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Appraisals, Future of Hobby & Reproduction Factor

Article about: Collectors, I have collected for almost 30 years. Been watching you guys for years from a distance until Geritt encouraged me to sign up here 7 weeks ago and I believe ALL of you are the rea

  1. #11
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    Ed,

    By the way congrats on your little guy on the way! Forgot to add that

    Quote by aurelius180 View Post
    Thanks Rossi. It's definitely an interesting conversation and I look forward to hearing from some other, more advanced (than myself) llectors.


    War Relics Forum Sponsor
    My Collection: www.tothehiltmilitaria.com

  2. #12

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    Quote by Rossi View Post
    Ed,

    By the way congrats on your little guy on the way! Forgot to add that

    Thanks! Just doing all I can to help grow the hobby.

  3. #13

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    A very interesting topic, and although (as you, yourself added) the questions have surfaced several places on the forum, it is always a very interesting and relevant discussion.

    Considering my young age (as opposed to many forum members) I know for a certainty that the future of militaria collecting as a hobby is secured. I do however need to stress, that I tend to see a division between the younger generation and the older generation. The older generation have more money to spend as opposed to the younger collectors, and hence buy more expensive items (preferable German - WWII and older).
    I have witnessed that many younger collectors have abandoned US / German etc. (WWII) items, because they
    A) Are too expensive
    B) The market is littered with fakes and reproductions
    C) The era is less appealing to them

    Many young collectors can only dream about the collections that some of you own, and can literally just wait for you to... well... you know Jokes aside - they are out there, and they are basically to be found at every gun / knife and militaria show. But they need a little attention. They "hide", out of both fear and amazement. The prices make most flee, the "know-it-all" attitude that some people have at these shows make others flee, and others might be scared of by the "common language" that we share when we meet and others might be scared off by something else entirely.

    They need a little attention if we are to "catch them", and make them love the hobby as much as we do. A reduced price, a bit of encouragement and most importantly that even if we own the most awesome collection of all time at home, we take the time to praise their attempts at gathering remnants of the past. That was how I was introduced to the hobby, and it did wonders. Going to markets and shows as a 10-15 year old. Having all your (stupid - in hindsight) questions answered. Patiently. The opportunity to get just one small, but awesome piece of equipment at a special price.


    The succession of my collection will depend on my children's wishes (or their children's wishes). I will under no circumstance let the collection be regarded as a monetary value to be inherited and later sold. I wish for it to solely be inherited on its historical background and historical value. That is what is important to me. I don't speculate much about the value of my collection. The history they represent is what makes me return for more, although it is insured.


    Fakes and Reproductions:
    The fakes get better and better, but I don't think the younger collectors would opt for a fake, if they could get the real thing. I don't see how that is possible. I do however see the influx of fakes as a problem for the young collectors, since the fakes keep them away from "high risk" areas like: German helmets and awards, etc. That is what ultimately is going to chip away at the asking prices.

    But I've always said: value means nothing, if the historic value is not the most important aspect.
    Πόλεμος πάντων μεν πατήρ εστί, πάντων δε βασιλεύς.

  4. #14
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    Thank you for the thoughtful post and taking time to share. I love to hear perspectives and value them ALL.

    Quote by 37Webbing View Post
    A very interesting topic, and although (as you, yourself added) the questions have surfaced several places on the forum, it is always a very interesting and relevant discussion.

    Considering my young age (as opposed to many forum members) I know for a certainty that the future of militaria collecting as a hobby is secured. I do however need to stress, that I tend to see a division between the younger generation and the older generation. The older generation have more money to spend as opposed to the younger collectors, and hence buy more expensive items (preferable German - WWII and older).
    I have witnessed that many younger collectors have abandoned US / German etc. (WWII) items, because they
    A) Are too expensive
    B) The market is littered with fakes and reproductions
    C) The era is less appealing to them

    Many young collectors can only dream about the collections that some of you own, and can literally just wait for you to... well... you know Jokes aside - they are out there, and they are basically to be found at every gun / knife and militaria show. But they need a little attention. They "hide", out of both fear and amazement. The prices make most flee, the "know-it-all" attitude that some people have at these shows make others flee, and others might be scared of by the "common language" that we share when we meet and others might be scared off by something else entirely.

    They need a little attention if we are to "catch them", and make them love the hobby as much as we do. A reduced price, a bit of encouragement and most importantly that even if we own the most awesome collection of all time at home, we take the time to praise their attempts at gathering remnants of the past. That was how I was introduced to the hobby, and it did wonders. Going to markets and shows as a 10-15 year old. Having all your (stupid - in hindsight) questions answered. Patiently. The opportunity to get just one small, but awesome piece of equipment at a special price.


    The succession of my collection will depend on my children's wishes (or their children's wishes). I will under no circumstance let the collection be regarded as a monetary value to be inherited and later sold. I wish for it to solely be inherited on its historical background and historical value. That is what is important to me. I don't speculate much about the value of my collection. The history they represent is what makes me return for more, although it is insured.


    Fakes and Reproductions:
    The fakes get better and better, but I don't think the younger collectors would opt for a fake, if they could get the real thing. I don't see how that is possible. I do however see the influx of fakes as a problem for the young collectors, since the fakes keep them away from "high risk" areas like: German helmets and awards, etc. That is what ultimately is going to chip away at the asking prices.

    But I've always said: value means nothing, if the historic value is not the most important aspect.


    War Relics Forum Sponsor
    My Collection: www.tothehiltmilitaria.com

  5. #15

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    There's been some great responses here, all with very good points. I'll add a few thoughts of my own on the latter two subjects:

    Future of hobby - Succession of your collection:

    - Do you wonder where the next generation of collectors will come from?


    I don't feel that there's any validity to concerns for a 'next generation' of collectors, I started collecting when I was 15 or 16, and have been a member here since that time (as you can see). I didn't inherit any of my collection or the interest itself from parents or relatives, I just always had an interest in history, and in the aesthetics of many military items. This interest really took over when I visited the WW1 battlefields and memorials of France and Belgium on a school history trip. I returned home, bought a gas mask on ebay... and here I am today, several-hundred pounds later! I think the interest will organically develop in the young as it always has, in addition to it being passed on by the older and experienced collectors.

    Also, I may use the 'investment' card with those who question my spending on such items, and it truly is (If I started collecting deactivated weapons now rather than only five years ago, I wouldn't be able to afford most of my pieces now!), but that is not my reason for collecting. I collect purely for my fascination with these objects and the history they represent. The fact that my collection is worth well over what I've paid for it is just a reassuring bonus. I hope never to have to sell it, I would like to pass it on to someone or somewhere that would continue to appreciate and preserve it.


    - With financial college loans and debt will they be willing to pay or even be able to break into this hobby?

    Funny you mention that. As I was collecting from about 15, I had no financial worries or obstacles, I could do as I liked with my money. I saved up for guns, medals...etc, and used Christmases and Birthdays to ask for more expensive pieces. Fastforward to now: I have just this summer graduated from Uni as an Illustrator, and haven't been able to buy significant additions to my collection for a while now as a result of that, and a rather expensive long-distance relationship. I rely purely on the above-mentioned times of gift-giving to add significant items to my collection now. Oh, and luck: I was given a rifle for free by a tutor at Uni a year or two ago! As for the last expensive item I bought with my own money, that was a Luftschutz helmet as a Christmas present for my girlfriend who is equally fascinated. Anyway, to summarise my approach here: I spent as much money as I could on my collection before I had any financial concerns in life, now my collection grows slowly and infrequently until I start earning decent money!


    Fakes and Reproductions:

    - How does the influx of fantasy pieces, fakes and quality reproductions effect value of real pieces?

    I don't think fakes will have any effect on the value of provably authentic items, for as long as the experienced can identify for certain what indicates a fake. I know there are some faked / altered items that are so well-made that only an in-hand close inspection can yield a verdict, and I imagine the 'art' of the fakers will only improve as time and technology go forward, which is daunting. If it gets to the stage where genuine items are commonly replicated to near-perfection, then I think the value will be affected. I admit that I do have a small sense of 'paranoia' over my collection as a whole, that something amongst it may be fake that I couldn't tell, and those who gave their assessments here failed to catch. I've had the past experience of paying over £100 for a first pattern Totenkopf that seemed genuine at first to me, and was not immediately questioned by forum members- the opposite soon turned out to be true, and I was fortunate enough to receive a full-refund, but that brief period of holding that object and 'connecting' with it (sounds weird, but I don't know how else to describe it) as if it had witnessed 70 years of history, only to find out that wasn't the case... it almost undermines any of that sense you get with any historical object.


    As for the mint or not topic: I see the appreciation in both, and for me it really comes down to the individual object. One of the helmets I own is battered, scratched, rusted and has clearly seen a lot- you can tell its age by looking at it. Conversely, another helmet is almost like-new and probably unworn- to have the object look now just as it did at the time is just as interesting to me. Sometimes I prefer the former variety over the latter with certain objects, and other instances it's the reverse. As long as it's genuine, that's pretty much my only real criteria, as I think was said.

    -And that concludes that essay!

    Mat

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