The Inveterate Collector
"I am a Buddhist, therefore I should not be collecting anything - however, I have a collection of Buddhas. I have a lot of them." E Ripert.
If you are working your way around this site then chances are you are a collector. Don't worry, there's nothing to be ashamed of. Mankind owes us collectors a debt of gratitude!
You like me can claim to be in touch with your history and our heritage. Antiques keep alive our history. They are imbued with historical content. By treasuring, understanding, appreciating and researching some of the objects we collect we help to keep alive the memories of our forebears and add meaning to their lives and our own.
Collecting areas are limitless and you (like me) may find yourself being drawn into an area (or areas) subconsciously and before you know it you have started a new collection! The challenge of finding new and different items can become all-encompassing. And, when you think you have finished a collection, well…you'll probably start a new one! Almost anything is collectable; from postcards that can be picked up for very little to precious jewellery that will break the bank if you get too carried away. When I was a young boy I collected Victorian clay marbles, which you can still pick up for a few pence, and have since graduated to the more unusual glass marbles that can sell for many thousands each!
People collect for different reasons. Antique collecting can be fun, satisfying and rewarding (in a personal sense - have a look at one or two of my antique stories). Antiques can also represent good investment value.
However mistakes can also be made along the way; it is part of the collector's lot. But the mistakes can be minimised by learning and experience. Read around the field, research items of interest, visit fairs and start to handle items. Browse the internet - there are some great resources out there. Come across people like me that are so passionate about their area that they can talk for hours without much encouragement. Beware of anything that looks too good to be true. Discuss concerns with dealers and ask questions.
So, with all that said, I have produced some basic guides in some of the areas I collect in to get you started, perhaps arouse your interest or help you to decide on a one-off purchase. In the sub categories under this tab you will find basic guides to collecting Portrait Miniatures, Netsuke, Snuff Boxes, Treen and Marbles. I hope they are helpful to people entering these fields of collecting.
Good luck and happy hunting.