Running out of Steam, Collecting for the Sake of It

June 3, 2010

There comes a point after collecting over so many years that you feel that you’ve seen it all and you’ve got nowhere left to go.

The unfortunate reality of being a collector is having too much passion for a subject. Certainly, people say that I’m somewhat obsessive (me? perish the thought!), but I find that my focus on old jewellery and items sometimes undulates between being more important than food/shelter and then turns into something that can be dreadfully annoying or in my way.

What’s a lad to do? I often follow this course of action:

Flirt with other items
What? Leave behind the mourning and sentimental for a while? You can’t be serious! Yes, I actually began by collecting Victorian silver and that’s where I often go when I’m feeling a little jaded about all that excessive hairwork around the house. I find that looking at other things makes you appreciate the love for your one and only passion and increases you knowledge of other areas and can also open up your perception to new experiences.

Look into other forms of history
Be it a concurrent history to the items that you’re collecting, this will only open up more knowledge about the society of the time. If you like Victorian, read more Dickens, find old newspapers or academic papers on the subject. Challenge what you know with new ideas.

Yes, this is the hardest one. Don’t wear any jewellery, don’t look at any other jewellery, don’t go to antique shops or fairs. Put it all out of your head and dedicate yourself to other pursuits. When you come back, you’ll want more (trust me).

Catalogue your items
Think you have it all? Not even a museum has it all. Think you know it all? I doubt any human ever will. Go to your pieces and catalogue them by age, style or any arbitrary way that will give you new insight and appreciation of them. I guarantee you’ll see holes in your collection and that passion will fire you back into action!

Yes, this is very broad, but I’ve tried all these things and here I am writing about old jewellery every day. Always be the student, wary collector, there are hundreds of years to look upon and time is on your side.

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