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HAVE you ever ventured into a cool shop, filled with strange and unusual objects for sale, and were drawn to one particular object. It’s fascinating! Beautiful! And that would be just the thing to add to your private collection. But there’s no price tag. Odd. Then, when you approach the amiable and incredibly good-looking owner, you’re told that it’s “not for sale.” Sometimes, the more strident shop owner does have a tag on the item, but it reads only the initials, “NFS,” the industry standard for notating something not for sale.

If you’re anything like me, you’re annoyed! “What is this place? A store or a museum?” Shouts your inner voice. Sometimes, as in the case with Darkwood House, it can both.

Before opening my own place, I vowed that I’d never stock it with items that weren’t for sale, and that were just for “show.” I’ve known other dealers that had more of their private collection on display than things for sale. Frankly, it pissed me off! And showed a significant lack of business acumen. But knowing that, as the gallery has been coming into its own, I realized that I had more than a few items that were, well… not for sale. It seems my hypocrisy knows no bounds! So, in my defense, I just thought I’d address that sticky wicket within this very post.

If you’ve been a customer of The Darkwood House Gallery, you’ve likely noticed the references to The Darkwood Society. It’s the secretive and shadowy group that still runs the gallery from behind-the-scenes and from beyond. The group has a storied and historic past and while much of their physical remnants have been lost in time, a number of valued objects remain and are lovingly on display at the gallery. Those items are too priceless to us to be offered for sale. And they add significant connections to the ambiance and the backstory of the gallery. Most of the items are assembled on the fireplace mantle in the gallery’s parlor. Pictures of the members, books, decorative items, mementos and even a cremation urn with the precious ashes of Martha Darkwood herself. While they cannot be sold, they serve as placeholders of the ones that are no longer with us in corporeal form. On our séance table are items that once belonged to the Darkwood Society and that we still use, such as the crystal balls, scrying bowls and other important tools. And adding to the gallery’s ambiance, are notable furnishings, chandeliers and household items that hold significant connections and the energy of the past society members as a whole. These remnants continue to be our working tools and our inspirations, so I hope that you will now understand why there is a need for some things to not be for sale. They are still yours, in a sense, in that they all add to what makes up the gallery when you visit. They can still connect with you and bring some new understanding of what they once meant to all those that came before and that makes the gallery what it is to this day. The blackened walls, the arrays of spiderwebs in lofty corners, the heavy atmosphere of things unseen, the music wafting overhead, and all the special objects and personal mementos, combine to imbue the gallery with a sense of the past and are what continues to inform our present and future.

But if you don’t see a price tag on something that’s calling you, please ask us how much it is! Chances are, we just missed pricing something, again!

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