The pleasure of collecting

NOVEMBER 2012

18-05-01Coins, stamps, minerals, medals, records, plates from champagne bottles, paperweights, old photos… we all know someone who collects something. Fira has created a new show for amateurs and professionals, Colecciona Barcelona, which is being held at the same time as Expominer (an exhibition dedicated to minerals, fossils and jewellery), turning the city into the capital for Spain’s collectors.

Concepción García’s house is home to hundreds of objects that she loves and which she has been collecting for decades. Because she lives in a big house, space is not a problem for her, unlike other collectors. “I have all sorts of things, from glass paperweights to antique dolls. But my weakness is Art Deco pieces, and especially small lamps or vases.” Everything is very well organized, but the amount of items on display is still impressive.

18-05-02

Art Deco

At 74 years old, Concepción boasts of having a good memory; making herself remember the items inn her collection is a good exercise for maintaining it. “I started collecting when I was little. First it was cards, then coins, figures… I gradually discovered Art Deco and ended up specializing in this type of collection.I loved visiting antique shops and second-hand shops. I used to buy things that I liked, such as glass paperweights, and when I had a few of them, I sold them and began a new collection. In fact, what I like most is the process of searching, and finding that special item. ”

18-05-03

Gulbenkian

Concepción believes that collectors share some common features: “we tend to be very orderly, curious and a little exhibitionist: we love showing off our collections.” Of the most important collectors in history, she particularly admires Calouste Gulbenkian. The Armenian engineer became very rich in the oil business, and collected about 6,000 pieces ranging from collections of Greek coins to Islamic art, as well as Egyptian pieces, Roman statues and Japanese prints. Most of his collections are now in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, where he arrived during the Second World War.

18-05-04

Minerals

However, collecting does not have to be an elitist hobby that is very expensive. Just ask Albert Ribas, aged 15. He has been collecting rocks and minerals since he was six, and he estimates that he must have about 200 pieces. He visits Expominer with his family every year, and he says that he has always found minerals at very affordable prices. Albert says that in the future, he would like to study geology or archeology.

18-05-05

Playmobil

According to experts, collecting may be the starting point for some vocations, as well as a bridge across generations between children, parents and grandparents. That is true of Andreu Estrada, who has been collecting Playmobil dolls since he was small. “It’s interesting to see how with the passing of time, your collection becomes a treasure that you share with your children, nieces and nephews,” he says.There are some dolls that are no longer manufactured and you start swapping them, looking for odd pieces and even “customizing them”. In short, it’s a way of enjoying yourself and having fun with family and friends. ”

Collecting – a tool for teaching

18-05-06ding to psychologist Anna an, collecting encourages children to develop skills that are beneficial in their adult lives:

  • Order. Necessary to remember the pieces obtained and the ones that are missing.
  • Responsibility. It encourages children to care for their possessions and look after money, because they are responsible for saving up and paying for the collection.
  • Respect. Based on their own possessions, they learn to appreciate the belongings of others.
  • Organization.Children have to know where their objects are in order to be able to make the exchanges they want.
  • Perseverance. They have to make an effort to obtain the missing pieces to finish their collection.
  • Memory. Collecting encourages them to remember all the pieces in a collection, and to know which ones are missing in order to complete it. Memorization can be useful in their studies.

Collecting is also considered suitable for shy children who have difficulty relating to others, and those showing signs of attention deficit.

MARTA JUVELL