Tips for collecting die cast cars

Die cast cars were originally designed in the first half of the 20th century as children’s playthings. But the children grew up, and some of them decided to keep and collect those old toys... thus creating a collecting boom that’s still going …

Collecting sneakers

The history of sneakers goes back almost two centuries, but they became an object of interest to collectors only about four decades ago. This type of footwear saw the light of day in the 1830s, when the British Liverpool Rubber Company released simple, …

Vintage writing instruments

Can you guess which writing instrument I am using to write this post? Yes, you are right. I imagine that you too are most likely to reach for your keyboard on keypad, as the case may be, whenever you need to write something. That does not mean that you …

The edge of a coin

Have you ever noticed that many coins have engravings around their edge, usually in the shape of miniature vertical lines? These edges are usually referred to as reeded or milled in the United Kingdom, and ridged or grooved in the United States of …

Movie stars on stamps

If you are bitten by the thematic stamp collecting bug, sooner or later you will stumble on a stamp depicting a movie icon... and you will want to start collecting those. There is no denying it. Famous actors and actresses make an attractive subject for …

Antique scientific instruments

Unless you are a physicist, geographer, astronomer or something similar, an old scientific instrument may mean nothing to you. That is, until you see an archaic contraption covered with green patina that your best friend has proudly displayed in the …

Chandeliers, beautiful and opulent

The term chandelier comes from chandelle, the French word meaning candle holder, which is derived from the Latin candelabrum. Sometime in the 14th century, someone had the brilliant idea to hang those candle holders from a ceiling... and the chandelier as …

Antique teaware: Japan

The Japanese inherited tea from the ancient empire of China. There the art of tea was already ages old, a gentle pleasure that ran back to antiquity. It is perhaps fitting that tea arrived in Japan in 805, the same century that saw the writing of the Cha …

Antique teaware: China

"A cup of tea is a cup of peace." Soshitsu Sen XV   Tea is for some a repast and for others a religion.  It entered history as a medicinal brew during the Han dynasty of China (206 BC–220 AD), although folk tales mention tea being drunk …

Definitive and commemorative stamps

Stamps used to come to us stuck on letters and that is how many of us started collecting them.   Now that the snail mail is becoming extinct, stamp collecting is waning too, a victim of the rise of digital technology.   Although …