I have ancestors who collected stuff and lots of it. What should one do with a person’s collections after they pass?
Collections: Why did they collect? Why do we collect?
I found some answers in this article, Uncovering the History Behind Collecting by Diane Fricke. It tells of some of the very reasons I collect and confirms the reasons I saw in my parents collections. I feel complimented, in a way, to know that some of the things in my parents and grandparents collections were a tie to me. A way of holding on to something that they weren’t ready to let go of. It is nice to know that I was so loved.
Do I Want to Keep any of the Collections?
If I keep it I may become a collector too. Would I like to add to the collection? Is it something that I actually like and enjoy? Do I really want it or do I just feel bad getting rid of something that belonged to someone I care about? Do I want to invest the time or money necessary to maintain it? Just how much of my precious time, here on earth, am I willing to give up to dust this “stuff”? (That is a question I find myself asking more and more often about my own “stuff”, let alone the “stuff ” of someone else.)
Should I Split Up a Collection ?
Does the collection have more value as a collection or individually? Will it lose something in the splitting? Do any of the people involved really care about the monetary value or is it more the sentimental value that matters?
If the money means more to you than the “stuff”, look into selling it. Don’t feel bad about it. Sometimes it is hard to separate people from their “stuff”. Just because you don’t particularly like someones “stuff” doesn’t mean you care less about them. You should probably get an appraisal on the items if there is a chance of any real monetary value. If you don’t know, it would be a good idea to consult an expert. If you don’t want to spend money an an expert, search ebay and see what the item is going for, if it is there. I wouldn’t want to let something go for nothing and later find out that it could have put my kids through college.
Sadly most of the things my family has aren’t worth all that much money. It would be nice to find out I’m sitting on a gold mine, but it’s not likely. My mother was a collector of many things. She had more than one collection of knick knacks or porcelain figurines. She had one collection made up of figurines sold through Avon. Avon has a lot of collectible items and one day maybe the figurines will be valuable, but I don’t believe enough time has passed yet. They aren’t rare enough to be of much value. A search for them on ebay confirms my suspicions. In fact, they may never be worth much at all!
This layout is made with a kit called Time Flies from the Hummie’s World Etsy Shop
The value of these figurines lies in what they meant to my Mother and in the memory. Mom made no secret of the fact that each piece of this particular collection represented one of her children. (Too bad we never behaved quite as well as her collections, and maybe that was part of it too, She was always able to keep control of the collection. Children aren’t so easy!) We decided the thing to do, in this case, was to give the knick knack to the person it represented. I wanted to keep the memory of the collection intact in my mind though, so I made a scrapbook page about them.Here is my 2 page spread about the figurines and what each represented. I only kept the one on the top left because that one reminded my Mom of me. I like this layout, it takes me for a little visit back to Mom’s house. She displayed this little group for a good 30 years. Giving each of the figurines to the one my Mom thought of, when she looked at it, was a fair way to distribute them. However, I can still look at this page and remember what was. In fact, my grandchildren will be able to look at this and know why Grandma kept the knick knack of the girl blowing on the dandelion fluff.