What do you collect? Do you ever think about why you collect what you do?
This photo shows part of my Van Briggle pottery collection. When I was growing up I spent lots of time at my grandma's house (the house where we currently live.) Grandma came of age during the depression and had drawers full of used bread bags and piles of soap slivers under the bathroom sink. She didn't have many frivilous things. When I was little I was obsessed with her glass doorknobs and they're still one of my favorite parts of our house. When I got older I was drawn to her blue-green Van Briggle lotus bowl (photo, bottom left). She bought it at the factory store in Colorado Springs on one of the only vacations she and my grandpa took before he died in the early 1970s. It was special to her which is is a big part of why I loved it too. When she passed away I got the bowl so it is still at home in Grandma's house. Today I have 12-15 pieces of Van Briggle. Most are the blue-green which is my favorite, but I can't resist a bargain and have found some different colored pieces at sales.
Some collections come and go, like the carousel horse music boxes I loved in my teens and early 20s. Most of those are packed in a tote in the basement now. Or does anybody remember Charming Tails? I have a bunch of those stored away too. Not everything endures and it might have something to do with age and the amount of other "stuff" that we acquire in a lifetime--not everything gets to stay! Or if you're like me you need to make room for new collections like hand lettered wooden signs, or kitchen scales, or Skotch plaid coolers, or, or, or..........!
In this business we meet lots of people who collect and are at shows looking for additions to their collection. Or they might be buying a gift for another collector, like an antique camera for a photographer, an old medical book for an aspiring doctor, or a toy truck for a husband who had one as a child. A mom recently bought a tobacco tin from us. She explained that every Christmas she hunted up a different tobacco tin to use as "wrapping" for the cash she gave or adult son. What a cool idea!
Listening to people talk about their collections or the reason they are purchasing something is one of the most fun parts of our job. The reasons vary but there is almost always an emotional connection. I would love to hear your collecting stories in the comments. What do you collect, and why?