If someone had predicted five years ago that I would have a collection of coloured glass vases and dishes, I would not have believed them. And yet, that’s exactly what I have: for the past few years, I have been snapping up coloured glass vases and I now have what amounts to a collection. It was not something I planned, and just grew bit by bit. I am very careful with what I buy and won’t bring a new vase into the house unless I love it. At the same time, there are a few I already own that I can see being replaced by other ones over time.
I’m not entirely sure how it started, but most of the vases I have came from charity shops on our local high street. There is even one shop that we refer to as the ‘vase shop’ since, a trip there has a high success rate when it comes to finding a coloured glass vase. Others have been bought new in shops, and a few more have come from family members, passed down through the generations.
As with most things, I’m very fussy: I only buy things I love, and so that has helped to keep the collection to a manageable size – there is plenty of room for more. (Though being so fussy can be a problem if and when kind-hearted friends and relatives find something they think I’ll like…) I know nothing about glass and so I’m not influenced by what might be considered fashionable, collectable or otherwise lucrative to own.
Over the weekend we found a pretty (to my eyes) green vase in a junk shop here in Nottingham. The asking price was a lot more than I usually spend (most pieces I’ve bought have been £5 or less, with a few exceptions), but we got the seller down to £20 and walked away happy. The shop’s owner thought it might be vase by Danish glass producers Holmegaard. A little searching on eBay led us to conclude that it wasn’t, and we then found similar vases by a company called Riihimaki. I’m confident that they are the creators of this particular piece – it seems to come from around 1970.
This was a bit of a step forward for me, in that I have now learned the names of two manufacturers who produce things that are to my taste. It opens up all sorts of possibilities in that I can now monitor eBay for these keywords, but I think I’m going to stick to my serendipitous methods and just look for glass objects in charity shops and junk shops, wherever I happen to be. (Though I’m sure I will have the occasional peek to see what’s on offer online…)
And it doesn’t end there: I have a couple of other collections too – again, unplanned ones. Firstly, a collection of pencils – all of them pretty. This is a useful collection to have, as it lives by the phone and is in use all the time. Plus it only occupies the tiniest space – they all fit in a mug.
Secondly, I have been collecting books on etiquette for some years now. I love to read all the advice dished out to people on how to behave. I would never claim that reading these books has made me a better behaved person, but I certainly have a clear understand of how to behave better.
I’ve put an album on Flickr containing photos of my glass collection if you want to take a peek.
Now I’ve confessed my rather unfashionable hobbies, what about you – do you have any collections?