The Art of Collecting

Many people think of Collecting as a mental disorder.

I know my husband does!

 I believe:

If it is done well,

a curated collection,

 displayed properly and visually pleasing,

is a work of art.

Collecting is not hoarding.

Hoarding is buying every thing with no plan

and an emotional inability to use it, find a place for it or let it go.

Creating a collection requires specific intent,

to acquire certain  pieces within a theme,

display them and

create a focused grouping.

In my life, at one time or another,

I have collected many things :


Antique Honey Pots

Antique Walking Sticks

Antique French Bird Cages


Antique Bee Skeps

Antique Mortar & Pestles

Antique boxes

Antique inkwells

Antique Majolica


Antique shell boxes


Sea shells from every beach I’ve ever walked

Antique Glass Candy Jars

Antique Dog Trophies, figurines, trays, boxes etc…..

Limoges boxes pertaining to Wine, France, Paris etc….




Abandoned Bird Nests


Okay, I may have a bit of a problem!

Let’s just say I am ( or was ) an avid collector of beautiful things.


There is an art to collecting and displaying.

Here are a few guidelines

Rule #1

Never line things up on a table or a shelf, all on the same level.

It will just look like a big pile of junk!

Rule # 2

Use small boxes or books to create changes in the height of the displayed pieces.

Use trays to group your items.

Rule # 3

Think outside the box.



Don’t automatically display in some mundane glass case.

Hang bread boards on the wall or display in a large basket.

Make small groups  to display.

You don’t need the entire collection displayed all at once-

especially if you have a lot of items.

You can rotate them seasonally and never get bored.

Rule #4

Be discerning.

Only buy pieces that really speak to you


accent your current collection.

Don’t duplicate.

Collections are small groups of art.

Enjoy them, look at them, appreciate them.

When they no longer bring you joy,

sell them or give them away and move on.

Now….. the most important thing!


Buy what you love, for pure enjoyment.

Because when you go to sell it,

you’ll be surprised how little it may be worth,

if it is worth anything at all!

My passion for collecting has dwindled over the years.

I still have a few favorite pieces left from certain collections,

but, in general, I would say I am a “recovering” collector.

If I were younger, I might still be doing it.

But, it seems like a waste of the time I have left to spend it amassing more stuff.

So, these days, I travel a little more lightly.

I am still a lover of beauty and beautiful things.

But, now I collect images of beautiful things and store them in my heart and my mind.

They fill up my soul, instead of my house.

One thought on “The Art of Collecting

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