Step up to the next level of collecting
Step up to the next level of collecting
Preserving museum-quality collectibles requires a unique mindset
You'll have seen the recent spate of headlines calling for donations to save some of the top collectibles from being taken elsewhere.
Captain Scott's Antartic photos, Jane Austen's ring, an exquisite self-portrait by Van Dyke.
Each has been placed under a temporary bar, preventing them from being exported from the UK until enough funds are raised to give scholars time to research and discover their true value.
And rightly so. These museum-quality items are important to the nation's heritage, and should be treated as such.
But what worries me is this - are private collector's being painted ina bad light?
These collectibles are reported as being "saved" from auction, portraying the owner as almost holding them to ransom until the funds are received.
But most collectors genuinely care about their items and want the world to enjoy them as much as they do. Many collectibles wouldn't even exist if it weren't for the care and attention of private collectors - museums and institutions simply can't afford to preserve them all.
It's a wonderful feeling to hold a historically significant object in your hands and be able to call it your own. It's a similarly brilliant moment when you add that piece to your collection, or display it in your home.
But, as a collector, I don't like to think of myself as the item's "owner". Rather, I like to call myself the temporary custodian of an important piece of history.
It's all in the mindset: my collection will spend this brief period of its lifespan with me, before being passed on for someone else to enjoy.
Far from secreting collectibles away for my sole pleasure, I take every opportunity to display, exhibit and research my collection, and there is a distinct pleasure that comes with this.
This is the next level of collecting, a progression in which a mid-level enthusiast can become a high-end guardian of world-class collectibles.
As the guardian of a top tier collectible, you might:
Take part in exhibitions and collector shows, displaying your collection to the envy of your fellow hobbyists - you might even win an award in recognition. Loan the piece to museums, allowing you to develop invaluable contacts, as well as affording you a certain level of prestige - institutions will only accept top quality collectibles. Complete your own research or allow interested parties to investigate on your behalf - they might even discover something that rockets the value of your collectible sky high.
While allowing others to share in the joy your item brings to you, there is also another asset that terming yourself as a custodian can bring - detachment.
Often, customers approach me with investment in mind: buy a top-quality item, enjoy it for years, and reap the rewards when you come to sell.
However, many find they have grown so attached to their collectible that they can't bear to part with it when values are high and the time comes to sell. They simply don't want to, forgoing any returns in favour of a few more years of ownership.
Yet as the temporary guardian of your item, you'll understand that others want to share in your pleasure. You'll understand the importance of the item, and you'll also understand the market, making you ready to part with your collection when the time is right.
When that time comes is up to you: when investing in collectibles, the general advice is that the longer you hold the piece, the more its value increases, so there really is no rush.
I have sourced a number of museum-grade collectibles, each of which was selected for not only its historical significance, but also its ability to make you money. Their appeal is instantaneous:
Mahatma Gandhi's personal food bowl and cutlery
Fabric from the Spirit of St Louis, signed by aviator Charles Lindbergh
A document signed by Britain's most iconic monarch, King Henry VIII
Are you ready to progress you collecting career? Paul Fraser Collectibles can help you step-up to the next level - call +44 (0)117 933 9500 or email@example.com and we'll talk it through.
P.S When you become a customer with Paul Fraser Collectibles, we're always on hand to give any extra information on your item, inform you of market updates and even help you sell your collection when you're ready - check out our 120% Guarantee.