Monday, February 16, 2009

Collecting - Why collect?

I collect a variety of items that I like, one thing seems to lead to another when I'm collecting. When I started with my glassware, I started collecting old bottles, one at a time, and started researching them and the history of glass and I started to collect more different kinds of glassware. I scrounged around yard sales and flea markets, looking for bargains.

I was collecting purely as a hobby, something to put on the shelf, but, I soon found out that what I had was an investment. It's like putting money in the bank, the longer you hold onto it, the more valuable it is. I found this blue and white swirl tart tin, buried under old pots and pans and bake-ware in the back room of a local thrift store for $2. It sold on eBay for $182.50!

The only problem with collecting as an investment, you have to know what is highly collectible and what isn't. You have to have some knowledge of what the value is, also. I bought a few different price guides, by different authors and started reading. I also started reading about different makers marks, styles, different types of hardware, construction, manufacturing, anything I can find out. I go to antique stores and ask the dealers' questions about the history of a piece, how old it is, where it came from, etc. They love to share their knowledge.

The best investment is something that will appeal to a variety of collectors and has been rising in value. Just because it's antique, it isn't necessarily very collectible. There are a lot of antiques out there, that are not suited to today's homes, unless you live in a mansion, they are too large-scale or ornate.

I like collecting Canadian-made furniture, small pieces, like lamp tables, rocking chairs, school desks, chairs and I have an antique cradle which was hand-made and has seen lots of use. My sister found it at a yard sale for $20. She had to make room in her house so she sold it to me for what she paid for it. I haven't had it appraised yet, but I think it is a good investment.

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