What does it take to build a great collection? You’re in luck. In this issue, you’ll read about four amazing collections that spring from two basic concepts.
FROM THE EDITOR
Otto Penzler’s passion for mystery fiction began in 1963 when he acquired a copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. Today, his collection of mystery fiction books, by giants such as Agatha Christie, Dashiell Hammett and Ellery Queen, is among the world’s finest (see “The Otto Penzler Collection of Mystery Fiction”). Maurice Car was an engineer who in the 1960s was collecting important books and manuscripts relating to the arts, humanities and sciences (“The Maurice Car Collection”). In his collection, you’ll find names like Sir Isaac Newton, Henri Matisse and Picasso.
Glynn Crain started collecting original comic art when he was a teenager. He soon realized that science-fiction art was his true passion, beginning a decades-long journey of collecting pieces by legends such as Frank Frazetta, Virgil Finlay, J. Allen St. John, and Frank R. Paul (“Amazing Sci-Fi Story”).
Then there’s David Hall, founder of Professional Coin Grading Service. Yes, coins are his specialty, but 10 years ago, he began collecting the legendary T206 baseball card set, not just the players, but the tobacco companies on the backs of the cards – a universe of more than 5,000 known combinations. Hall’s collection has been called one of the hobby’s top achievements (“Persona: David Hall”).
“There are two concepts I’ve seen with successful collectors,” Hall tells us. “If you want to be a successful collector, specialize intensely.” The second is what Hall calls the “forever concept,” meaning there are iconic items in all collectible fields. “If you collect records, it’s called Elvis Presley and the Beatles. In sports, it’s Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.”
So take a note from these wise collectors. Specialize. Chase the legends. And reap the rewards.
DROP ME A line at HectorC@HA.com to share your stories. I remain interested in your discoveries.
Hector Cantú, Editor & Publisher
This article appears in the Fall 2019 edition of The Intelligent Collector magazine. Click here to subscribe to the print edition.