Collections and Collectors | Antique & Art Exchange

Collections and Collectors

I thought I would write a little bit about some wonderful collections and collectors. I think we are hard wired to collect. Its probably a leftover from that hunter-gatherer instinct. Collections are generally open-ended and driven by the joy of discovery. A friend of mine has spent most of his life collecting 19th century American sterling silver. His love for the material and his life-long study probably makes him one of the most knowledgeable experts on this coast. He will never be a dealer because he finds selling off his discoveries less than attractive. Another older friend has spent about 25 years assembling a collection of pots and porcelain made by Johann Friedrich Böttger, the man that first made porcelain in Meissen Germany almost 300 years ago. What probably started with a tea cup is now a museum quality collectors item. A charming elderly client collected miniatures made of silver. I think that the bulk of these were from the 19th century and made in Holland, but a handful were even older. I remember the joy and deliberate approach she took to combing the old Sacramento Street store. Her joy is something I understand all too well.
As a child I became fascinated with rocks, Godzilla, and mummies. Among these early fascinations, my rock collection was the first to go. My youngest brother ate them. And in time, it turned out that one Godzilla model was plenty. In the end, my love of antiques probably stemmed from mummies. Fortunately, I don’t have one. But I do have a funny story about a brief but unsuccessful collection of old statue heads. I had managed to put together a bookcase or two entirely lined with heads. But to my dismay, I quickly realized that the overall effect of these detached heads was less than soothing. My take away was that while one wonderful bust or head will go a very long way and probably look great, large groupings of belfries look a little batty and are probably best avoided.


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