This is a hard question to answer. I think I’ve always been a collector of sorts. As a kid, I had my share of Barbies and Liddle Kiddles. When I was a teenager, I collected Archie comic books. My favorite was Betty but I read them all.
In high school I collected vinyl records, but I guess most everyone did back then. After college, I moved a few times so collecting wasn’t really in the cards. But once I married and settled down, that’s when the collecting bug really kicked in. It helped, that my husband is also a collector (sci-fi).
Starting with Fire King jadeite and a new collection of Liddle Kiddles, the collections really grew and grew quickly. Jadeite was incredibly affordable and easy to find back then – even the harder to find pieces. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I was fortunate to meet an incredible group of Fire King collectors who I still consider my friends almost 25 years later.
I think when you find something you love to collect, it really just takes over. If you’re smart, you do your research. Buy a couple of collecting books and get to know what to look for in markings and condition. Don’t hurry out and buy chipped or damaged pieces just to have them in your collection. When you go to sell, you won’t be able to get rid of these pieces as easily and you may actually lose money.
I never really collected to sell for profit but it did happen with my Liddle Kiddle and Fire King collections. Because we moved five times in eight years., my large collection (over 500 pieces), packed numerous times, had become a burden more than an enjoyment. I also think I was ready to downsize my collections – I’d outgrown them. Happily, the value of Fire King jadeite has grown incredibly over the last 10 years or so – actually to ridiculous prices now. I made an amazing profit – money which we needed at the time. Now, when I see jadeite at flea and vintage markets, I usually just shake my head and walk on because I know I would never pay the prices in today’s market.
Even though I’ve sold a majority of my Fire King jadeite collection, I still love to collect. My tastes have changed over time and now I’m enjoying collecting vintage English ironstone pieces. I’ve learned over time to only collect what you really love and not just grab everything that you see because you’ll end up with pieces that have been overvalued and don’t fit in with your tastes.
Who knows what will happen in the future but I know collecting will always be a big part of my life.
What do you collect and why?