I admire my antiques collector customers who have such a passion for collecting antique and vintage items that are in every sense of the word so ordinary. They may collect spoons or plates or shoes. You and I may think that these items are so common that collecting them is bordering on accumulating a collection of junk. These collectable antique and vintage items are so much part of the everyday that we take them for granted. My collector friends see beyond the everyday and the commonality of these antique and vintage items and therein lies the secret of their desire to collect such items.
Not for them the gold or silver object d'art or the French antiques decorated with tortoiseshell or ivory or inlaid with Mother of pearl. Antique music boxes that cost thousands are not of interest to them. They scorn such opulence and press on with an old antique boot worn by a soldier of the great war or an antique pewter plate renamed for its ordinariness been devoid of any decoration and made from a material now despised by collectors in general. A 1960s chrome spoon from Blackpool excites their interest even though it was made in batches of thousands. Those astute readers among you will sense that money is not a concern for these collectors. It is not the value of the individual pieces that excites them but rather where the individual pieces fit within their collection. Each acquired piece adds to the story of these common items and when they have collected in some cases thousands of antique and vintage items, the true genus of their underlining emerging.
I have seen a collection of antique and vintage boots going back to the mid-eighth century and in the totality of the collection one can see that it is an inspired collection. Most of the antique boots cost a pittance but every now and then a special one was found and the collector had to dig deep to acquire it. Such an example was an antique metal boot made for a child working in an iron foundry. It is an evocative antique in so many ways and invites us to inquire, 'are there similar abuses of children today' and what is the iron boot that marks their suffering which will tell future generations of their ordeal?
Now we see that while most antique collectors collect the trappings of the rich and famous from bygone days, collecting the ordinary everyday things can be even more rewarding especially when it reminds us of what life was like for most of our ancient people who never thought that their plate or spoon or even their worn boot would be part of a collection of antiques treasured by a collector in the twenty-first century. If it was possible for them to comprehend such a past time I am sure they would consider such collectors as mad. Next time when you are buying antique a look around you at what others are collecting and start a conversation. It may change your life if they have a small metal boot in their hand or maybe find your own equivalent of that evocative antique which will keep you grounded well into the future.