The roots of the human habit of collecting things are most likely lost in the mists of time, but it could have gone something like this: One of our earliest caveman ancestors, let’s call him “Ook,” probably took a liking to something, say shiny black rocks. He probably liked the way they looked in the firelight in his cave or something.
At any rate, he decided to start saving them and arranging them in and around his cave. It probably wasn’t too long before his sister, “Uklah”, noticed and thought the rocks were kind of pretty. She didn’t want to collect rocks, but she always liked the big, pink seeds that she found on the jungle floor. Soon, she has a nice collection of her own going.
If we skip forward a few thousand years, when people are settled into towns and villages, the opportunities for collecting have expanded. With many more people living together in community and established households, the need for goods developed, along with the skilled tradespeople to create and sell them. In addition to practical items, like dishes or pans, there were also more skilled artisans who could make things like figurines, which would become the next generation of collectibles.
As the idea of upper classes and royalty and nobility developed in society, collecting kind of naturally became settled with those classes. They were the ones with the time, money, and prestige to acquire, display, and maintain large collections of items. The Dowager Duchess of Austrohowa naturally had a large collection of miniature mother-of-pearl inlaid porcelain portraits of the Kings and Queens of Rumania. She was the Dowager Duchess! Many items from this period remain with us as museum pieces or very high end antiques.
If we move up into more modern times, we can see that the development of things like set work hours and wages, along with economic boom times, laid the groundwork for a culture of collectors. Dad had extra time after work, so he needed a hobby. The next thing you know he’s collecting cork ducks. And soon, he’s teaching Junior about them. And, some day, the collection gets passed on to someone.
So, we come to more recent times, where things are actually manufactured with the intent that they will be collected. Yet, alongside this phenomenon, there are still all kinds of people starting all kinds of collections of interesting items, just because they want to.
Lots of kids’ toy lines are built around the idea of “collecting the whole set.” This can actually help children learn organization and memory skills that can help them in other areas of life. Adults still find that having a hobby or collection is a nice way to relieve stress and relax after work or on the weekends.
YesterNook is proud to be a part of collection history that goes all the way back to Ook and Uklah. From salt and pepper shakers to Pez dispensers, you’ll never quite know what you can find here! We’ll be glad to try and help you fill holes in your existing collection or start a new one!