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20 October 2008

A Foray into the World* of the Modern Collector

I've been looking at packaging for Combat Cards, which means surfing for boxes and finding more than I bargained for, like this ebay page instructing one in the best method to store valuable card collections. Note the Pokemon expansion pack pictured, with the exhortation, " Now watch money roll in!!!"

I've always collected things in a very mild, artistic-research way, however my tastes run to things like squashed pencils found in the street, Things Shaped Like Houses**, souvenirs, doll shoes***, and weird old pre-1965 glasses that have things like Havana and Santa Anna Bowling Lanes printed on them. There is nowhere to buy special plastic boxes made especially for Things Shaped Like Houses, and no one has ever, I would wager, said, "Collect squashed pencils - then watch the money roll in!!!"

In common with everyone else, I collected rocks when I was a child, and my oldest possesion is a rock. It's quartz - a small brick-sized thing, and is sitting on my hall table. I tend to stick with things ;-D

Truthfully I haven't added to any collections in years; at some point just seeing a pencil in the street, squashed, and noting its shape, length, condition, characteristics, was enough. I didn't need to bring it home. Bringing things home wore off for me long ago; perhaps it does for everyone.

On my travels I did find THIS though - billed as "GIANT microbes."

* I was going to say 'anal-retentive world" but decided not to be so mean. One can see by the photograph that I've nothing to feel superior about.

**For instance a workman gave me a wooden peg that had been used to lay out the new Wa He Lut after the old was washed away in a flood. It's a pointed stick, so turn it upside down and it's shaped like a house.
*** Less a collection than the accidental acquisition of a few pairs.

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posted by - 10:13 AM

hehe - I've bought those for work friends when they left :)
Ok now you are definitely weird enough.
I had to dig out that photo. Every time I see it I think of Samantha (who was the much older sister of an ex-student) who rang me unexpectedly at work, in dire straits with nowhere to live. I said she could live with me for a while and about 25 minutes later or less she was chucked out of a moving car (well, it seemed that way) with a large pile of Things. Anyway she lived with me for months; she is Assiniboine-and-Sioux and a very talented beader. We were eating dinner one night and I found that leg on my plate and immediately stood it up in the doll shoe, which made her laugh. Her little brothers are the boys I used to lend my video camera to - awesome little filmmakers.
I have left collections behind me at every farewell and leave-taking over the centuries: gorgeous fans; Central Asian knives; charms and amulets (abandoned in a house of good repute but very ill fortune); tin toys; yellowed newspaper mastheads (out of a love for gothick print); small bones found on country roads; three entire libraries (partially recovered each time but the last, when I could no longer summon the energy to remove all those books); silver baptism spoons and bells; etchings; Chinese spirit money (this collection burned, no doubt the work of impecunious ghosts); embroidered notions; and for a brief, glorious year, plaster casts of classical sculpture. Now I am collection free, or was until you reminded me of these things, Osprey, and I realize I still carry every item and every moment when I acquired it or lost it, in my watery memory.
I'm less a collector, more a hoarder. It's something I have to fight lest my house become too full for peeps to live in :)
p.s. Hello young! You are much missed - come back!

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