|What Do You Collect?
|Ogee's Antiques on Ruby Lane
A fun place for buying antiques and collectibles
What Do You Collect?
I can’t count the number of times I have been asked that question from a shop
keeper as they glanced up from a crossword puzzle, paperback novel or
computer screen. The little bell on the door has just finished its last hushed
“ding” and the question from obscurity rings out….“what do you collect?”.
Often, not even knowing where the voice came from, I reply, “nothing”.
The fact is…neither my husband nor I collect anything! We have been in this
business since the late 1970’s and we weren’t collectors then. It’s a difficult
concept for most people to understand since almost everyone collects
something, especially antiques dealers. Even non-“antiquers” end up collecting
something….something they walk into shops seeking out. Often, I have replied
to “the” question with something I would like to find because it has recently
gained interest in the marketplace where I sell or I have a specific client for. But
often that approach back fires because the shop owner thinks I am being too
picky if what they show me doesn’t fit my criteria. I am generally better off
leaving them scratching their head when I tell them that I really don’t collect
I have to be honest, there have been many items that we have bought over
the years, thinking we knew what the trend was, that we ended up owning so
long that one might think we did collect that type of item! But we have never
consciously or deliberately bought for a collection and ultimately all of the items
we’ve bought have been for sale.
I have to admit that there have been items that I look back at in thought and
hesitantly wish I still owned, but reality is, having owned it was really good
enough. There’s the first external, mahogany, wood horned Victor phonograph
that we painstakingly restored and the one pint ice cream freezer that made two
flavors at the same time. The pair of salesman sample oak and leather glider
rocking chairs and the heart shaped peridot and gold necklace that were
wonderful pieces. But as much as I enjoyed owning these items and regret that I
don’t see this kind of quality or uniqueness very often, I enjoyed immensely the
joy that the new owners received when they added these treasures to their
collections. That is the real pleasure of finding wonderful items.
So, what do I collect? I collect memories of the collectors that have crossed my
path, that have added something I felt worthy of owning and that they are happy
to add to their collections. What better collection can I have?