by Forbes Maner, Delaware Antiques Show Committee Member What’s the difference between a collector and a pack rat? Focus, knowledge, enthusiasm, and discipline. The chase is also half the fun. Are you a collector? 1 COLLECT WHAT YOU ENJOY. You’ll know you’re a successful collector when you remodel the house to make room for the things you’ve found. 2 DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Learn about what you like, find people who know your area of collecting, and ask questions. 3 BUY THE BEST YOU CAN AFFORD. Quality counts, and good quality costs more than bad. As you become comfortable with your expertise, consider buying better pieces. 4 DON’T BUY AN “INVESTMENT.” Buy because you enjoy a particular piece, not because you think it’s an alternative to the stock market. 5 DON’T BE SHY. Ask questions. Dealers know the market, and part of what you buy from them is their knowledge and expertise. Other collectors are also a good source of information. 6 PROTECT YOUR COLLECTION. Light, water, dust, sunlight, and accidents can damage antiques. There are many resources that can help. Perhaps start with The Winterthur Guide to Caring for Your Collection. If you amass valuable material, insure it with insurance companies that specialize in collections. If your object or artwork needs professional conservation, the American Institute for Conservation has lists of certified conservators in just about every field. 7 HAVE FUN! Attend shows, go to auction previews, visit Winterthur, and have a good time!

For a more detailed version of Forbes Maner’s tips, please visit winterthur.org/das .

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