Why do people collect?

Everyone collects something or wants to collect something. It's just a part of who we are as people. It is always interesting to think about why people collect.

I have found several overarching reasons why someone may collect, no one lid fits every pot, so these are of course huge generalizations, but let's look at some….

Passion...this is the pure collector, Imari Porcelain speaks to them. They know all the designs, read the marks, collect books on the subject and strive to create a collection that represents their passion and they hope you appreciate that.

Desire….some people want to be on the edge, they want to seek and acquire the newest, most avant-garde objects because it makes them feel alive. Contemporary Art is a great example, people want to be surrounded by art that reflects current thought, issues, and circumstances.

Desire… some people translate their desire to understand the past by acquiring objects that define and are a product of that past. Their passion to preserve makes them custodians of times gone by.

Expression… let's face it, collectors collect for themselves, but at the end of the day, those collections are there to be appreciated, an outward expression of the style and means of the owner. From shoe collections to art collections, they exist for two, the owner and the viewer.

Obligation… Inheritance is a many-headed beast, sometimes the obligation to preserve the passion of forbearers dictates what people are collecting and preserving today. Think about the people in the Old World who inherit a huge house and turn into custodians of a centuries-old collection or people who have a love of something and continue their parent’s passion.

Investment… Every portfolio should be balanced. Why not consider putting a small portion of wealth into a semi-liquid asset that could easily outperform the market?

Again, I do not think these are hard and fast categories, but interesting things to consider when looking at a large collection, most collectors would probably fit into several at the same time. Just food for thought.

Leave a comment on the reasons why you collect.

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