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Why Accumulate Antiques?

Why Collect Antiques?

Antique collectors have continuously grown in population over the years. In their circle, they have their unique bond that only they can fully understand each other. To ordinary people, collecting antiques is a form of addiction, extravagance, mediocrity and purposeless pursuit. For art enthusiasts however, it is a form of achievement associated with excellent taste, elegance, power and money.

What are the reasons why antique collectors go through such unimaginable extent, spending an immense sum of money, travelling to the far reaches of the earth to personally see excavation sites just to purchase items that have long been buried several feet deep on the grounds for furniture and other ornaments with missing pieces?

One of the soundest reasons for such collection is due to its financial reward for collectors engaged in buying and selling. Business entities have realized that antiques possess promising marketability all over the world especially that the internet paved way for accomplishing business transactions with legitimate and reputable antique dealers and traders. Some antique dealers and shop owners travel to history-rich countries such as Europe to unravel antiques which seemed of insignificant value to ordinary eye but are precious to art dealers.

Another is for personal gratification. According to psychology, people who exhibit characters associated with obsessive-compulsive behavior such as hoarding, preoccupation with collecting certain items which are symbolic in nature, be of value or not, may be traced back or related to ungratified needs at some point in early life. Such need may be identified to an object, a person and even events and habits. A person who is fixated orally for example may find gratification in smoking, alcohol intake or excessively strict oral hygiene. Another is that a person tries to regain from the present what he was not able to have during childhood or at any other point in life such that a child who did not have the chance to play with toys will likely show a strong attachment or liking to toys that serve as symbolic representation from his childhood in an attempt to unconsciously satisfy ungratified needs in the past. Thus, collecting antiques may be associated to psychological problems.

Another reason why many turn to antique collection is due to social acceptance, power and fame it brings. It is a common knowledge that an excessive display of wealth in the form of material things creates an impression. Moreover, power and fame are closely interrelated and wealth is a tool for social acceptance among the rich. The wealthier a person is, the more influence and power he has over people.

Collecting antiques may also be a form of hobby for hobbyists. To hobbyists, collecting items, antique, collectible or not, is a form of therapy. Psychologists and psychiatrists often encourage their clients to undergo such activity especially those who have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. It is a form of diversion that diverts one’s attention to existing problems temporarily while the person is building a more permanent defense mechanism and undergoing a process of healing.

Whatever the reasons for it, what matters is the ability of the activity to provide contentment and gratification to a person. Moreover, one does not have the right to dictate what is right and what is not. It is up to a person how he or she spends his or her money as long as they are responsible for whatever consequences their decisions may harbor.

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