Humans have been collecting things for centuries. During the 1700s and 1800s, aristocrats collected world artifacts, including shells, zoological specimens, and works of art and literature, according to The National Psychologist. Wealthy collectors would then display their pieces—often as a way to also showcase wealth—giving rise to what we now know as museums.
Although aristocratic collections were largely a sign of status, the art of collecting things remains deeply engrained in our culture today. Now, collecting is less about an ostentatious display of stature and more about psychology. Whether it be fine art, rare coins, figurines, souvenir spoons, photographs, or baseball cards, the art of collecting serves many purposes in our society today.
Some of us create and build collections to preserve and honor the past. A collection of antique plates or silverware, family photo albums, an old baseball card collection, or an antique train set can all be passed down from generation to generation and can be a powerful way to preserve a piece of the past.
Collections don’t have to be large either. Items that once belonged to grandparents or even great-grandparents are often passed down from generations and evolve into a powerful way to commemorate someone who has passed. Heirlooms such as a piece of jewelry, a watch, a set of cuff links, or even a collection of recipes or beloved sculptural figures often hold significant sentimental value.These collections can also serve as highly personal memorial gifts passed from one generation to the next.
In some cases, completing or expanding a collection can be a lifelong passion. People collect commemorative coins or souvenirs from all 50 states while others collect antique teacups. Still, others might collect old-time comic books or unique stamps.
Completing a collection can be a labor of love, one that drives many hobbyists. Finishing a rare or antique doll collection, for example, can take years of laborious searching, but the idea of having a complete line can be a powerful motivator. The same can be said for collecting handcrafted figures displaying subtle yet powerful emotions.
Some people collect items for the sake of arranging and displaying. A collection can serve as a form of interior decorating, with certain collectors painstakingly arranging antique trains or art throughout the house. Arranging can also be cathartic for some people. For example, some collectors enjoy rearranging a dishware collection depending on the season, and rearranging can be an artistic way to organize their house.
Finally, arranging can be commemorative. Displaying a collection of photos, for example, can be a powerful way to remember family vacations or childhood memories. Hand-carved sculptures can also be arranged to display the love between family, friends, and pets. Some collections may find their place on the mantle year-round, while others, such as nativity figurines, tend to make a more prominent appearance during Christmas time.
A final reason people might collect is for investment purposes. Higher-end collections like classic cars, vintage furniture, rare books, or first-edition comic books can be very lucrative. People often attend trade shows all over the world to trade or purchase rare pieces, and online marketplaces can sometimes garner hundreds of thousands of dollars for certain rare collectible items.
Whatever your reason for collecting, searching for, and displaying items, it can make for a fun pastime or passion. Sculptural figures from Willow Tree® are often collected and displayed with pride by their owners. From nativity sets to figures depicting the love of family and friends, Susan Lordi’s hand-carved line of sculptures are sure to be a nice addition to any collection.
About Willow Tree®
Willow Tree® offers an intimate line of figures and sculptures that softly display love, appreciation, and caring between loved ones. Since 1999, Willow Tree® has inspired uniquely moving gifts that capture life’s sweetest moments. Artist Susan Lordi hand carves each original figure from her studio in Kansas City, Missouri. Her sculptural figure depict emotion through gestures only, such as the tilt of the head, placement of the hands, or a turn of the body. The simple absence of facial features leaves each figure open for personal interpretation and make powerful holiday, anniversary, or bereavement gifts for loved ones.
Browse the entire line of sculptural figures at Willowtree.com