IT’S time to explore some of the most impressive and bizarre collections ever assembled.
MYNAHS, corvids, jays, jackdaws, magpies – Planet Earth’s finest kleptoparasites, hoarders and gleaners these are. These little critters are wired to go after a shimmering pebble or an exciting trinket, and though their pools of loot can be mightily impressive, there is one species not be outdone. Man well and truly is the king of the collectors.
HE’S ingrained within the British popular culture psyche at only 60 years old and commands a serious amount of love among kids and grown-ups alike. For it he’s even starred in two recent big feature films. Yes, Paddington Bear is certainly an adored character – but no fan can claim to be able to truly match Emma Bending’s love of him. Emma has spent R187 000 collecting anything Paddington she can find. So impressive is her collection that Marks & Spencer photographed her in her home with her Paddington bears for an upcoming Christmas advertisement.
Thank You, Walt
WALT DISNEY may very well be one of the most influential people ever to have walked the Earth.
His imagination and the subsequent fabrication of characters, tales and songs have put smiles on the faces of adults and children for decades. But Amanda and Adam Lennard from the UK firmly have the bragging rights to Europe’s biggest collection of Disneyrelated odds and ends. The couple has spent over
R560 000 over the last five years to supplement a collection so large that only their bathroom is free of anything Disney... for now.
GROW up, not old, they say. Men will remain children for the rest of their lives it seems and Sam Peña is no different. The 45-year-old from Sacramento, like his peers, loves his little trinkets; unlike them, however, he steers away from ships, planes, cars and military paraphernalia. Instead, the California native has a collection of over 5 000 Barbie dolls and their accompaniments. This had him commit and entire room in his house to house them, and it took him 20 years to collect all his genuine memorabilia.
Crack Open A Cold One
BEER is nice. In fact, it’s great. So great that Nick West has dedicated 42 years to collect the empty tins after he has finished his amber delight. His wife, Deborah, may be sick of his antics, but Nicks keeps on cracking open and collecting. He has over 9 000 cans stashed in his home, some which can cost hundreds of rands. Ironically, it was Deborah who sparked his interest in this hobby after she bought him a book on beer back in 1975.
A CAREER path is carved. Most of us aren’t sure, by the time our studies roll about, what we’d like to do with our lives, but nine-year-old Angus Latimer doesn’t have that problem and if all goes well he might end up like his hero, David Attenborough. You see, Angus arguably is the youngest taxidermist in the UK – a passion he developed after seeing his mother, Kate stuff an animal before his eyes. Archaeo-palaeontology looks to be a good fit for him given his assortment of stuffed animals and an affinity to collect rocks, shells and fossils. He has an inborn love for animals too and he owns a pet frog called Slippery.
Never Let There Be No Beano
HE is a character so many children aspired to be like, but few know about the publication that brought Dennis the Menace (the English one, not the American) to life. Phil Shrimpton, 37, from Hertfordshire is the world’s foremost collector of Beano comic books. His love for it began as a nine-year-old who bought his first issue at a local comic book store. Since then he has gathered every Beano-related book imaginable and is even in possession of a R468 000 Edition 1 – only 30 are known to have survived. He has quit his job recently and plans to sell comics full-time.
In A Basement Far, Far Away
KEITH GUPPY considers himself one lucky man. He gets to spend each day with the love of his life, but, like any other relationship, it has cost him a pretty penny – R1.5-million to be exact. His collection is a rather cool one at that as he is the proud owner of the biggest Star Wars collection in the UK. Vectis Auctions Ltd valued his collection of figurines, spaceships and playsets for him so that mighty figure is not one he made up. In celebration of the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story Keith and the Vue West End arranged to host an exhibition, curated by Keith from his 3 000-plus collection, for the viewing public to marvel at.
This Hobby Sucks
ALERT Good Housekeeping! There is an expert on all things clean and tidy present. James Brown, not to be confused with the late soul musician, has a thing for vacuum cleaners (good for sucking out souls, according to some TV scripts). The 38-year-old from Nottinghamshire is unmatched in Britain and he can safely say that his collection of over 300 machines is the largest on the isle. He has been labelled ‘Mr Vacuum’ by others and a large portion of his collection consists of the effective yet expensive Kirby brand. This probably explains the R930 000 price tag that dangles from his lot.
THEY are nice to look at from afar – not so nice when in close proximity, since they’re one of the water’s more dangerous animals. They also make for a fun board game. But whatever their nature Sue Shefman is obsessed with them and has spent 30 years travelling the world to collect hippopotamus doodads. She’s spent thousands on ornaments, toys and clothing that are hippo-related, and even has a hippo-shaped car, as well as a security camera that watches over her precious collection. It all started with a wedding gift and it just grew from there. She is even part of the Hippolotofus Society, which talks trades and collects all things hippo.
Collector Emma Bending with her Paddington Bear collection
Amanda’s leg tattoos showing Disney characters
Sam Peña: Barbie girl in a Barbie world?
Keith’s collection comprises over 3 000 items