Monday, March 14, 2011
As an avid collector of many things, I enjoy the challenge of the hunt the most. I am a collector primarily of antiques. If you are stumped, know you would like a collection, but don’t know where to start, I can offer some valuable advice on how to get motivated.
My best advice is to open a decorating book or magazine. Some of your best ideas and inspirations will come from within the pages of these tombs. Look closely, in many cases, homes that appear in these magazines belong to lovers of collectibles. Observe what is on the walls, on the table tops and shelves. Then, step into an antique store or store which houses collections you admire. They don’t have to be priceless or antiques to be beautiful. Remember the old adage, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” If you see something that stands out, pick it up and walk around with it as you continue your hunt. If it grows on you, that’s a good sign that it’s a keeper. If not, then ditch it. Don’t leave the store with it in hand until you have convinced yourself that this is the one. Another trick is to go home and sleep on it (not literally). They say if you dream about it, then you have to have it.
For me, my first collection was Barbie Dolls. I was certain that I would be ahead of the game when I had a daughter one day. NOT! Not a good idea that is. I ended up having two boys. I could have kept trying for that girl to satisfy my Barbie hunger but for now their Barbie Dream House is a plastic storage container in the basement in hopes of Granddaughters one day. Not a wise choice as far as collecting is concerned. I say that now as they are appreciating in value in my basement.
I made my collecting mistakes by being too impulsive and not doing my homework. If I liked it, I bought it. My basement looks like that of an abandoned museum. I can say my experience has come from both trial and error. Experience has educated me and sharpened my eye. I can now boast the knowledge and “art” of collecting.
The personal collections throughout our home range from transfer ware, Staffordshire figurines, antique silver and crystal, perfume bottles, copper cake molds, brass decorative pieces, Canton, Rose Medallion porcelain, antique ink wells and antique barware to name just a few. It’s a rewarding feeling each time I add a new “find” to the collection and doing so has made our house a home. With each piece there is history, and a story behind each score. I love our home and I wouldn’t change a thing, even about the collecting mistakes I have made. Like my Mother always said, "live and learn.”
Posted by Jamie Gottschall