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©Copyright 2011-2015 Eric Wrobbel



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Remember Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. Vintage 1940s pin by Lampl is inscribed 'for aid to the Honolulu Community Chest.' From 'Collecting: A Rationale' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/rationale-1.htm

COLLECTING:
A rationale

Collecting. Why do we want all this stuff? What is the point? Are we insecure? Too secure?

Materialistic? Definitely. But is a respect for ‘material’ really such a bad thing after all?

Mid-Century Modern enamel and gold earrings. From 'Collecting: A Rationale' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/rationale-1.htm

Think about it. Most of the damage to our physical world has been done by people with not enough respect for material. To care about material and its conservation is to be a good steward of our planet. We’re on the right side of history here, collectors!

With collecting, there’s a hoarding instinct at work, too, I suppose. Some of us have it worse than others. If all your stuff is packed away in boxes and you never even see it, you have it pretty bad.




Some of us just love the chase—the endless searching through yard sales, flea markets, antique malls, thrift stores, etc. to find something to add to our collection. It keeps us out of trouble. And being free-thinkers and non-conformists generally, we are the sort of people who need to be kept out of trouble.

As collectors, we learn to know quality when we see it— wherever we see it—without being hyped by tags or packaging or sales pitches.

To the non-collector, most of what we collectors cherish is just junk. But let me say a word about junk. Once the “latest thing” has been stripped of its packaging and price tag, used a little bit, then deposited on the ground at the local swap meet to be bought and sold on nothing but its merit, its true value becomes apparent. And so we see that most of the glitsy stuff everyone just had to have last year turns out to be just junk after all. We collectors see this all the time.

These Duotone Cactus Needles are, I am not making this up, phonograph needles from the 1940s made of genuine cactus thorns. From 'Collecting: A Rationale' at the web's largest private collection of antiques & collectibles: http://www.ericwrobbel.com/collections/rationale-1.htm

Non-collectors, without such experience, always seem ready to give us advice about our ‘junk’ while on their way out to the mall to buy more of those ‘latest things’ they spend their money on. We just smile.

What about the “manufactured collectible?” I'm thinking here of new items intended for the collectibles market, things like Hummels,  Precious Moments, Beanie Babies, Lladro statues, you name it—and the products of the Franklin Mint, Walt Disney Classics Collection, etc. There's nothing wrong with those things if you like those things for just what they are. But as collectibles, they violate one of my cardinal rules: If it was made to collect, it isn’t collectible. Anything deliberately made for collecting purposes above all else is just not right in my book. I guess I just don’t like being told what to collect. My simple creed is this: Don’t collect anything that someone else hasn’t, at one time or another, thrown out first.


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