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The items collectors collect may be antique, or simply collectible. Antiques are collectible items at least 100 years old; collectibles are less than antique, and may even be new. Collectors and dealers may use the word vintage to describe older collectibles. Most collectibles are man-made commercial items, but some private collectors collect natural objects such as birds' eggs, butterflies, rocks, and seashells. Items which were once everyday objects may now be collectible since almost all those once produced have been destroyed or discarded Some collectors collect only in childhood while others continue to do so throughout their lives and usually modify their aims later in life. Philately, phillumeny and deltiology (collecting postage stamps, matchboxes and postcards) are examples of forms of collecting which can be undertaken at minimal expense.
History of collecting is a practice with a very old cultural history. The collecting hobby is a modern descendant of the "cabinet of curiosities" which was common among scholars with the means and opportunities to acquire unusual items from the 16th century onwards. The involvement of larger numbers of people in collecting activities comes with the prosperity and increased leisure for some in the later 19th century in industrial countries. That is when collecting such items as antique china, furniture and decorative items from oriental countries becomes established.
One of the most important aspects of collecting is how to share and show it off. There are so many options to share your collection with your friends and family. I love to see a collection displayed on bookcases. By grouping like items together your collection of maybe a small item becomes far more important. Mixing different elements for a collection makes a wonderful statement. Keeping like colors and items prevents your home from looking like a garage sale. So get those collections out of storage and show them off the way they should be.
Ideabook updated on June 10, 2010.