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What Happens to You’re Collection When You Die?

photolith

Well-Known Member
Nov 4, 2019
104
28
Pittsburgh
Just wondering what people’s contingency plans are. Me and my girlfriend have no plans on having children and even if we did I doubt they’d care about the bottles. I’m only 30 and don’t plan on dying anytime soon but I often wonder what will happen with my collection. I have well over 50k of bottles which is loads of history. I’d love to have them donated to a museum or something.
 

WesternPA-collector

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2018
599
43
Connellsville, PA
A museum is about the best choice there is. And even then, most museums will pick and choose what bottles they want to keep and sell the rest. Anything that doesn't fit in with their subject matter, they won't want to keep. Otherwise the estate of bottles will probably get split up, sold to locations all over the country as is the case here:

I have a friend that told me my bottles are worth something to me but not anyone else. It is the sad reality that a collection can rarely stay intact forever.
 

photolith

Well-Known Member
Nov 4, 2019
104
28
Pittsburgh
I have been trying to collect top of the line examples of every type of bottle made between the late 1700s to early 1900s. Museum worthy examples. I would hate to see my collection split apart.
 

shotdwn

Well-Known Member
Jan 13, 2018
184
2
Macomb, IL
I really don't worry about it. I just enjoy my bottles while I have them and when I am gone someone else can make the decision on what to do with them because at that point in time I am not going to know what happens to them anyway.
 

WesternPA-collector

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2018
599
43
Connellsville, PA
All we do crumbles to the ground.?
I don't think so.
The collection has our spirit.
What if we create a museum. A really big one.
Guys we have history.
Fair enough. Everyone has their own opinion with what happens after. There are museums out there for certain varieties of bottles. But I don't know if there is one for ALL bottles? The Anchor Hocking one is in Texas.
 

nhpharm

Well-Known Member
Apr 24, 2007
1,894
48
Unless you have a true world class collection, I think the smartest thing to do if a family member isn't going to want it would be to arrange a sale before you pass or make sure your family knows who to contact to monetize the collection in the best way. Some museums might be interested in a world class collection but anything less they will just sell and buy something else with the money. Even the best collection rarely stay together and I think it is an illusion to imagine that they would.
 

WesternPA-collector

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2018
599
43
Connellsville, PA
Unless you have a true world class collection, I think the smartest thing to do if a family member isn't going to want it would be to arrange a sale before you pass or make sure your family knows who to contact to monetize the collection in the best way. Some museums might be interested in a world class collection but anything less they will just sell and buy something else with the money. Even the best collection rarely stay together and I think it is an illusion to imagine that they would.
That is exactly what I was getting at. The only way to keep an entire collection together is to basically build a museum for yourself. And even then, someone has to be willing to keep that museum going for infinity.
 

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