October 22, 2006
Here's how you know what kind of collector you are: Most collectors at some point in their childhoods go through a rock faze. The garden variety collector will put together a broad selection of rocks, the usual stuff—feldspar, Mexican pyrite, sulfur, sandstone, maybe even a meteorite fragment... but the serious collector after putting together a rock grouping will fix one one specific rock and devote his time to finding all the variations of that particular rock searching out the rare and exotic examples.
My thing was geodes. My collection never got as big as I wanted but the thrill of cracking those mysterious round rocks open in the hopes of finding one full of rare black calcite or red amethyst never got old. For a time I could hardly have a conversation without throwing in a few good geode facts. That collection was lost at some point, but many others have taken its place.
Here is a list of things I don't currently collect but wish I did.
18th century volcano paintings
acupuncture practice models
wooden Tibetan butter molds
1960's Polish and Czech posters for American westerns
promotional photos of of 18th century morality plays
vintage Vietnamese desk fans
painted sideshow announcements for knife throwers and fire eaters
wooden artist model figurines
beheaded saint retablos
19th century dog portraits (must have the name of the dog as part of the painting)
World War II era military themed paint-by-number kits
World War I pierced case watches
constructivist architectural drawings
19th century hand painted lotaria boards
1920's era unicycle promotional paintings
world maps from African public schools
taxidermied beetles and parrots
vintage English walking sticks
North Korean propaganda posters
1920's Japanese children's books
1950's Russian children's books
Soviet era tractor toys
Venezuelan figurines of Dr. Jose Gregorio Hernandez
partitioned letterpress typecases
and so on...
What do you wish you collected?