The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Clawfoot Tubs

My days and nights have been consumed in trying to find an answer to this question: should someone buy an Australian clawfoot bathtub and ship it back to the States at a later date? According to Expatriate Aaron, old clawfoot tubs only cost slightly more than a good crack-whore (my vulgar turn of phase, not his) in Australia. That would be about $35.00 US. So, what should our poor expatriate do?

I’m still not exactly sure how much it would cost to ship one of these babies, but, if pushes the total cost of this baby over what it would cost for a new one or good used one in the US, I’d say forget it. [Just before I posted this I received an email from Aaron. According to him, his company will foot the bill for him to move back to the US. If that is the case, I’d say go for it. Buy a dozen or so if you want.]

While there is a finite number of old tubs floating around the US, I don’t see an imminent shortage of them. There just aren’t enough house-whores and house-bloggers to use them all right now. Unless our expatriate is planning to spend another 50 years down under, I don’t see supply as a real problem.

Another consideration is luck and patience. If you’re lucky, you can find a good tub on the cheap. I went on eBay a couple days ago, and someone was selling a vintage tub in near perfect condition for $200 if you’d pick it up. In our part of Arkansas you can find old tubs in various states of disrepair for $50 to $150 each. My wife bartered/paid cash for our tub. She agreed to post some stuff online for a middle-aged technophobe and to pay $25.00. It needed some work, but, once we’re done with it, it’ll have cost us about $100 ($25.00 for the tub, $35.00 for paints, $35.00 for an enamel patching kit, and what-not).

If you really don’t care if it is old or not and you have money to burn, you can always buy a new reproduction tub. They start at about $1,500. Or, if age does matter, you can pay even more for a professionally refinished old tub.

So, my guess is that unless the tub is an exceptional, one-of-a-kind piece [or the shipping is FREE], save your money and buy one in the States. However, if the shipping rates are insanely cheap [FREE], you might reconsider the situation.

Hope that helps Aaron.


Blogger Archimedes24 said...

Hey John,

Well, I guess that answers a bunch of my questions. Basically, for about a hundred and fifty bucks you can rehab an old tub, and avoid a)spending $1500 on a reproduction...something I'd never consider b/c I'm too cheap or b)paying big bucks to have it shipped.

Now I just have to convince my wife that it makes sense to buy a tub here in Australia...


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