According to a recent report in The Guardian, about a third of people in the UK collect something. At the heart of every one of them, it suggests, is an unloved child seeking comfort in accumulating belongings. Another theory (more existential) has it that a collection is a representation of our identity able to live on – unlike us – after we’re gone.
Evolutionary theorists even have the hypothesis that a collection is a way to attract a potential mate by signalling an ability to accumulate resources. Bearing in mind my hotch-potch collections have brought me perilously close to the divorce courts, I highly doubt it.
How about collecting simply because we like nice things, or appreciate the craftsmanship behind them? And there are plenty of nice things in this month’s magazine, ranging from exquisite Venini glass on page 20, to ornate Chippendale mirrors on page 36.
Another reason to collect, according to specialists, is the desire to “buy into” the ethos of a designer or artistic movement, whether it be arts and crafts, or art deco.
This might be the reason why, over the course of the last 100 years, collectors have been so attracted to the work of the Bloomsbury Group, famously described by Dorothy Parker as men and women who, “lived in squares, painted in circles and loved in triangles.” On page 14 we go behind the scenes of Charleston Farmhouse, the group’s rural Sussex retreat to see what made them tick and why their work remains so sought after.
Elsewhere in the magazine Martin Heaps shines a light on Northern art which is fast inspiring a whole new group of dedicated collectors, while on page 56 there’s a chance to sniff out a bargain when a single owner collection of scent bottles goes under the hammer.
Of course, there’s one very clear reason for collecting – plain and simple nostalgia. On page 30, 40 years from the first episode of Only Fools and Horses, Paul Fraser considers the memorabilia of sit-coms. Whatever and whyever you collect, I hope you enjoy the issue.
GeorginaGeorgina Wroe, Editor
KEEP IN TOUCH Write to us at Antique Collecting, Sandy Lane, Old Martlesham, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 4SD, or email magazine@accartbooks. com. Visit the website at www.antique-collecting.co.uk and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @AntiqueMag
This folk art oak money box from the mid-19th century, which has an estimate of £200-£300 at Woolley & Wallis’s sale on September 22
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IN THIS ISSUE
JANE OAKLEY on the market for work by the
Bloomsbury Group, page 14
HOLLY JOHNSON shines a light on 100 years of the Italian glassmaker Venini,
MARTIN HEAPS on the increasingly popular collecting field of Northern art, page 32
JOHN ANDREW reveals why post-war British silver rivals that of Georgian makers, page 40
Editor: Georgina Wroe, georgina.
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