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hobby A hobby is considered to be a regular activity that is done for enjoyment, typically during one's leisure time. Hobbies include collecting themed items and objects, engaging in creative and artistic pursuits, playing sports, or pursuing ot ...
of collecting includes seeking, locating, acquiring, organizing, cataloging, displaying, storing, and maintaining items that are of interest to an individual ''collector''. Collections differ in a wide variety of respects, most obviously in the nature and scope of the objects contained, but also in purpose, presentation, and so forth. The range of possible subjects for a collection is practically unlimited, and collectors have realised a vast number of these possibilities in practice, although some are much more popular than others. In collections of manufactured items, the objects may be
antique An antique ( la, antiquus; 'old', 'ancient') is an item perceived as having value because of its aesthetic or historical significance, and often defined as at least 100 years old (or some other limit), although the term is often used loosely ...
or simply
collectable A collectable (collectible or collector's item) is any object regarded as being of value or interest to a collector. Collectable items are not necessarily monetarily valuable or uncommon. There are numerous types of collectables and terms t ...
. Antiques are collectable items at least 100 years old, while other collectables are arbitrarily recent. The word ''vintage'' describes relatively old collectables that are not yet antiques. Collecting is a childhood hobby for some people, but for others a lifelong pursuit or something started in adulthood. Collectors who begin early in life often modify their aims when they get older. Some novice collectors start purchasing items that appeal to them then slowly work at learning how to build a collection, while others prefer to develop some background in the field before starting to buy items. The emergence of the internet as a global forum for different collectors has resulted in many isolated enthusiasts finding each other.


Types of collection

The most obvious way to categorize collections is by the type of objects collected. Most collections are of manufactured commercial items, but natural objects such as birds' eggs, butterflies, rocks, and seashells can also be the subject of a collection. For some collectors, the criterion for inclusion might not be the type of object but some incidental property such as the identity of its original owner. Some collectors are generalists with very broad criteria for inclusion, while others focus on a subtopic within their area of interest. Some collectors accumulate arbitrarily many objects that meet the thematic and quality requirements of their collection, others—called ''completists'' or ''completionists''—aim to acquire all items in a well-defined set that can in principle be completed, and others seek a limited number of items per category (e.g. one representative item per year of manufacture or place of purchase). Collecting items by country (e.g. one collectible per country) is very common. The monetary value of objects is important to some collectors but irrelevant to others. Some collectors maintain objects in pristine condition, while others use the items they collect.


Value of collected items

After a
collectable A collectable (collectible or collector's item) is any object regarded as being of value or interest to a collector. Collectable items are not necessarily monetarily valuable or uncommon. There are numerous types of collectables and terms t ...
has been purchased, its retail price no longer applies and its value is linked to what is called the
secondary market The secondary market, also called the aftermarket and follow on public offering, is the financial markets, financial market in which previously issued financial instruments such as stock, Bond (finance), bonds, option (finance), options, and Fut ...
. There is no secondary market for an item unless someone is willing to buy it, and an object's value is whatever the buyer is willing to pay. Depending on age, condition, supply, demand, and other factors, individuals, auctioneers, and secondary retailers may sell a collectable for either more or less than what they originally paid for it. Special or limited edition collectables are created with the goal of increasing demand and value of an item due to its rarity. A ''price guide'' is a resource such as a book or website that lists typical selling prices. Products often become more valuable with age. The term ''
antique An antique ( la, antiquus; 'old', 'ancient') is an item perceived as having value because of its aesthetic or historical significance, and often defined as at least 100 years old (or some other limit), although the term is often used loosely ...
'' generally refers to manufactured items made over 100 years ago, although in some fields, such as
antique car An antique car is an automobile A car or automobile is a motor vehicle with Wheel, wheels. Most definitions of ''cars'' say that they run primarily on roads, Car seat, seat one to eight people, have four wheels, and mainly transport priva ...
s, the time frame is less stringent. For antique furniture, the limit has traditionally been set in the 1830s. Collectors and dealers may use the word ''vintage'' to describe older collectables that are too young to be called antiques, including
Art Deco Art Deco, short for the French ''Arts Décoratifs'', and sometimes just called Deco, is a style of visual arts, architecture, and product design, that first appeared in France in the 1910s (just before World War I World War I (28 Jul ...
and
Art Nouveau Art Nouveau (; ) is an international style (visual arts), style of art, architecture, and applied art, especially the decorative arts. The style is known by different names in different languages: in German, in Italian, in Catalan, and also ...
items,
Carnival Carnival is a Catholic Christian festive season that occurs before the liturgical season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February or early March, during the period historically known as Shrovetide (or Pre-Lent). Carnival t ...
and Depression glass, etc. Items which were once everyday objects but may now be collectable, as almost all examples produced have been destroyed or discarded, are called ''
ephemera Ephemera are transitory creations which are not meant to be retained or preserved. Its etymological origins extends to Ancient Greece, with the common definition of the word being: "the minor transient documents of everyday life". Ambiguous in ...
''.


Psychological aspects

Psychological factors can play a role in both the motivation for keeping a collection and the impact it has on the collector's life. These factors can be positive or negative. The hobby of collecting often goes hand-in-hand with an interest in the objects collected and what they represent, for example collecting postcards may reflect an interest in different places and cultures. For this reason, collecting can have educational benefits, and some collectors even become experts in their field. Maintaining a collection can be a relaxing activity that counteracts the stress of life, while providing a purposeful pursuit which prevents boredom. The hobby can lead to social connections between people with similar interests and the development of new friendships. It has also been shown to be particularly common among academics. Collecting for most people is a choice, but for some it can be a compulsion, sharing characteristics with obsessive hoarding. When collecting is passed between generations, it might sometimes be that children have inherited symptoms of
obsessive–compulsive disorder Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a Mental disorder, mental and Abnormal behavior, behavioral Disease#Disorder, disorder in which an individual has intrusive thoughts and/or feels the need to perform certain routines repeatedly to the ...
. Collecting can sometimes reflect a fear of scarcity, or of discarding something and then later regretting it. Carl Jung speculated that the widespread appeal of collecting is connected to the hunting and gathering that was once necessary for human survival. Collecting is also associated with memory by association and the need for the human brain to catalogue and organise information and give meaning to ones actions.


History

Collecting is a practice with a very old cultural history. In
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن or ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the F ...
, collecting practices have been noted among royalty and elites as far back as the 3rd millennium BCE. The Egyptian
Ptolemaic dynasty The Ptolemaic dynasty (; grc, Πτολεμαῖοι, ''Ptolemaioi''), sometimes referred to as the Lagid dynasty (Λαγίδαι, ''Lagidae;'' after Ptolemy I Soter, Ptolemy I's father, Lagus), was a Ancient Macedonians, Macedonian Greek royal ...
collected books from all over the known world at the
Library of Alexandria The Great Library of Alexandria in Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, ٱلْإِسْكَنْدَرِيَّةُ ; grc-gre, Αλεξάνδρεια, Alexándria) is the second largest city in Egypt, and the largest city on the Mediterranean ...
. The
Medici family The House of Medici ( , ) was an Italian banking family and political dynasty that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici, in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century. The family originated in the Muge ...
, in Renaissance Florence, made the first effort to collect art by private patronage, this way artists could be free for the first time from the money given by the Church and Kings; this citizenship tradition continues today with the work of private art collectors. Many of the world's popular museums—from the Metropolitan in New York City to the Thyssen in Madrid or the Franz Mayer in Mexico City—have collections formed by the collectors that donated them to be seen by the general public. The collecting hobby is a modern descendant of the " cabinet of curiosities" which was common among scholars with the means and opportunities to acquire unusual items from the 16th century onwards. Planned collecting of ephemeral publications goes back at least to George Thomason in the reign of Charles I and
Samuel Pepys Samuel Pepys (; 23 February 1633 – 26 May 1703) was an English diarist and Navy Board, naval administrator. He served as administrator of the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament (UK), Member of Parliament and is most famous for the diary he ...
in that of Charles II. Collecting engravings and other prints by those whose means did not allow them to buy original works of art also goes back many centuries. The progress in 18th-century Paris of collecting both works of art and of ''curiosité'', dimly echoed in the English ''curios'', and the origins in Paris, Amsterdam and London of the modern
art market The art market is the Market (economics), marketplace of buyers and sellers trading in commodities, services, and works of art. The Economics of the arts and literature#The market for artworks, art market operates in an economic model that consid ...
have been increasingly well documented and studied since the mid-19th century.Chronologically some essential works are C. Blanc, ''Le trésor de la curiosité'' (1857–58), E. Bonnaffé, ''Les collectionneurs de l'ancienne France'' (1873), l. Courajod, ''La livre-journal de Lazare Duvaux'' (1873), L. Clément de Ris, ''Les amateurs d'autrefois'' (1877), A. Maze-Sencier, ''Le livre des collectionneurs'' (1893), G. Reitlinger ''The Economics of Taste'' (1961), G. Glorieux's monograph, ''À l'Enseigne de Gersaint'' (2002). The involvement of larger numbers of people in collecting activities came with the prosperity and increased leisure for some in the later 19th century in industrial countries. That was when collecting such items as antique china, furniture and decorative items from oriental countries became established. The first price guide was the
Stanley Gibbons catalogue The first Stanley Gibbons stamp catalogue was a penny price list issued in November 1865 and reissued at monthly intervals for the next 14 years. The company produces numerous catalogues covering different countries, regions and specialisms; many ...
issued in November 1865.


On the Internet

The Internet offers many resources to any collector: personal sites presenting one's collection, tools for tracking conditions and number of items collected, item identification tools, pricing guides, online collectable catalogs,
online marketplace An online marketplace (or online e-commerce marketplace) is a type of e-commerce website where product or service information is provided by multiple third parties. Online marketplaces are the primary type of multichannel ecommerce and can be a way ...
s, trading platforms, collector clubs, autograph clubs, collector forums, and collector mailing lists. Some of the most popular collecting websites are StampWorld, Delcampe, and Numista. Some of the most spread collectables online are stamps and coins.


Notable collectors

* Alfred Chester Beatty — various collections * Barry Halperbaseball memorabilia * Bella Clara Landauer — various, primarily ephemera * Charles Wesley Powell
orchids Orchids are plants that belong to the Family (biology), family Orchidaceae (), a diverse and widespread group of flowering plants with blooms that are often colourful and fragrant. Along with the Asteraceae, they are one of the two largest fam ...
*
Demi Moore Demi Gene Moore ( ; née Guynes; born November 11, 1962) is an American actress. After making her film debut in 1981, Moore appeared on the soap opera ''General Hospital'' (1982–1984) and subsequently gained recognition as a member of the Bra ...
dolls A doll is a physical model, model typically of a human or humanoid character, often used as a toy for children. Dolls have also been used in traditional religious rituals throughout the world. Traditional dolls made of materials such as clay and ...
* Donald Kaufman — antique toys * Forrest J Ackerman — books and movie memorabilia *
Geddy Lee Geddy Lee (born Gary Lee Weinrib; July 29, 1953) is a Canadian musician, singer, and songwriter. He is best known as the lead vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist for the Canadian rock group Rush (band), Rush. Lee joined the band in September 196 ...
— bass guitars *
George Gustav Heye
George Gustav Heye
— Native American artifacts * George Weare Braikenridge — primarily art of Bristol * Hans Sachs — posters *
Hans Sloane Sir Hans Sloane, 1st Baronet (16 April 1660 – 11 January 1753), was an Irish physician, naturalist, and collector, with a collection of 71,000 items which he bequeathed to the British nation, thus providing the foundation of the British Mu ...

Hans Sloane
— natural history * Harvey H. Nininger
meteorites A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from an object, such as a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid, that originates in outer space and survives its passage through the atmosphere to reach the surface of a planet or Natural satellite, moon. When the ...

meteorites
*
Henry Wellcome Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome (August 21, 1853 – July 25, 1936) was an American pharmaceutical entrepreneur. He founded the pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome & Company with his colleague Silas Burroughs in 1880, which is one of the f ...
— medical objects * James Allen — antiques and photographs * Joaquín Rubio y Muñoz — antique
coins A coin is a small, flat (usually depending on the country or value), round piece of metal or plastic used primarily as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, and produced in large quantities at a mint (facility), ...

coins
* J. P. Morgan — various, primarily gems * Kenneth W. Rendell — historical documents, primarily World War II *
King George V George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 – 20 January 1936) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until Death and state funeral of George V, his death in 1936. Born duri ...

King George V
— stamps *
Magnus Walker
Magnus Walker
Porsche Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, usually shortened to Porsche (; see #Pronunciation, below), is a German automobile manufacturer specializing in high-performance sports cars, SUVs and sedans, headquartered in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany ...

Porsche
s * Margaret Bentinck, Duchess of Portland — primarily natural history *
Philipp von Ferrary
Philipp von Ferrary
stamps and
coins A coin is a small, flat (usually depending on the country or value), round piece of metal or plastic used primarily as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, and produced in large quantities at a mint (facility), ...

coins
* Raleigh DeGeer Amyx — historical memorabilia * Sam Wagstaff — various collections * Tim Rowett — children's toys and novelties *
Tom Hanks Thomas Jeffrey Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker. Known for both his comedic and dramatic roles, he is one of the most popular and recognizable film stars worldwide, and is regarded as an American cultural icon. Ha ...

Tom Hanks
typewriters A typewriter is a machine, mechanical or electromechanical machine for typing characters. Typically, a typewriter has an array of Button (control), keys, and each one causes a different single character to be produced on paper by striking ...
* William Dixson — primarily Australiana


See also

* Antique toy show *
Collectable A collectable (collectible or collector's item) is any object regarded as being of value or interest to a collector. Collectable items are not necessarily monetarily valuable or uncommon. There are numerous types of collectables and terms t ...
*
Ephemera Ephemera are transitory creations which are not meant to be retained or preserved. Its etymological origins extends to Ancient Greece, with the common definition of the word being: "the minor transient documents of everyday life". Ambiguous in ...

Ephemera
*
Hoarding Hoarding is a behavior where people or animals accumulate food or other items. Animal behavior ''Hoarding'' and ''caching'' are common in many bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), ...

Hoarding
* Scientific collection * :Collectors


Bibliography

* Blom, Philipp (2005) ''To Have and To Hold: an intimate History of collectors and collecting''. * Castruccio, Enrico (2008) "I Collezionisti: usi, costumi, emozioni". Cremona: Persico Edizioni * Chaney, Edward, ed. (2003) ''The Evolution of English Collecting''. New Haven: Yale University Press * Schulz, Charles M. (1984) ''Charlie Brown's Super Book of Things to Do and Collect: based on the Charles M. Schulz characters''. New York: Random House, 1984, paperback, , (hardcover in library binding ) * Redman, Samuel J. (2016) ''Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums.'' Cambridge: Harvard University Press * Shamash, Jack, (2013) ''George V's Obsession – a King and His Stamps'' * Shamash, Jack (2014) ''The Sociology of Collecting'' * Thomason, Alison Karmel (2005) ''Luxury and Legitimation: Royal Collecting in Ancient Mesopotamia.'' Hampshire, U.K.: Ashgate Publishing Limited. * van der Grijp, Paul (2006) ''Passion and Profit: Towards an Anthropology of Collecting''. Berlin: LIT Verlag.


Notes and references


External links


Journal of the History of Collections


at the
Frick Collection The Frick Collection is an art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection (normally at the Henry Clay Frick House, currently at the Frick Madison) features Old Master paintings and European fine and decorative arts, including works ...

Frick Collection
. (Art collecting.)
"Amass Appeal"
Essay by Richard Rubin, AARP Magazine, March/April 2008. *Mueller, Shirley M. (2019). ''Inside the Head of a Collector : Neuropsychological Forces at Play.'' Seattle. .
OCLC OCLC, Inc., doing business as OCLC, See also: is an American nonprofit cooperative organization "that provides shared technology services, original research, and community programs for its membership and the library community at large". It was ...
1083575943. {{Authority control Collections care Museology Museum collections Lifestyles