Aunt Ethel devoted her life to collecting door knobs…and she willed them all to you!

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October 30, 2016
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In this business, I deal with a lot of collectors. People will collect almost anything…..from cups and saucers, to barb wire, I’ve seen or heard about almost everything!

I think back to the 1980’s and 90’s and it seemed like everyone was collecting….and in many cases, you were defined by what you collected.

I started collecting coal oil lamps when I was just a teenager. I displayed my collection publicly a few times….the Beeton fair and the Georgian Bay Steam Show.  Locally, I was known as the “lamp guy”. I was probably known as a few other things, but I prefer to stick with the “lamp guy”

My mother collected press glass, my brother and sister in law collected carnival glass, my other brother started collecting water pitchers, his wife collected owls, I had an aunt and uncle who collected hundreds of limited edition items, and it seemed to go on and on.

Limited edition prints were strong, and collector plates were popular, along with the beanie babies, precious moments, etc. It seemed, if you put a limited edition on it, people would collect!

Well, now things seemed to have changed.  There are still die hard antique collectors, and those who specialize in certain categories of antiques, but in general, I don’t think people collect like they used to.

It’s not about quantity anymore…it’s more about quality.

So, now what to do with the collections that have been amassed over the years? I remember one lady who used to constantly tell me about her collection of over 1000 cups and saucers.  All I could think of was ….please don’t call me when you want to sell!

It’s hard to pass your collection onto someone else.  If you have gathered 150 clocks for example, you probably have stories related to every one of those clocks.  They bring back memories…they are important to you. Maybe locally you were known as the “clock guy/lady”, and you enjoyed the bit of recognition that came with that.

But now, if you decide it is time to part with the collection, are you going to be able to pass that along to your children?   Does it even mean anything to them….and where would they put them?

Collecting is personal, and you can’t always turn that over to someone else and make it their responsibility.

I often deal with family members, who have been burdened with a large collection, and they simply don’t know how to dispose of it.  And they might even feel a little guilty for trying to dispose of it, because they realized how important it was to their parents, grand parents, or Uncle Joe.

So, buy what you like. Look for quality, rather than quantity. Don’t let the collecting get out of hand!

Also, think of this. Do you know anyone under 40 who collects?

I know of only one.

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