Monday, May 09, 2016

Thoughts on collecting, and my latest Staffordshire figure

I recently came across this Eat Love Savor article about how young people aren't collecting anymore, and I've had to reread it several times as it's really stuck with me. At first I was sad... but then, if I'm honest, the hunter in me kicked in and I actually thought, "Wonderful, less competition!"

While, true, collecting is a hobby that requires free time and extra cash, something a lot of young people don't have, it's also a hobby (a passion) that provides an incredible source of pleasure and learning. There's such a feeling of reward when you discover something you've been looking for, or better yet, when you stumble across a completely unexpected find! My husband and I are lucky to live in an area with fantastic old homes, so estate sales have been a particularly incredible resource for discovering all the old bits and bobs I like... antique porcelain, out-of-print interior design books... you name it. (LA is also a great city for auctions and I'm still thrilled by the Ringo Starr wing chairs we got at Julien's last year! Never mind their cool history, they're insanely comfortable and let us linger long into the evening over a bottle of wine.)

I'm not sure when or how the collecting bug started but I can't quite imagine a time I'll give it up, or a time I'd at least stop looking and being interested. Maybe that's the key, really. To collect, you have to be curious, and I worry that many people today simple are not. And I'm just not sure how you teach or impart curiosity. My parents did it by taking me all over the world at a young age and by putting a huge emphasis on history and culture. My husband's parents did it by being passionate about entertaining at home. There are all sorts of ways. So what's happened?

But I'm not going to solve that now, so here's a look at the latest addition to my Staffordshire collection. Picked it up for a song at a Beverly Hills estate sale on Saturday. And I mean song! It's a late-19th century spill vase with a boy, a girl and a goat. I love their sweet expressions: his is contemplative as he gently pets the goat, and hers is one of pride, her arm draped around her love. Plus, the lead male character of my novel is a redhead, so I took it as a sign... a wonderfully encouraging little wink from the Universe.

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