Carlin Supreme: Accummulating, Decorating & Collecting, Part Two

‘Tis the season . . .

To get more stuff.

And you remember the late comedian George Carlin’s fine discrimination between “Sh*t” and “Stuff,” right? And how it is that the same thing is “your Sh*t” but “my Stuff”? Bellowing, he clarified: “Hey, get your sh*t off my stuff!”

Rarely do complete private collections come up for sale. When the collection is one that has been accumulated, nurtured, and cultivated over years and years, so much the better. For we collectors.

When a collection becomes available for purchase, it behooves Collectors to be attentive for at least two (selfish) reasons.

The obvious one: it’s an opportunity to add to one’s own collection. And maybe the less obvious one: it’s an opportunity to use the collection of someone else as an educational tool and to assess, refine, and enhance the quality of one’s own collection.

Unlike Accumulators, good Collectors are careful.

They may or may not be cautious; and on that point one is reminded of today’s popular if tedious cliché about “pulling the trigger.” Typically, the command is intended or understood as a hurry-up.

And you know what the Supremes sang about love. Same goes for collecting.


Invariably a good collection is one carefully assembled. By “careful” I mean the collector vets each item in the collection both on its own merits and how well the object “fits” the collection and the collection’s purpose.

Impulse purchases made in (sometimes mistaken) haste should be de-accessioned following the Collector’s reflection. The “good deal” on the ugly object – Out! The one-of-a-kind piece that became unique since it was not further produced (because it was so awful) – Gone!

Collectors should be as willing to let go as they are to grab on. Without the former, the latter yields an accumulation of like-objects or a decorating scheme, but not a collection.

Collections are coherent. They are integrated. Collections make sense. They are explainable, especially to the uninitiated.

As for what to collect, well, there’s a chair for every bottom.

Can’t wait!

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