I’ve lost my marbles …

I’ve heard it said there are two reasons people buy antiques – they love what they collect and want more of them, or they are in it purely for the investment and potential profit.

Those of us who fall into the first category probably had an inkling at a young age we are destined to collect something. Take Brian Estepp, who is featured in this issue’s cover story on marbles. He was only 5 years old when he got his hands on a collection that spurred his interest for life.

I know I had a collection of marbles when I was young, too. I also held onto old and unique coins and had a collection of pennies, one for each year, dating back probably 20 years prior to my birthdate, which I might add really isn’t that far back in history. Now I have neither of those collections. They were lost somewhere along the way, probably in a move or a major teenage “room cleaning,” along with some football cards I’d give anything to get back from the trashcan or wherever they met their demise.

My son is a natural collector. Without a doubt, he’s in it for the enjoyment. He’s only 10, but by age 4, he amassed a collection of hundreds of dinosaurs. By age 6, that was replaced with hundreds of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. He briefly had a collection of feathers, which didn’t seem too sanitary, and rocks. Thanks to the state quarter program, he has an interest in coins and has absorbed my husband’s collection into his. Just the other day, he also showed me his collection of superballs (those small, bouncy rubber balls). He’s got 57 of them. When I mentioned the story on marbles, he wanted me to share that he’s got 305 … so far.

You know what’s fun about his collections? He uses them. Plays with them. They are an extension of him. They bring him joy today and may make him the antique collector of tomorrow. In fact, we’re counting on it, aren’t we?

Think back to your earliest collecting days. Did you collect marbles, coins, dolls? Antique Trader would like to know what you collected in your youth and how that shaped your interest in antiques. Email me at robyn.austin@fwpubs.com.

Best of luck in your collecting pursuits. Don’t forget to have some fun out there!

Robyn Austin
Editorial Director