Accumulating objects is built into the DNA of any collector, it’s what we do. Usually, this is something that we do consciously and with purpose, but on occasion, we end up building a collection completely by accident.
When I go to an antique store or flea market, I rarely find something that fits my collecting focus, but I always find cool items that I just want to bring home. Those finds add up over time and before you know it, you have an entire drawer full of political pinbacks or pocket knives.
Occasionally, those collections work their way out of the drawers and go on display. Congratulations, you are now a collector of ____________.
Here is my shelf of collections of things that I don’t collect.
I used to be able to pick up vintage cameras for a few bucks at any yard sale, but now they are deemed “display worthy” and have gone up in price. Of course, if I were to find one for a few bucks today, I’d have to get it.
I also have a collection of clay paperweights that my kids made at school in their elementary years. I’m pretty sure every parent has a collection of these in their sock drawer, just waiting for the moment that their kids forget them entirely so they can toss them out. I made the mistake of proudly displaying one of these treasures once, and ever since, they were all deemed museum-worthy and had to be shown the respect they deserved. (To be honest, I love those ugly clay lumps.)
When my grandfather passed away, one of his tackle boxes found its way to my hands since I was the “fisherman” of the grandkids. I also had some lures and reels from my great grandfather, so there you go — instant collection! Whenever I find a small box with great fishing graphics, I tend to add it to the collection.
As for the tiny tin robots, I really don’t go out of my way to look for them, but somehow they keep multiplying on the shelf. With vintage robots fetching hundreds, and even thousands, of dollars, I will never be able to collect the real thing, so these little guys will do just fine–and they fit my budget much better.
These accidental collections grow slowly and are more a result of serendipity than anything else. I won’t spend much on the items, and don’t pursue them, but every now and then, something pops up, and the collection grows.
Have you ever accidentally collected something? Leave a comment below.
Calvin Heighton says
I have a buddy that sells pop culture collectibles so he has all kinds of great things that show up outside of the regular collectibles. You can see the entire haul from his dollar garage sale. Nothing more than one dollar did I pay.
Great haul Calvin! Kitty spoons!
I don’t think I have any accidental collections but I have always wanted to collect classic cameras like this
I feel like my whole life is an accidental collection.
Seriously though I have a few similar collections to you, notably the vintage cameras. I cut them way back in years past but hold onto some of the best like my folding SX-70 Land Camera for its beautiful design. I also have a collection of vintage radios and a few TVs now…but I need to stop.
Ooh, vintage radios and TVs are great, but they take up so much space! Cameras are nice because they only take up a few square inches of the always rare shelf space.
My Unintentional collection would be the contents of the drawer beside my bed: random stickers, small stuffed animals, plastic cards, a couple of neon colored diskettes… Oh gosh I love those diskettes, they are translucent and hot pink and orange, beautiful!