Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Art of Collecting - What Should You Collect?

What you are looking at is a case of miniature Coca Cola bottles from the 1960's.  Vintage.  Each bottle is about 63 mm. high, and slightly taller than a double-A battery.  The bottle caps are rusted, and the Coke liquid inside of some of the bottles have already evaporated.  The yellow paint on the wooden case is already faded but the prints are still very much visible.  It's rare to find vintage Coca Cola miniature bottles much less a set with the original wooden case.  Here's a little personal secret.  I play with it.  I love it!

When my mom gave the miniature case of Coca Cola bottles to me, I was ecstatic.  My grandfather owned it and he passed it on to my mother.  My mother finally gave me the set.  I remember when I was about 8 years old that I used to play with these bottles with my little brother.  We would line them up like bowling pins, and hit them with our matchboxes.  My grandfather owned several cases.  Unfortunately, because of our matchbox bowling, just this one case survived.

The miniature case of Coca Cola bottles is part of my Coca Cola collection that as of now includes Coke Olympic glasses and Coke bottle-shaped aluminum personal water jugs.  The Coke collection is just one of the many collections I own.  There's my pottery, candleholder, chinaware, teapot, celadon, wristwatch, and gemstone collection.  Do you plan to collect anything?  Are you one of those people who wanted to start collecting but do not have any idea of what to collect?  As a long time collector, let me give you some guidelines on how to start your collection.  I will give you pointers so you would know what to collect.

But before that, you might want to check if  you are that person who unknowingly have collected tons of things already but is totally unaware of it.   Is your bedroom, attic, basement, or living room cluttered with objects?  Do you see objects that can be grouped together because they are basically the same things?  In this case, you are a "closet" collector.  I am outing you now!  All you have to do is identify these collections of yours, and neatly store them (please).

Now, let's go back to you.  So, you want to be a collector but you do not know what to collect?  I'd say STOP!  Before you proceed with deciding on what to collect, think hard, and if you can, sleep on it for several nights.   If you seriously want to collect something, you will have to invest a lot of time, money, and effort.  If you are prepared for what's to come afterwards, read on.  Otherwise, please stop reading this.  You may want to read some other post instead.  (LOL)

3 Pointers to Determine Which Items You May Want to Collect

Oh, so you're still here.  I'm glad I am not boring you.  Most collections start because of "PASSION".  A person who loves for instance, to wear funky neckties (for whatever reason, perhaps his coworkers find him cute or funny) would find himself buying whenever possible, unique and quirky ties.  Soon after, one funky necktie becomes a hundred, and this becomes a legitimate collection.  So, for you to find exactly what you want to collect, you have to have this:

1.  PASSION for a certain object.  Do you find yourself unusually happy when you eat off your food on a fine bone china dinner plate?  Do you like fine dining because of the beautiful, elegant, and probably unique patterns of china used by hotels or fine dining restaurants?  Do you find yourself wandering around the tableware section of department stores?  Do you check for the manufacturer's logo or monogram under that dinner plate before eating your food?  Do you google the manufacturer of the dinner plate you just saw in the restaurant?  Do you go to a "replacements" web site and wonder how much could that dinner plate cost?  Oh my god!  Sorry, I just described what I did last Friday.  You would clearly see however, that I have a passion for chinaware.  (Warning: this maybe weird to some.  LOL)  I am amazed at how dinnerware is produced - from the clay, to the glaze, the kiln, the tremendous heat needed to cook the clay, and the decorations made; not to mention the history of the manufacturers and the technological innovations in the dinnerware-manufacturing industry.   I can go on and on.  As a result, I have more than 30 gorgeous sets of dinnerware from all over the world.

You need to ask yourself questions that would point out that object, which essentially you are very much fond of - so fond that you find yourself looking at pictures in the Internet, or browsing catalogs for their prices, or simply checking them out in stores or wherever they can be found;  and you do this quite frequently and feel happy about it.  BINGO!  You should collect those!  They literally are a source of happiness!

2.  SENTIMENTAL VALUE.  Sometimes collections are composed of objects that have significant meaning to the collector.  They don't have to be of the same kind.  One collector I know has a wooden box that contains all of the trinkets, knick-knacks, pictures, letters, greeting cards,  jewelry, movie tickets, passes, and accessories she received from her boyfriend.  She told me that each piece has a story behind, which reminds her of mostly happy moments with her now fiance.

You might have the same box where you keep mementos from your grandmother and grandfather.  That collection can grow by adding items with sentimental value from you aunt, uncle, mother, father, or from any member of your family.  There's one friend of mine who has been collecting her son's school artwork from preschool.  Her son is now 8 years old, and her collection is still growing.  Wouldn't it be a great present on her son's 18th birthday a gorgeously framed artwork from preschool?  That would be awesome!

3.  INVESTMENT.  Some people collect because they think that the items they are collecting now may be profitable or useful in the future.  They hope that their collection would become good investment.  The objects that are considered "good investments" include paintings, sculptures, crystals, silver or gold, jewelry, designer bags, luxury pieces of furniture, historical documents, rare coins and stamps, antiques, and other works of art done by notable artists.  A lot of people collect for this reason because it is practical, but I don't.

I'd rather collect things because I am interested in them.  It gives me great satisfaction and pleasure looking at my collections because there's so much work, some story, and a lot of fun behind each piece, just like with my vintage miniature Coca Cola bottles.  Hey, if you have the money and you are in for the investment, then collect a-way!

If you do not have "passion", don't care for "sentimental value", and do not have the money or interest for collecting (I just wonder how you got to this point of the post), then there is always one thing you can collect that I am sure would provide you years of pleasure, awesomeness, and coolness.

Collect FRIENDS!  Aside from your Facebook and Twitter friends, collect real friends!  Be my friend will you, and follow my blog?  LOL.  No, I'm serious...


  1. Vilma Cataluna-BatalhaJuly 12, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    be my friend rhome.. he he, i'm serious too! 'love reading ur posts! take care!

    1. Sorry, Vilma. No "re-friending". I am already your friend... a long, long time ago. He-he-he. Thanks for dropping by. I appreciate your comment. Take care, too!