bbo Blog Catalog, you fool!
By  Beata Bochińska

Catalog, you fool!

Any­one can col­lect! Well, almo­st. Cata­lo­ging is only for the masters of patien­ce, not for an ‘aggres­si­ve mouse’… Today I’ll tell you abo­ut why it is wor­th to cata­log and how to do it witho­ut fal­ling into the autumn melan­cho­lia…


If some­one does not play smart they feel ill. In my book I exhort, as from an ambo, that you are care­ful with that col­lec­ting, as you won’t even noti­ce when you’re sur­ro­un­ded like a chec­ker on a chess-mat and all you can do is to sur­ren­der the round… Chit-chat and the vases, toge­ther with other shel­ls sit on the she­lves and win­dow sil­ls. They nest eve­ry­whe­re and some even stop­ped leaning out of the boxes as the­re are no chan­ces for them to find a spot… not a cen­ti­me­ter, the end, fini­te.

But the­re always comes a moment when you leave the house for lon­ger and sli­ght shi­vers appe­ar on your back – What is some­one robs into our house and takes our tre­asu­res away? – you think pret­ty sober. Oops, may­be it’s time to insu­re it all? That’s the idea! You’ll be cal­mer and all… and that’s whe­re obstac­les begin – even if you’re living in a small, one-sto­rey stu­dio flat – becau­se to insu­re the col­lec­tion you need to have a LIST of your objects.

Ho, ho, what’s the pro­blem, thinks the col­lec­tor – I sit down, there’s a she­et of paper (ha! the­re are some who can ope­ra­te excel 😊) and here we go… And?? Stop. Befo­re you start to list, descri­be and cre­ate any­thing, let’s think what is the value of the col­lec­tion and what infor­ma­tion must be inc­lu­ded in a cata­log list.  Well, well, one after ano­ther: what real­ly influ­en­ces the pri­ce of desi­gn.

Of cour­se, it ‘s good to know the desi­gner, desi­gn date and pro­duc­tion date of the object (and some­ti­mes it can be sta­ted), then the size, pro­duc­tion tech­no­lo­gy and final­ly, type of the fini­shing and deco­ra­tion and other spe­ci­fics that set the object apart from all “almo­st the same”. It also pays to know the mar­ket pri­ce (esti­ma­ted at least) of our rari­ty – and most often it has nothing to do with the pri­ce we got the tro­phy for. It is wor­th to note down the sour­ce, that set­tled the pri­ce and when did that hap­pen. That’s all! Not so quic­kly – don’t for­get the sta­te it is in, or is it ide­al­ly who­le or “sli­gh­tly knoc­ked off noz­zle” of the jug. To that we can add lite­ra­tu­re sour­ces, that con­firm it is a rari­ty – you won’t belie­ve it, but recen­tly a friend who deals with my insu­ran­ces has told me that some­one has insu­red a col­lec­tion of cera­mic pla­tes and invo­ked my FB posts as a sour­ce con­fir­ming the­ir value – and what? The Inter­net is an inva­lu­able sour­ce? Ha! Let me tell you that it’s not the medium that wor­thy but the quali­ty of the con­tent. There’s bul­l­shit on paper becau­se you know… paper will hold eve­ry­thing, not just the server 😊

But let’s get back to our list. It is also wor­th to put in a pho­to of the object, and we can sit down to nego­tia­te the insu­ran­ce rate. You may think that’s too much and a sim­ple list is eno­ugh: a jug, red, 34 cm, Horo­bo­wy, 70s? Well, it’s not. Myself, I have recen­tl had to save from fain­ting a cer­ta­in, not a begin­ner col­lec­tor when the cre­di­bi­li­ty of her descrip­tion has been under­mi­ned, and it Bal­tyk that got destroy­ed, not just a glass pla­te, blue, dia­me­ter…


And final­ly, an advi­ce from a col­lec­tor who has bro­ken down not one pen­cil: do not think of the task as sco­ur­ge, but make fun of it – may­be even a fami­ly game – one measu­res, ano­ther notes down (here’s whe­re inte­re­sting facts come out when it turns out what one sees or what they don’t), the third one seeks for dents, a detec­ti­ve play. Or you can go to the libra­ry and feel like India­na Jones befo­re his expe­di­tion, looking for infor­ma­tion abo­ut our vase – you can go with your lap­top if you want to, but belie­ve me it is much nicer to sit in the beau­ti­ful reading room on Koszy­ko­wa stre­et (or the most beau­ti­ful reading room in your city), whe­re it smel­ls like… libra­ry, and a lady looks at you shar­ply asking for silen­ce (the­re are no such ladies right now – even in Pen­do­li­no for hun­dreds of PLN).

Oh I love it. The atmo­sphe­re! It’s like time stop­ped and it’s only for me now, and there’s no FB, or washing machi­ne pro­gram­mer or an oven cal­ling me. It’s my time for disco­ve­ring inte­re­sting secrets con­nec­ted to my tro­ve from the last expe­di­tion into the vir­tu­al network of rari­ties. Becau­se I like to buy from tru­sted pla­ces onli­ne but to read I like in a libra­ry… let me tell you this, people are… dif­fe­rent and let’s stick to that.


Pho­tos: Max Zie­liń­ski