Rex Mardi Gras Collection
Well, my dad was a member of the Rex Carnival Organization, here in New Orleans, before he passed away, and he collected a number of items from the organization, some of which I have here today. They are favors that were given to members of the organization over the years. Most of the items you see here date from 1907 to 1911. APPRASIER: These favors, especially from Rex, one of the oldest and most venerated krewes, started in the 1880s. So the ones that you have here from 1910, 1911, 1907 are very early and wonderful examples. These things were actually given to the ladies at the dances. They were called "call-outs," and usually a member like... such as your grandfather would buy them in order to send them to the lady beforehand, to invite them to the dance. And sometimes they were given out at the balls, but obviously an inkwell or letter openers that are heavy like this would certainly have been sent beforehand. One of the neat things about Rex was even though the women were costumed and knew their names, the men always wore masks. So they never knew who they were dancing with and who gave them these wonderful favors in the first place. These are in about as good condition as you can get. They don't have a huge value because they certainly have been made in very large quantities. But something like the letter openers, especially in this condition, sell for about $100, $150 each, and the inkwells and the box sell for between about $250 and $300. The doubloons are the coins that they normally throw off of the parade route floats, and this is a good example of what a front of a Rex coin would look like. H. Alvin Sharpe, who actually designed this insignia, has signed this coin, so it's a wonderful example and so probably has a value of about $100. But I think what I love about what you brought is it's something that's so indigenous to this area and most of our viewers would never get to see otherwise.
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