For those who get into collecting antique knick knacks or figurines, the hobby can prove to become a little overwhelming. This is especially so when others jump on the bandwagon and begin buying for you. If, for example, you collect Lalique animal figures and everyone in your family thinks you just collect animals, that small prized collection can become quite large and cumbersome in no time. Plus, it could very well become filled with newer items and those that are simply undesirable by you as a collector.
What's a well-meaning collector to do?
The first step in avoiding confusion for well meaning gift buyers is for you to clearly state what your collection is. If you collect antique dog figurines, make that known. Should you be after Lalique animals, explain your collection to friends and family. The more pointed your collection, the easier it will be for others to understand. And, the more you explain it and the motivations behind it, the more likely it is you won't end up with the card shop's latest dog statue.
Be gracious in the explanation and do it at times other than five minutes after you received the wrong gift. Let family and friends know the hows and the whys and they might even find you a piece or two you've been unable to locate yourself. Be rude about the proposition and you might find the only antique dog you get is a dog house.
Collecting can be a fun hobby not only for the collector, but also for those around him or her. Family members, too, can delight in a rare find for their favorite son or daughter. But, if a collection isn't understood, the chances it can expand greatly with unwanted purchases remains high. Be honest and open about the collection and share the features that draw you to a particular time period or artist.
If all else fails, smile and be gracious. A gift from the heart is better than the most rare antique in the world. Just keep your prized collection items in a different display area and hold those unwanted gifts in reserve elsewhere.