A “collection” as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “an accumulation of objects gathered for study, comparison, exhibition or as a hobby”.
I remember a journalist once asked me about a design project of mine, and he was concerned about what collection(s) my client had. Once I told him my client was not a shopper and had no collections, he was no longer interested in featuring the home in his magazine. I’m not as concerned with my clients’ collections or lack there of, but I did an inventory of my own collection immediately— would my home’s interiors and my collections be worthy?
Collections should be fun and meaningful. A great collection to start with is one of Santas. Collecting different styles, different sizes, Santas made of unusual materials, Santas from different countries, etc. The collection can be a lifetime journey and can be as simple or elaborate as you want. To make it interesting for others, learn interesting facts regarding each Santa in your collection. What a wonderful addition to your Christmas decorations and a great opportunity for conversation with new guests in your home.
Angels can be another subject for collectors. Again, your collection can become whatever you want it to be. An angel collection can be part of your Christmas decorating, as well as, a collection for display throughout the year. You can limit your collection to all glass, all wood, or handmade, etc. You may want all of your angels to be antiques.
The downfall of collecting is when others who don’t share your taste, insist on adding to your collection. This is when setting perimeters can be important. You are the one to set the perimeters for your collection. And, if you are a perfectionist then you may want to be the only one to select each piece in your collection.
One way of displaying your collection is by grouping. By grouping your collection the display becomes a “single” greater object in itself and makes your collection more important than any single piece in the collection. An important collection depends as much on affection and presentation as on cost or rarity. Using your collections as a centerpiece is also a dramatic way to show your collections.
Suggestions for interesting collections are: blue & white china pieces, boxes, linens, elephants, butterflies, frogs, santas, clocks etc…the possibilities are endless. Collecting gives you a shopping goal when traveling, as well as, a memory of your travels.
I remember once visiting in a house in Oklahoma City, where the lady of the house shared her collection of antique evening bags that had belonged to her grandmother and great grandmother. They were beautifully displayed in shadow boxes and hung on a wall in the master bedroom.
I have a small collection of children’s china. My mother gave me china she had as a child, which is probably only important to me. But, when added to the blue and white Blue Willow china that I received for Christmas (I was six years old) the combination makes for an interesting collection for discussion.
Everyone that knows me knows that I love elephants and have an extensive collection (I do not need anymore!) My husband and I bought a glass elephant on our honeymoon in Venice and, viol ‘a, our collection was started. Whenever we traveled we try to find a unique elephant – sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. Our collection now consists of all kinds of elephants from all over the world and made of different materials. We have a few expensive elephants and some not so expensive. Several years ago I bought an antique Asian furniture piece and have our collection displayed on this antique, making for an even more interesting collection.
Share your information regarding your collection(s). Tell us how it got started, what your parameters are, and how you display the collection.