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  • Debra Palmen

The Truth About Dragons

Did you know there’s a significant difference between Eastern and Western dragons? And not just in how they look.

Eastern dragons are benevolent, considered good luck and are total good guys. But other than the most recognized ‘flying lizard’ versions, most Eastern dragons are a mash-up of all the animals in the Asian zodiac. The flying lizards look good, but the usual Eastern dragon depiction can’t be described as cool. In fact, they’re downright ungainly.

Western dragons look seriously cool, with major swagger. They have wings, enormous claws, and some breathe fire. But they’re nasty. They guard their treasure and will kill and eat you without hesitation.

So what’s a modern filmmaker to do? You want a cool-looking dragon, but also one that won’t slaughter you on sight. That would make for some very short movies, don’t you think?

Enter the hybrid dragon. It’s a creature that’s never existed in any culture’s legends, except ours, right now. But thanks to these modern movie depictions, dragon antiques of all types, Eastern and Western, are now hugely collectable.

Sure there’s plenty of dross on offer – you are categorically forbidden to buy any resin dragon ‘collectable’. They collect your money, that’s the only collectable thing about them. In fact, there's probably more dragon dross than good stuff. But high-quality, valuable dragon pieces do exist. You’ll find them across all genres of antiques, from jewellery to cast iron to glass. You just need to know what you’re looking at.

Naturally, there's a Dragon chapter in my book Fabulous Beasts & How to Collect Them (An Expert Guide to Buying Animal-Related Antiques like a Professional). It’s going to print next week. And because the dragon image is the most popular in the book, that’s what I selected as the cover. What do you think? I tried another cover, which personally I really liked, but it just didn’t resonate with pretty well anyone else. And books are totally judged by their covers.

I hope you like this cover, and indeed the information in each chapter about the social history of some of the world's favourite animals, and expert advice to help you buy animal-related antiques as well as any professional. I’ve been an antiques dealer for 30+ years, so I know a thing or two that you might find helpful.

I'll sell the print versions of the book on the website, and at Peregian Market and Collectorama Antiques Fair for $20. That's 40% off the recommended retail price. And because you’re a subscriber to the Newsletter you’ll hear first when they’re available.

And because you’re a subscriber, when you purchase a book you can nominate your favourite image in the book to receive as a free download. These images will sell for $15 each. But because you’re supporting my writing by purchasing Vol 1 of Fabulous Beasts & How to Collect Them, you’ll be able to select the picture of your choice for free. Sound like a deal? I’ll let you when they’re available.

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