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The "Art" of Collecting Art

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Author Topic: The "Art" of Collecting Art  (Read 571 times)
Peter Bentley 彭达理
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« on: December 01, 2015, 01:59:36 am »

Hello  All

I  thought to  share  something  which  may   strike a  few  chords  both  with  past  and  current  collectors .

It  seems  that the  "collecting"  urge  is   something   embedded  in many - if not  most - of  us
(I read   somewhere  that  even  some  animals and  birds   "collect"  things)

As   kid  I  collected  matchboxes  (a very inexpensive  hobby  by comparison to  snuff bottles!) and wherever  I was  in the  UK  -  even   when  my  parents  stopped the  car  for  petrol  -  I would  run off  to  every  tobacconist and  grocer  shop  within    5  minutes  radius  and  ask  "what  brand  of  matches  do you  sell?"

It  even   came   down to "what is the  average  contents  in the  box -  label ?"  (  40,  39,  38,   37.....   36 !)

So it  was  when  I started   collecting  VMIPBs  (that's  Very Modern  Inside  Painted  (snuff) Bottles"   for  newbies  on the  Forum)

I ran  anywhere  and   everywhere  in China   where  I worked  every  week  seeking  out   shops  that   sold  premium   genuine-artist-painted  VMIPBs.   Just  like a  kid !

Eventually  I  tracked   down  the  mother lode  of  VMIPBs  -  a  little   city  about  300  km   south of  Beijing  called  Hengshui  and   got to meet  the  top  artists  face-to-face.

By then  my  collecting  "habit"  had  become  very  expensive :  I  was   "sniffing"  at  US$1 K  per  month,  which  was  the  limit  of my disposable  income  for  spending  on  trivialities (i.e.  things  my wife  would  "pretend"  not to  notice when we  reckoned  up  from time  to time and I equally  "pretended"  not to  notice her spending on  cosmetics and  shoes  , thus  both  our "spending habits"  were  kept  below the overall family  budget  radar  horizon .....  )

But finally my collection   grew to over  300  bottles  -  some  very  cheaply  acquired , but  others  very  expensively (the  most I ever  paid  was  US$ 5 K  for one supreme modern  bottle)

And  then, suddenly,  just  as it  was   when I was a  kid  collecting  matchboxes,  I realised  that  I could  never  "collect the   world" .  So I  settled   down  with my  collection,  grew  to  love  every  bottle   more and  more,  and  very   rarely  bought  new  bottles .

Does  that   strike a  few  chords  out there ?

When  I  tot  up the  total  amount  I   paid  for  my  300 +  bottles  it  comes  to a  "horrifying"  US$250K +  sum  (I never   confessed  that  to my wife !)

But  actually, when  I value just my few  dozen or  so prime  bottles, they alone   would  sell  for  US$1 million  in total,  and  25  years  later  probably at least   twice  that.

Meanwhile  my  vintage  matchbox  collection  which was   built  up  in the   1950s   will   fetch  only a   few  US$  hundreds  on e-bay

My  conclusion  is that  collecting  is a  passion  that  goes  through  several  phases :

1.   Initial  interest
2.   Sporadic  collecting
3.   Research ...  intensely !
4.   Intense  collecting
5.   Even  more  intense  collecting....
6.   STILL  more  intense  collecting............ !
7.   Common sense  and/or  Wife (and/or  bank manager)   intervenes
8.   Consolidation
9.   Satisfaction with  what  one  has  collected
10. The  URGE TO  COLLECT  MORE subsides

Cheers

Peter








« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 02:03:41 am by Peter Bentley 彭达理 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 02:05:42 am »

Peter

Agree with your conclusion... been through the cycle 2 times and surely will a 3rd time

1. women
2. antique cylinder phonographs
3. snuff bottles.... pending

 Grin Cheesy Wink
« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 02:08:29 am by Pat » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2015, 02:12:55 am »

Hi  Pat

 Grin

Re  1. Women....

My   collection  topped  out  at   two

The  first  was  a supreme  person,  whose  lifelong  friendship  I will always  treasure

The  second  was  SO  wonderful  (but  SO  expensive !)  that  I'm  broke*  Grin

Cheers

Peter

PS:  Seriously  -  you  have met 冰冰  so you  know  what  I mean  :  Matthew 13:46

*PPS :  Well  maybe...  depends  on   when I can  next  go to  Hengshui and  what  prime  bottles  there  are for  sale  and   how  much  RMB  I can   filch  from the  the   retirement  funds   without  my  wife  noticing....... Kiss
       
       
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2015, 02:30:58 am »

I was talking about gf's not wives  Tongue

What can I say... must be the Scandinavian and Greek blood,... bad mix.  At least I outgrew it haha
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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2015, 02:32:03 am »

Same  Same  Cheesy

HEY  ....  this   a  million  miles   from  the  "Art"  of  Collecting   Art  !
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« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2015, 03:23:55 am »

Peter,
I agree with most of your comments, except for item 10. The urge doesn't subside.  Wink

Pat,
That 'first' category is in my experience far more expensive that ANY type of collecting which may come later!

Tom
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« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2015, 03:36:28 am »

Tom

Haha

Agree... that's why it came first, when I could least afford it and got over it quicker (or my wallet).

Peter

Who says women aren't art?
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« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2015, 03:38:18 am »

Hi  Pat and  Tom

I must  agree with Tom  re  category 1 ........* !

 Sad

Cheers

Peter

* PS:  But  it's   worth it !   Cheesy

PPS:  Item  10  is  self-fulfilling  as  soon as  one retires  and  there's no more  money  coming  in   Sad
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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2015, 03:49:53 am »


PPS:  Item  10  is  self-fulfilling  as  soon as  one retires  and  there's no more  money  coming  in   Sad


Peter,

I wouldn't call that 'subsiding' - it's more like when a junkie goes cold turkey!

Tom
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2015, 04:43:10 pm »


My  conclusion  is that  collecting  is a  passion  that  goes  through  several  phases :

1.   Initial  interest
2.   Sporadic  collecting
3.   Research ...  intensely !
4.   Intense  collecting
5.   Even  more  intense  collecting....
6.   STILL  more  intense  collecting............ !
7.   Common sense  and/or  Wife (and/or  bank manager)   intervenes
8.   Consolidation
9.   Satisfaction with  what  one  has  collected
10. The  URGE TO  COLLECT  MORE subsides



Another for me is collecting with champagne taste on a beer budget, and agree with Tom that the urge never subsides .. !
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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2015, 09:34:40 pm »

I'm up to number 8.   Grin
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2015, 10:31:48 pm »

Satisfaction yet to come.....?    Smiley
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Tom
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2015, 02:19:32 am »

Too many ' if only's' Tom!  Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2015, 02:34:23 am »

Reading Peter's number 9 brings that Rolling Stones classic to mind....

I Can't Get No......Satisfaction!   Wink
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2015, 02:37:37 am »

Hello  All

Seriously:  there  is  really  - and must   be   - step 8 , which is  followed   logically  by  9 and 10

Unless  one has  unlimited   financial  resources and/or is a  "professional" collector  who  sells  only to  buy again , and thus  continually   trades  up  his/her  collection, there  must come  a  point  when  one  feels  "enough is  enough =    Step  9 -ish,  followed  by Step 10

Also  seriously  : retirement  is  a deciding   factor (at least it was  in my case).  

When one  has a  continual  flow of  monthly  income,  part of  which  one  spends for daily  living,  part  of   which one  saves  (and  part  of  which  one  smuggles  out beyond the  far-reaching eyes  of "she-who-must-be-obeyed"  to  buy  snuff  bottles !)  one  feels   one can spend   freely

But  when the  monthly  income   flow   suddenly   stops  it   sobers  one  up  very   quickly !

Yes  - I can sell  sell  many, if not  most of  my  bottles for a  mark-up of between   2 x  -  10 x  what  I originally  paid.  The   average "market price   tracker"  guidelines  prove that, albeit  it's  still a  buyers'  market  overall.  

Snuff  bottles  (especially  VMIPBs)  don't  (yet)   sell for   ridiculous  prices   like   this :

____________________

 Modigliani's "Reclining Nude"  fetches second-highest ever art auction price

Painting sells for $170m in New York, $9m less than Picasso’s Women of Algiers, in New York auction

________________

I  would  not display such  an  awful  painting  in my  home  even if  you  paid  me that  much !
(OK  - if  I  could  afford  US$170  million   for  such an  ugly  painting  I could  also  afford a  second  home  in which to  display  such  "awful"  art , but that's  an  academic  point !)


But  now  I  honestly   don't  wish to  part  with any  of my  bottles.

 I love them  too  much  Cheesy

Cheers
Peter

PS  :  Tom  .....  Rolling  Stones  /  "Satisfaction" ....  Man  that  dates  you  (and  me !)   Grin
         Good Bye  Ruby  Tuesday ..........  ?   Cool
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 02:53:58 am by Peter Bentley 彭达理 » Report Spam   Logged

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« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2015, 08:33:30 am »

Peter,
For me, no.10 is ' a renewed capacity to appreciate better and more exquisite bottles ' , whether that includes the desire to own them or not. 
Inn Bok
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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2015, 09:14:20 am »

Dear Inn Bok,

Welcome back!!
I agree with your no.10 and hope to achieve that freedom to appreciate.

Cheers,
YT
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Peter Bentley 彭达理
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« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2015, 05:49:49 pm »

Hi Inn  Bok

I am  seriously   worried  about  going    back from  step 10  to  step 6

Fortunately  my  retirement  finances   don't  permit  me to do so

But if  I  DID  have the  finances    I  would  end  up  as George  Bentley

Cheers

Simple Peter
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