You know how it is right? How one thing leads to another and another and another? And then.... you look around and HOLY COW! Where did all this stuff come from?
And then you ask yourself “Am I a hoarder?” A hoarder? A HOARDER!!!
Well, if you’re anything like me, you don’t worry about silly things like: All my friends think I have way too much stuff! (HOARDER) I’m running out of room in every room in the house AND the barns! (HOARDER) I’ll never live long enough to sell it all! (HOARDER) How many different topics do I collect? (HOARDER)
Well, maybe I am, but so what? I’m not ready for the Funny Farm yet! We all have to do something with our time. Right? RIGHT?!!
So, how in the world did collecting huge, heavy antique stoves and the things that go with them start? First, you buy an old house that has a chimney just begging for an antique cook stove to attach to it. And you’ve got to cook on something. So, you go to many, many auctions looking and looking until you find just the right one.
But along the way, you start to notice these really cool stove-related advertising items like signs, cast iron cook pans, porcelain china sets, yardsticks, trade cards, cast iron turtles, match safes, match holders, cookie cutters, biscuit cutters, frogs, beaver paperweights, miniature fry pans, calendars, stove polish, pot holders, watch fobs, ink blotters, bill hooks, broom holders, toy stoves, tip trays, pocket mirrors, rulers, tape measures, puzzles, games, booklets, catalogs, door pushes, pin cushions, thermometers, cooking utensils, egg separator’s, tea strainers, ladles, letter openers, stove tiles, spoon holders, enamel cook pots, hot pads, pie tins, tea kettles, horse blanket, floor furnace grates and, oh yeah, fly swatters. Fly swatters? Yup! Fly swatters.
And just when you think you have it all under control, you see another great kitchen cook stove.
You don’t have room in the kitchen, but you buy it anyway. And along comes a real nice parlor stove. Buy. Then there’s a SUPER Base Burner. It’s a basket case, but it’ll look great in the living room! (When it’s repaired) Buy. And don’t forget the other two or three that are stashed in the corner of one of the barns!
So there you have it. I must confess. I MAY be a hoarder. We just won’t mention the other collections in the house and barns . . . I think I can get away with it. YIPPEEEEE!
My collection consists of 19th and very early 20th century advertising, stoves and premiums made from tin to paper, iron, porcelain, wood, cotton and glass. Values vary from just a couple dollars to into the thousands.
So the next time you’re out hunting treasures, maybe something stove-related will catch your eye and you’ll bring it home cause it’s so cool.
And so it begins!
For information on antique stoves, contact the Antique Stove Association: antiquestoveassociation.org
This article first appeared in PastTimes, a newsletter for collectors of antique and vintage advertising. For more information on the Antique Advertising Association of America go to www.pastimes.org