THOSE LAZY, HAZY, CRAZY DAYS OF SUMMER
Summertime is the one time of year that seems to produce a lull in collecting. Attention swings to other priorities like taking care of the yard, vacations and travel. Traditionally, gun and militaria shows are not held with as much frequency during these times because some venues lack air conditioning. Frankly, it is just too darn hot inside many of those old National Guard Armories or former Mall stores!
The result is that some collectors tend to become bored and potentially lose some interest in this grand hobby. Access to the internet, multiple forums or chat rooms can help to bridge the gap but for many a pro-active approach to staying involved can result in this time passing by more quickly.
Here is a partial check-list of possible activities to keep your motor humming.
- It’s a good time to do a physical inventory of your collection. If you are like most collectors you probably haven’t done that for quite some time or perhaps never. The more information you include in this valuable document, the better off you are. This is an essential tool, not only for you, but also those who may be charged with doing the right thing with your collection should that become necessary.
- Once you’ve done that. It’s a perfect opportunity to update this information with your insurance company. Be sure, you produce more than one copy and keep them in separate locations. The reasons for this are obvious.
- What’s this you are saying? You do not have insurance. Let me tell you from personal experience, I certainly am glad I had coverage when my home and collection were robbed in 1979. The process is simple and it’s a solid investment. I’ve had many collectors tell me they thought it would be too expensive and they felt they couldn’t afford to insure their collections. I tell them they are wrong and it is very cost effective. Premium costs are probably less that a single item in your collection. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this. I will be happy to steer you in the right direction.
- While you are at it, it’s a perfect opportunity to give your collection a thorough examination regarding any changes in condition or appearance since the last time you looked. Whether these are metal objects like decorations, badges, blades or guns or fabric items such as headgear and clothing, they all need to be periodically inspected. If you do detect any type of change (i.e. tracking on fabric items, spotting on metal items etc…) you need to address those issues immediately. I have written blogs on this topic so please refer back to those. It is our responsibility as temporary caretakers of these relics to insure they are properly preserved for as long as we have possession of them. There is no reason to let an artifact deteriorate. A little maintenance goes a long way with these items.
- Here is a fifth and final recommendation for this time. Pick up a reference book and read it. No, I do not mean go out and buy a new book. I mean go to your personal reference library and pick up one of those Over the years I have purchased hundreds of collections. Along with the artifacts, there is usually a lot of the reference material from the person’s collection. You wouldn’t believe the number of times when I check through a book that it still has that fresh, unused look and makes that special noise when you crack it open for the very first time. I wonder why this person paid good money to buy the book in the first place and then never bothered to benefit from all of this information. Instead of relying on asking other people for details, you can access this wealth of data yourself. You might just save yourself from making an expensive mistake and, because you are armed with this knowledge, you might just scoop some sleeper on-line or at one of those upcoming Fall militaria shows. Of course, I know that would not be the case with the books I’ve written as I’m sure you have read those from cover to cover!
I welcome your feedback and look forward to talking with you again in the future.
The Ruptured Duck, LLC