Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What compells you to collect?

If you've read my post "Collectibles", you'll know that I am collecting African sculptures in wood.

african wood sculpture market
Curios galore
I can pinpoint exactly when and where I fell in love with African sculptures. It was on my second trip to Cape Town. Here's a photo of that curio market by the sea on the road to Hout Bay.

I fell head over heels in love with the giraffes. I couldn't believe the size of some of them!

My friend didn't let me to buy one because she said that this market catered for tourists and she knew where she could get cheaper ones. Later she sent me one almost double the size of the one I wanted to buy at this market.

Of course Portuguese bureaucracy took exception to it arriving without a proforma invoice and, if it hadn't been for the help of a former colleague of mine, an expert in getting products for the company through customs, my lovely giraffe would not be part of my small collection now.

Looking at other posts about collectibles got me thinking...

Do you ever wonder what compells individuals to collect?

Well, according to Susan Pearce, professor of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, England, "They tend to collect things from the past which has some relevance to them. They may collect things from their own past, or from another person's past that they believe has personal significance. Structuring one's past is a very important part of structuring identity. For example, knowing where we come from and where we belong. Or, they are doing it to structure the way they present themselves to the world or to structure where they live."

The professor goes on to say, "Collections furnish a home. They are physical, touchable things. They help create your environment, and again, your environment is a very important part of your identity."

You can read the whole article in the Credit Suisse Newsletter. 


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. Now that I have more time, I'm updating my blogroll and I've added your blog to my list.

  2. great post. I know those roadside vendors, they've been around for years.

    1. Thank you. I could have parted with a lot of money at that roadside if I hadn't been restrained ;)

  3. Love the giraffes. Great post! It is fascinating what people collect.

    1. The restaurant up the road had on display a collection of cigarette lighters on a small ledge all around the dining hall!

  4. I used to collect unusual pigs until I run out of shelf space. when we moved to Portugal many remain unpacked and forgotten, still in the packing case.

    I love the wooden sculptures and have many masks etc on our walls.

    Love your piccie

  5. Interesting post on "Collectibles"! Thanks.

  6. well it made me think about me that's for how big was this giraffe?

    1. Gee, you ask difficult questions! The biggest giraffe in the picture was enormous, but we were't carrying a tape measure...


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