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Collecting –

For the Joy of It!

Thoughts by lifelong collector of

small old things, Marcia Harmon of

Cottage Jewel

Are you a casual collector or a healthy hoarder who feels distressed by the current social trend to minimalize and downsize?  A “collection” consists of three or more similar objects whether it is stamps or stones, coins or cars. So everybody collects something! The hunt-and-gather act of collecting is primordial – it is who we are! Eureka! There is a momentary thrill, when we find what we seek.  What people collect may be motivated by competition, compulsion, a need for approval or a desire for immortality. True collectors deliberately search for specific items, categorize them, learn about them and thoughtfully display them. The human instinct to collect is the origin of our modern museums. Our
cultural institutions began with the curiosity cabinets of the Renaissance and the scholarly desire to understand the natural world through the study of variations in rare objects. Collecting vintage and antique objects connects us with our ancestors and adds pleasure to our pathway into the future. Collect whatever gives you fulfillment.  Some folks are “accidental collectors” who have inherited objects and feel a sense of loyalty to maintain their longevity or fill an emotional void.  ‘Sentimental collectors” may seek souvenirs from their own childhood or of personal historical interest. Some people are attracted to “celebrity collecting” as if these artifacts are infused with the essence of the previous owner.  Some psychologists report an endowment effect or tendency to value things more once we own them. There is also a strong appeal of owning something that everyone else wants because it feeds our individuality and secures our immortality.  The “investment collector” needs to do
some research and be careful not to become a “victim collector” wooed by exploitive commercial marketing of collectibles.  On the resale market, in malls and at auctions the “things you treasure” are only worth what someone else is willing or able to pay on a given day.  So collect what gives you pleasure today and do not feel distressed about sharing your finds with another curating collector. If your active living space becomes too congested and cluttered that you feel like a mole in a hole, then seek professional help. Otherwise, get out to some fun flea markets this Summer and support your local brick-and-mortar merchants… Happy, healthy gathering! Vintage and antiques purveyor Marcia Harmon owns the Cottage Jewel curiosity shop in Danville, CA and hosts the Relics on Railroad Antiques Fair as a fundraiser for the Museum of the San Ramon Valley.  See more on Instagram at #CottageJewelAntiques or www.Cott ageJewel.com
Vintage and antique glass Chevron trade beads in a Victorian candy container! Collecting and sorting for crafting projects can become a full time obsession for creative souls! Collecting LUCKY charms with a roll of the dice! Since every hand carved cameo image is unique, this collection will never end.... Collect broken costume jewelry to embellish a frame, clip board, tiara or Christmas tree After 50+ years of collecting cranberry glass, this is just 5% of granny's treasures

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