Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Sometimes, it's just fun to collect something really whimsical, maybe something that brings back special memories of a place you've been to and want to enjoy remembering. I have friends who collect souvenir collectibles from a particular location that they enjoy visiting each year. They have a great time hunting for the handpainted souvenirs made during the 1920s and 1930s, and it's quite inexpensive to buy.
Sometimes it's china, but they also look for non-china pieces, and have found many different forms of souvenirs showing their favorite vacation spot. They have wonderful memories of this place, and have a small collection - 20 to 25 pieces - of all sorts of items, including china plates, small pitchers, plates they display on their wall, tablecloths, etc.
They've found them all over the country as they travel, and rarely spend a lot of money as they add to their collection. They've only been collecting for the past couple of years, and have been quite successful in locating some very different and interesting pieces, all of which fit into just a couple shelves in their family room. Most of all, they've had great fun hunting, and are making more memories as they hunt!
This tiny doll-sized cup (above) was made during the 1920s, and is a souvenir of Hot Springs, Arkansas. It shows the "new" Arlington Hotel, one of the spa hotels so well known in Hot Springs. The Arlington Hotel was new three different times - it burned down twice during it's first fifty years of existence, and this little cup commemorated it's newly-rebuilt state in 1924.
I have a customer who searches only for World's Fair souvenirs, like this 1904 St, Louis World's Fair cup. He has a special personal connection to St. Louis, and his collection has been acquired over several years. This cup was made of a base metal, and then brass-colored, showing off it's wonderful molded details from the World's Fair.
There are thousands of souvenir items out there - some quite popular, like the Statue of Liberty, and others a bit less well-known, like many of the small towns across America. If you have special memories of a certain location, souvenir collecting can be a fun challenge to hunt down, and you won't break the bank buying them!