What do you collect?

I have a thread with this name running over on the Collectibles & Antiques forum at  http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=394 and it’s well overdue on this blog. I will kick off on the subject but do please contact me and email me at collectireland@gmail.com with your pet areas of collecting!

One of my longest collecting fads – thirty plus years – is hotelware (ceramics, silverware etc) and while this was initially restricted to shipping and railway related items, I have lost the run of myself and now collect marked hotelware from Manx and Irish hotels. To be of interest they generally have to be from long extinct hotels or else very well known ones.

This field of collecting is back on my mind again this weekend after a nice find in a local charity shop – two coffee cups from the former Four Courts Hotel in Dublin – see pic below. I’m not certain of how old they are as they bear no manufacturers’ mark but I suspect that they date from the original Four Courts Hotel rather than the more recent incarnation.

Some years back my wife gave me a present of a side plate from the Broadway Soda Fountain Parlor, Dublin, an ancient handpainted item made by Alfred Meakin, England. Can’t be much surviving from that establishment? This uniqueness is part of what drives me to collect these items of crockery as anybody can go out and buy some bog standard piece of Royal Doulton, Belleek etc. but not these rare survivors! Another of my favourite items is a teapot from the Grand Hotel in Douglas, Isle of Man – a unique and beautiful item of unknown manufacture, and possibly the only surviving item from that hotel.

I have a large collection but never having met another general hotelware collector or come across any book on the subject I’m still feeling my way along. I will return to this topic again but in the meantime let me know if there’s anybody else out there with the same interest.

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