What really is a collector? Are they born that way or have they picked up the collectors bug from a relative or friend?
In truth it is a deeply personal thing. You see something, and think “now that is nice. I just wonder…. hmmmmm. Maybe, no that would be silly… though it is nice.”
Days go by and you keep thinking about it. Eventually you go back and Grrrrr! it’s gone. That is often the way we start collecting and that seed can be in the back of our minds for years and years.
How can you really know what is worth collecting or not. I like it but how much should I pay? How can I justify the expense when there are so many more important things to do first (like have a holiday). In reality this is a personal treat and could lead to things getting out of hand if your not careful. After all you know yourself best of all.
I remember a truly lovely young lady who used to come into my shop in Whitstable, Kent. When she visited we would spend hours chatting about antiques and fine art (she even bought a painting or two from me). She had a lovely eye for antiques and art but sadly her passion was never to be fully realized as she suddenly died from a blood clot. It was a huge shock to me at the time. With the sadness came the memory of just how enthusiastic she was when she discovered a gem to add to her collection.
I am going to give a little bit of advice and if it is the only thing you remember about this story then you will have made this man very happy indeed. The advice is this:
A single line is the difference between a poor collection and a good collection.
“The best of the best”.
Yes that is it! Just one short sentence. So what does it mean? That is something you will have to find out for yourself however I can give you a guide. Imagine there was a basket of eggs. All shapes, sizes and colors. Now which one is the best of the best? Simple. Pick the color you like the best and the largest egg is the best of the best. There you have it in a nut shell.
So where can you take this sentence and is it always right? Lets see… I went looking for a farm a few years ago and I had a limited budget. The first thing I did was look to see what is actually available. That way your not looking for the impossible dream. Having looked through the details of many possible properties I narrowed down the field to farms that firstly, I could afford. Secondly, that were in a area that would meet my families requirements. Thirdly, I looked for a property that was a fair price. Of course many others had also spotted the same properties and some had been search for years. It was not going to be easy but I did find and buy a farm at auction and it did double in value over a 10 year period. Since we enjoyed living there you could say it worked out well. In this case the best of the best was the availability then the type of property that met my families requirements.
Another tip that is even more obvious is don’t be afraid to buy as a collector. If you buy something and it turns out to not be right for you, then just sell it on or better still swap it when you find something better more suitable. All along your journey as a new collector you are gaining experience and in my opinion that is much more valuable than the material value.
Good luck with your hunting!