Growing up as an auctioneer’s daughter who, along with my siblings, were the staff that made sure the proceeds of my parent’s auctions stayed in the family; I got to know many dedicated collectors.
While our family business ran to country farm and estate sales and a twice weekly consignment sale held in old barns and chicken houses; with fast talking, sing-song chanting, joke telling, bib overall wearing auctioneers. We didn’t have any of those couldn’t-chant-if-their-life-depended-on-it, suit and tie guys watching for raised paddles from silent guests sitting on petit-point chairs in a mirrored and crystal room at someplace like Christies’ but the mentality of the collector seems to be the same.
What is it about people and collecting? Why would someone want to fill their home, with multiples of the same item? Or a room filled with a particular period’s baubles? I doubt if I will ever understand collectors and I happen to be one of them.
In one of my bookcases, there is a large ornate candleholder filled with bookmarks; everything from advertising handouts to poetry to the gift shop souvenir, none of which have ever held a place in a book. The books lying around my house have store receipts, bobby pins, nail files and who knows what marking my page.
What was once several hundred figurines of owls has slowly been culled to about fifty that can be found tucked into every nook and cranny from my flowerbeds to my laundry room. A row of Hull Art vases, all in the same pastel magnolia pattern, sits atop my china hutch. While a corner of my dining room houses my mini collection of Knight’s and castles.
My dozen or so cedar boxes are each filled with some small collection from cameo pins to nail clippers. A lifetime of seashells, hauled home a few at a time, have finally been corralled into a wreath that hangs on my bathroom wall beside a shelf of shells to big to be held by a dot of hot glue.
Old-fashioned heavy glass paperweights line up in front of the books in one bookcase while mummified oranges (Florida 1979) occupy another. All around my office are decorative containers, coffee cups or little trays filled with binder clips, pebbles, memory sticks or assorted small items. Heck, if one is good why not a couple dozen…. right.
The above are just a few of the items you would find on a tour of my home. I am the rare collector that does not go out seeking rare or unique items to add to my collections, they somehow seem to find me. I sure wish I could understand what it is about them that attracts me, because perhaps I could start to rid myself of them so my poor family doesn’t have to deal with it all after my passing.