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