Paraphernalia and collections by Marika Azzopardi

  • 16.May 2011
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ucl-art-collections-strangTwo is two’s company….. three’s a crowd. They also say that once you have three of the same, you can already start boasting a collection. It might be three books by the same author, just as likely as three still life paintings. When you’re doing up your home, you have to take into consideration your collections, whether they are still in their initial phases of growth or whether they are fully-fledged collections that make other collectors drool from their eyes.

 What constitutes a collection?  – hardly a mere three of the same, but obviously one has to start somewhere. Many collections start quite perchance. You get given something which you like and actually showcase in some part of your home. By sheer coincidence you get gifted a similar item or you spot one in a shop and decide to get it on the spur of the moment. So you have two items which seem quite happy to share the same shelf, wall or niche in your home. And then, as typically happens,  collectors’ itch sets in and you develop your own private mission in life to get yet another of the same and see your tiny collection mature. The trend is set.

It happened to me and my small collection of porcelain piggy banks. As a child I inherited a vintage 1970s exemplar from my American cousin. Much later I landed an enormous Sicilian hand-painted piggy-bank from my mother-in-law. When I got given a tumbling little pig with an ad printed on its back, I decided the trio would be quite happy to co-habit on my kitchen dresser. Since then I have added quite a lot of piggy-banks which today line my kitchen window-sill. They compete for attention with my other kitchen-oriented collection of wall plates.

collections Being a hoarder is not the same as being a collector. Being a hoarder means you stash away all sort of paraphernalia included mismatched tit-bits that have no common denominator at all. An apartment filled with just about anything under the sun belongs to a hoarder. But an apartment overflowing with a one-themed collection or with a well-curated selection of diverse collections, is a sure sign that the owner is a seasoned collector. And the plus versus owning a collection is that, properly displayed, it can provide your home with a very distinct character.

 How does a collection become really special? It could be its character, it could be the volume of it, it could be its value. One lady I know collected wall plaques in the shape of suns. She had hundreds of them. The fact that she had so many meant that the collection became quite special simply because the styles, colours, sizes and quality of the suns were so very diverse, intriguing and literally dazzling.  A stamp collection or a coin collection would obviously have more value. But a collection of antique paintings, fine bone china vases or Bakelite fountain-pens could become just as exciting and valuable.

Once you decide you’re doing a collection, you need to think of where you’ll be housing it. A collection stuffed inside a box hidden in your garage is not much use or fun. But think of displaying – where, how and in what format? Trinkets are best placed behind glass, if only to avoid having to dust their nooks and crannies all the time – consider thimbles or crystal miniatures for instance. Some trinkets can be framed – consider antique lace doilies or vintage postcards. Others can be shown off to best advantage on super-large dressers – consider teapots, cup and saucer sets, porcelain dolls. As I often mention – special things deserve special treatment. So if your collection is particularly special, look at one wall  and make it a statement wall dedicated to your collection. It will provide your room with the right kind of oomph and become a sure-fire conversation starter, each and every time you entertain.

This article was written by Marika Azzopardi on behalf of RE/MAX Malta, a leading real estate agent in Malta. If you are looking for a property in Malta or abroad you may contact the Malta real estate agents for professional advise on investing in Malta property.

Marika Azzopardi is a freelance writer and journalist. A frequent contributor to national English language papers and magazines, she writes about a bevy of topics including art, people and life in general. She is also the author of children’s books and short stories, delving into adult fiction from time to time.