This is by far one of your best stories! Very, very funny! Will have to read your book now, Rob!
The auction has ended. I’ll be very sorry to let this one out of my clutches — the winning bidder is a very fortunate individual, indeed.