What Happens to You’re Collection When You Die?

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mrosman

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Don't wait until death!! Moving from a house where space was available to an apartment where space was not available helped with the decision of selling. Selling to a collector is SO much easier than selling individual bottles which is a nightmare..... when the time comes, find a collector who wants to build, does not have many of your bottles and is willing to take the whole shot..... that is the easiest and the best way - its hard to do it piecemeal ... my children not only lacked an interest in my collection, but thought I was a bit nuts..... they occasionally looked carefully at what was doing.
They had no time, no place and no interest. A bottle show for selling is not good - perhaps you might sell 10-30 bottles, but to transport and sell 300-400 bottles is different story. I found serious Orange Crush collectors and made a detailed list of what I had, current market value, which of course they knew, and arrived a happy, compromise price -- packed the boxes of bottles and were shipped to their new, happy home..... don't regret it at all. Do follow listings closely, answer email which I receive for my opinion, and have fun just following along.... hope that helps potential sellers of collections.
 

mrosman

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Just a further note.... no museum is interested. Certainly Orange Crush Company is not interested.... they were not even interested in my book of history and bottles.... not even a thank you note! Only interested in selling drinks and making money..... I knew more about their company than they did!!. There is NO museum dedicated to taking on an collection which is specific like mine was, on Orange Crush.
 

digger dun

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Two times now I've picked good bottles and related ephemera from the dumpsters of the recently deceased digger/collector, I imagine most of my collections will be rifled through in this way. Just yesterday I was pondering this, imagining how the liquidation of all my junk would play out. Maybe 25% of my bottle collection would have any real value to other collectors. The rest is all sentimental. Just physical objects representing intangible memories of past experiences, valuable only to me. In other words, dumpster fodder. I kicked around the idea a few times of packing up groups of bottles in newspaper and cardboard and burying the boxes upside down, to keep them from filling with ground water, releasing them from my possession. But I've found the follow through on that hard. Releasing what I have gathered to myself I find very difficult, a classic collector(hoarder) response I'm sure. But in the end we all have to leave behind our precious possessions when we rejoin that eternal waste stream from whence we all came. Even if we bury it with us, or like old Langley Collyer, are buried under it.
 

jimmydean56

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My wife joked "recycling"! She will contact the bottle club I am in to see if someone would be interested in buying the whole collection. She was also going to give the local bottles to our town historical society.
 

Tony Kendzior

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I started digging and collecting bottles some 60 years ago. Over the years I've moved and various ordinary ones have been trashed and some not so ordinary given to my daughter to display on her back porch. I still have several boxes in the garage that i need to deal with. Some are on display in my home to remind me of the good times when I had energy and body skills to spend hours with a shovel in my hand. My son has encouraged me not to sell or do anything with what I have left. I have photographed all of them individually, affixed a sticker on the bottom with a number, and have documented what I remember about how I came by them and their history, age etc. I'll leave it to other to figure out what to do with them.
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Eric

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We are just the current curators of these pieces... I love the bottles, coolers and signs I have... it has taken years to gather and I have met some wonderful people and have made life long friends in this hobby. Some of the nicest folks I've met are collectors... I enjoy the talks, the stories and the hunt... But there will come a time that I will have to pass this stuff on to another collector. A museum would be great but I can't see a place wanting all I have... Some of it I would like to see stay together as I bought some crates full of bottles that I promised the original collector who wanted it to stay together so I want to always honor that. But most of my bottles, signs, coolers were just from road trips.
And to find (hopefully) someone young, just starting out, with the passion of the history and item would be awesome.. Not many younger ones out there or at least not at the shows I've been to. My kids like some of it but not all... so as I get to a point (age) I may set up and sell at shows. Would want them to go to others who have the same likes and interest.... And keep the hobby of bottle collecting going.
 

Robby Raccoon

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While I do wish to preserve history for the future, and while I do have the desire that certain pieces will be able to be appreciated by the many and not just the few, I'm not too cooncerned as earthly toys will be forgotten and all this stuff will be destroyed one day anyway so attempts to preserve it are futile.
 
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Selling a large collection of antique anything is difficult unless it's really good stuff in which a large auction house might be interested. Specialized museums will only be interested in specimens they don't have, or ones better than they have. Consider making arrangements before you die, because only you have the knowledge and ability to attempt to find your collection a home. I would suggest contacting your local historical society to see what they might be interested in preserving for the future and specifying what goes to whom in your letter of instructions. Winslow Township had several glassworks but (to our knowledge... we're now inventorying) our Historical Society has no examples of bottles and other glass objects manufactured within our boarders or in the immediate area where our residents might have worked. We'd LOVE to have pieces from the Winslow, New Brooklyn, Old Brooklyn, Wilton, Isabella, Waterford Works, etc. glassworks and even have in storage a nice vertical display cabinet ready for them. Like most historical societies, we have a collections committee who could review what you have and tell you what they would accept. Most museums will also pre-approve donations. For those folks downsizing, some museums will agree to display your items pending transfer of ownership at death, but this presents a tricky insurance situation should anything happen to them while you retain ownership. Most museums demand full transfer of ownership except for temporary exhibits. Few museums have insurance for their collections due to the difficulties of establishing values. If you have any Winslow items you would like to leave or lend to us please contact us here or through our facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/WinslowTwpHistoricalSociety/
 

WesternPA-collector

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Just a further note.... no museum is interested. Certainly Orange Crush Company is not interested.... they were not even interested in my book of history and bottles.... not even a thank you note! Only interested in selling drinks and making money..... I knew more about their company than they did!!. There is NO museum dedicated to taking on an collection which is specific like mine was, on Orange Crush.
Most other companies are similar. A red flag is when their website says absolutely nothing about the soda's heritage or history. The website for Crush does not. But I think there are many specialty museums out there for bottles. We just have to find them. Maybe someone can compile a list.
 

WesternPA-collector

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Selling a large collection of antique anything is difficult unless it's really good stuff in which a large auction house might be interested. Specialized museums will only be interested in specimens they don't have, or ones better than they have. Consider making arrangements before you die, because only you have the knowledge and ability to attempt to find your collection a home. I would suggest contacting your local historical society to see what they might be interested in preserving for the future and specifying what goes to whom in your letter of instructions. Winslow Township had several glassworks but (to our knowledge... we're now inventorying) our Historical Society has no examples of bottles and other glass objects manufactured within our boarders or in the immediate area where our residents might have worked. We'd LOVE to have pieces from the Winslow, New Brooklyn, Old Brooklyn, Wilton, Isabella, Waterford Works, etc. glassworks and even have in storage a nice vertical display cabinet ready for them. Like most historical societies, we have a collections committee who could review what you have and tell you what they would accept. Most museums will also pre-approve donations. For those folks downsizing, some museums will agree to display your items pending transfer of ownership at death, but this presents a tricky insurance situation should anything happen to them while you retain ownership. Most museums demand full transfer of ownership except for temporary exhibits. Few museums have insurance for their collections due to the difficulties of establishing values. If you have any Winslow items you would like to leave or lend to us please contact us here or through our facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/WinslowTwpHistoricalSociety/
Welcome to the site. It's nice to have you here. Thanks for your insight on this topic. That's similar to what I was saying earlier in the thread. Museums are only going to want things that fit their mission statement. I don't have any bottles from the areas you mentioned but now I'm curious and want to look more into them.
 

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