'Tique Talk ~ About Antique Collecting ~ by Marianne Dow

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Antiques Collectors Buy More Than Memories


My Thoughts on Rinker's Words of Wisdom



Harry Rinker's written another thought provoking column for the Ruby Lane blog, titled Why Collectibles Fall Out of Favor.

He points out that a collectible category will not necessarily last forever, and discusses the effects of changing demographics on the antiques biz.

Here's one quote:

"... Thanks to the Internet, supply now exceeds demand for many objects. “What happens to the value of an object when everyone who wants one has one” became a relevant question five years ago. The answer is value disappears, again something few in the trade will admit. The question remains valid as the trade enters the second decade of the 21st Century. ..."

I agree with most of his points about the changes and the future of the antiques biz. His columns are always worth reading and make me think. This time he says one thing that I have to disagree with.

Rinker says, "There is no collectability without memory."

I don't see it that way. I think it may be true for some items, especially toys. But the collectors who are now collecting antique penny toys, mechanical banks, and dolls from the 1800s aren't buying back their own childhoods.

I collect so many different categories, the vast majority of which are not things I have any childhood memory of. They are not things I, or even my parents had. My grandparents likely had them, but I sadly lost all of my Grandparents when I was a toddler, and never spent any time in their homes. So I didn't even hear their reminiscences, and certainly never heard anything about antiques, especially things like postcards, or fruit jars, when I was growing up.

For some reason these lovely old things called out to me when I did discover antiquing, and enticed me to collect them. Why? I honestly don't know. I made a swift progression back in time, starting with 1950s-era California pottery and cookie jars, on to vintage 1930s-40s purses and costume jewelry, then on to "old paper" -- anything pre-1930, especially colorful lithographs just rings my bell. I don't have any memories of these things from my childhood. My Mother doesn't have her Mother's dishes, or her Grandmother's scrapbook albums. My parents collected books and records - and not antiques. Ours was not a sentimental family, as far as things were concerned. After I started collecting the old paper items, my mother joined me at paper shows, and much of her collection of theatre memorabilia pre-dates her memories as well.

Just offering some food for thought here. I think that the fact that collectors don't only collect items they have memories of is another reason why the antiques business will not die out.

Will it change and evolve? Yes. Will prices fluctuate? Yes. Will memories affect collecting trends? Yes. Will there be some categories of items that, even though they are antique and lovely, will just fall so far out of favor as to be dead? Yes.

As always, dealers need to keep up on market changes to stay successful in their businesses. It may be a struggle to find buyers for some of your items, but there will always be collectors out there.

Ms. Dow Antiques Blog 'Tique Talk is published by msdowantiques.com


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