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This week we'll look at words of the many collecting hobbies folks have. As is our tradition, we begin with a word that also fits last week's theme of AEIOU words.

exonumia – items, as tokens or medals, that resemble money but are not intended to circulate as money
Some sources say that the term was coined (no pun intended) in 1960 by Russ Rulau. OED's first citation is from 1962.
    Now exonumia has taken precedence over coins because it is more fun, Miss Stone says. "coins you have to keep locked up in a safe deposit box."
    – Arcadia (CA) Tribune, Dec. 1, 1977

    Who would have thought that there would be almost 2,000 items available [on eBay] in the Exonumia subcategory? Not us. In fact, we didn't even know what it was until we took a look and found the category full of medals and tokens.
    – Neil J. Salkind and Bruce Frey, eBay Online Auction

This message has been edited. Last edited by: wordcrafter,
 
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cartophily - the collection of trade cards
(sometimes defined as "the collection of cigarette cards," which is the largest single category)
    … in the 30s cartophily was second only to stamp collecting as a popular hobby …
    - Birmingham (AL) Post, Apr. 24, 2002

    The bequest of over one million cigarette and other trade cards by Edward Wharton-Tigar (1913-95) has given the [British] Museum the world's definitive collection. … Edward Wharton-Tigar, the world's greatest cartophilist, began collecting at the age of seven in 1920. … 'Trade cards' comprise cards of all types distributed by commercial organizations as inducements to the general public to buy their wares. The largest single group of such cards was issued by cigarette manufacturers, but almost every other trade was involved to some degree.
    - Marjori Caygill, The British Museum A-Z Companion
 
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scriptophily - the collecting by hobbyists of old stock certificates and bonds of defunct companies, that have no intrinsic value other than their aesthetic appeal or relative rarity

Several quotes today, explaining the market.
    An 1870 certificate for original shares of the Standard Oil Co., signed by John D. Rockefeller, was hammered down for $120,000. A second, for the Pullman Palace Car Co., maker of the first sleeping cars for trains, and bearing the signature of Andrew Carnegie …, fetched $70,000. … scripophily … is a relatively new pursuit … Those who indulge in it find it an addictive combination of financial history, aesthetics, and personal interests. Germans have long been the most avid collectors, and the British are enthusiasts as well, but dealers and auctioneers report that Americans are coming.
    - International Herald Tribune, July 8, 2000

    "… the trend is toward the elimination of the paper stock certificate," says Kerstein. While the supply of new certificates reaching the collector market is dwindling, the hobby of scripophily continues to grow.
    - thestreet.com, Sept. 18, 2006

    There were many bubbles that came and went. The mining boom in the 1850's, the railroad build out beginning in the 1830's, Oil Boom beginning in the 1870's, [Wordcrafter: hereafter, I abbreviate] Telegraph 1850's, Automobile Industry at the turn of the 20th century, Aviation around 1910 after the Wright Brothers, Electric Power 1930's, Airline Wars and Takeovers 1970's, Cellular Telephones mid 1980's, Banks 1930's, Saving's and Loans 1970's, Long Distance Telephone Service 1990's, and most recently the Dot Com rags to riches to rags chapter. … Most of the companies, however, never made it and the certificates became worthless pieces of paper ... until the hobby of Scripophily came along! [sic; apostrophes as in the original]
    - David Breskin, Supermodel
 
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An intriguing question on this week's topic (from http://mbumby.livejournal.com/27278.html?thread=78734)

"So if coin collecting is numismaty, and stamp collecting is philately, and butterfly collecting is lepidoptary, what is spouse collecting?"


RJA
 
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deltiology – the collection of postcards
[from Greek for a small writing tablet]
    I will never forget the first vintage postcard I ever bought. It was at a Bangor-area flea market and showed the old Bangor City Hall, one of many hundreds of landmarks from my hometown which are not with us anymore. The date was 1972. I was a 20-year-old college student, and my newfound hobby of deltiology was born. The card, by the way, cost the princely sum of 25¢.
    – Richard R. Shaw, Bangor in Vintage Postcards

    This book is dedicated to my wife, Shirley L. Heckman, who wonders whether deltiology is a hobby or a disease.
    – Marlin L. Heckman, Santa Barbara American Riviera Postcards
 
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rariora – rare collectors'-items
    Fruits and flowers were presented and illustrated in brand new linguistic and figurative terms as precious collectors’ items forming part of sophisticated natural collections, almost the rariora of modern vegetable `Wunderkammern'.
    – John Dixon Hunt, The Italian Garden: Art, Design and Culture
Bonus word:
Wundercammer
– a chamber or cabinet of wonders; spec. a place exhibiting the collection of a connoisseur of curiosities, such as became common from the late Renaissance onwards
 
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Wonderful offerings, wordcrafter. I am entering them all in my chrestomathy.


RJA
 
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Wunderkammer

I do so love going to old and small provincial mouseums, because of the happenstance quality of their collections.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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quote:
deltiology – the collection of postcards
[from Greek for a small writing tablet]

Any relation to "deltoid?"
 
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ephemera – items of short-lived interest or usefulness, especially those that later acquire value to collectors
[Greek, 'things lasting only a day'. Think of such collectibles as ticket stubs or programs from a World's Fair or other big event.]

We illustrate both the general use and the collectors' use.
    But today's newspaper is lining tomorrow's bird cage. It's ephemera.
    – Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, The Cabinet of Curiosities

    The Quigley Collection, recently donated, is over two thousand pieces of Victorian ephemera, mostly having to do with soap.
    – Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler's Wife
 
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David Sinkler of Uncle Mame's once told me that authentic milk cartons from the 1970s with pictures of missing kids on them are now quite valuable.
 
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wordcrafter, I know how thoroughly you research this. Have you come across a word for someone like Alex Jordan - A word for "a collector of collections"?
 
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phillumenist – a collector of matchbox or matchbook labels
    . . .Remember that scene in Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest" where Cary Grant, standing by the villain's second-floor railing, writes a warning inside a matchbook's cover and then tosses it to the living room below in hopes that Eva Marie Saint will spy it? I'll bet phillumenists everywhere would love to add that little bit of ephemera to their collections!
    . . .Labels and covers have borne manufacturers' logos from their inceptions, but in 1894/5 an ad for Piso's cough medicine appeared on a matchcover, creating advertising history. Since then, just about every organization, business, political party, resort and cause has used the medium of matchbook advertising to reach untold millions of consumers.
    . . .The rarest known cover is a single survivor of 100 handprinted copies issued by the Mendelson Opera Company in 1896. Presently owned by the Franklin Mint, its estimated value is in excess of $25,000.
    – AuctionBytes.com, Oct. 24, 2004
 
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The collectible is limited, I suppose, only by the range of one's vice(s).

I've seen CEOs with framed golf balls, from all the courses they've played ( http://www.americansportscollectibles.com/20-Ball-Golf-Ball-Case.jpg)

I've saved interesting cigar bands, as well as the caps from unusual beers.

To the earlier question on "a collector of collections," might we call that person an
"ana-ianist?"


RJA
 
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quote:
phillumenist

I rather like the Dutch version of this word. It has a certain ring: luciferdoosjesverzamelaar (male), or luciferdoosjesverzamelaarster (female).


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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philography – the collecting of autographs, esp. those of famous persons
Today's quotes concern autograph forgery.
    But James Dean is one of those rare stars who never go out of style. His enduring popularity and the scarcity of his signature keep Dean at the top of many philographer's most wanted lists. Because Dean's autograph is notoriously rare, it has frequently been forged.
    – Joe Bills, James Dean Collectors Guide

    In the spring of 1976 an unemployed grocery clerk in Rumford, Maine began peppering the nation with forged signatures of celebrities. .. The forger, Arthur Sutton, a perky young man, was not new to the game of the name. He had been quietly turning out forgeries for three years and had honed his chirographic skills to the point where not even Richard Nixon could tell his own signature from Sutton's imitation. No wonder philographers eagerly bought up every scratch out of Rumford. [Several pages later:] It is the forgeries and fakes that give piquancy and excitement to the chase. Without them philography would be a pretty dull pursuit.
    – Charles Hamilton, Great Forgers and Famous Fakes: The Manuscript Forgers of America and How They Duped the Experts
Bonus word:
chirography
– handwriting; penmanship
A previous word-of-the-day; see here.
 
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