Last update: 19 March 2017

The Collectionnite Gallery displays various historical objects, mostly artificilia, from early Wunderkammers to contemporary collections, as well as documents on collecting habits, psychology of collecting, and material culture. We use the term collectionnite, which in French refers to collectomania (with the suffixe "-ite" specifically referring to the concept of desease). In The Tricottet Collection, its use is made less pathological with collectionnite becoming an object that sounds just like a marcassite, an ammonite or a meteorite. For our work on the curating aspects of metacollecting and on the concept of collection-object, see Mignan (2016).

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Material Culture (20th & 21st Centuries)

Collecting process in Art
21st century

An entomological collection of Entoforms from the mind of artist Dolf Veenvliet. The specimens are pinned and labelled on non-acidic paper in entomological boxes.

See also: Anthropocene Art | Mineral natures mortes

An unnatural history collection

A natural history collection often represents an accumulation of animals, plants and minerals preserved in various fashions (visit the other Halls of The Tricottet Collection). Here is a somewhat unnatural collection of imaginary animals recolted from the mind of comtemporary artists (from the 20th and 21st centuries). The acts of collecting, classifying and displaying are here also part of the artistic process. Various artistic media are represented.

Figures: Entoforms (D. Veenvliet, 2011) | Ectoplasms (H. Mizushima, 2013-2014)

The White Mountain Collection
Various objects, documentation

Pac-Man merchandise formerly from the White Mountain collection: Games and everyday objects representative of the early 1980s "Pac-Man Fever".

See also: The White Mountain video game collection

From systematic hoarding to the making of a Pedigree of rare comics

Description coming later

Figures (K. Neily): Pac-Man merchandise | Burger King merchandise | Factory sealed VHS tapes | Letter (J. Weist to K. Neily, 1992)

old collection of buttons

Collecting Teddy Bears
Documentation (1979-1997)
From the 1900s to the 1990s

1979 letter from J. Ownby (Good Bears of the World, GBW) regarding the book "In Praise of Teddy Bears", mentioning "Col Bob Henderson". Accompanied by a GBW Teddy Bear.

Arctophily, or the hobby of collecting teddy bears: The legacy of Colonel Bob Henderson
Principally based on the "In Praise of Teddy Bears" archive from the P. Haining estate

Teddy bears were born in 1902 when a cartoon appeared in the "Washington Evening Star" depicting American President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt refusing to shoot a bear cub that his hosts had tied to a tree so the president would not be left without a kill on a hunting excursion. Morris Michtom, a Brooklyn shopkeeper, rapidly got the idea to produce toy bears that he called Teddy’s Bears (then establishing the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company, which became a corporation in 1907). On the other side of the Atlantic, in Giengen, near Stuttgart, Margarete Steiff produced soft toy animals, and under American demand, started to make teddy bears. While Michtom invented the teddy bear, it was Steiff who popularised it and started the worldwide Teddy Bear Craze in 1906 with the toys becoming collectors' items (while a Michigan priest denounced it as destroying the instincts of motherhood). Teddy bears became famous characters in books and cartoons, such as Rupert, Winnie the Pooh, or Paddington. By 1980, early surviving teddy bears from M. Michtom and M. Steiff had become museum pieces and the largest private collections were composed of hundreds of bears. In Great Britain, the largest collection was the one of Colonel Bob Henderson with 462 items (Waring & Waring, 1980) [1-2]. Henderson, with radio pioneer J.T. Ownby and actor P. Bull, co-funded Good Bears of the World (GBW) in 1969 [3], the most famous teddy bear club and charity that gives teddy bears to sick and lonely children. GBW also issued "Bear Tracks", a newsletter about teddy bear collecting. In the 1980s-90s, the teddy bear became a high-end collectible and investment, first with Princess Georgievna's 1908 “Alfonzo” red Steiff bear bought in 1989 for £12,000 by Ian Pout, a retired stockbroker (Teddy Bears of Whitney). It culminated with Colonel Bob Henderson's 1904 cinnamon Steiff "Teddy Girl", bought in 1994 for £110,000 by a Japanese business man (Christie’s, 1994; Waring, 1997) [1] (the 2nd ed. of Waring's book was welcome as the most valuable teddy bear in the 1980 ed. was priced at $450, a movie prop from 1936!).

Figures: [1] Documents (P. Haining) | [2] Letter photocopy (T.R. Henderson to R. Macfarlane, 1985 / P. Haining) | [3] Letter & Teddy Bear (GBW / P. Haining)

Material Culture (18th & 19th Centuries)

Eudel's "Collections et collectionneurs"
Late 19th century

Paul Eudel's 1885 anthology on French collections and collectors of the 19th century, including an extremely rare edition of his book and the original correspondence.

A rare insight into some French collecting trends of the late 19th century

Paul Eudel (1837-1911), one of the great French connoisseurs, bibliophiles and art critics of the nineteenth century, wrote prolifically on the subject of collecting, publishing both books and articles in newspapers such as Le Figaro and Le Temps. His book "Collections et collectionneurs" contains eight articles on collecting and collectors that had previously appeared in those periodicals, together with Eudel's preface written for the book-form edition. Included are articles on stamp collecting, shells, antique toys and puppets, together with profiles of collectors such as Baron Charles Davillier, fencing master and historian Arsene Vigeant, and Aimé Desmottes. The Tricottet Collection holds one of the only two existing copies of the "rose" edition, as well as a bound volume "Correspondance, Collections et collectionneurs, avant et après" with over eighty letters and a manuscript used for the preparation of the book: Among the letters are seven from Arthur Maury (1844-1907), one of the pioneers of philately and author of the first stamp-collecting catalogues; three from Arsene Vigeant; four from Ad. Giraldon regarding the toy collection of Mme Agar; two from pottery collector Gustave Gouellain, to whom Eudel dedicated Collections et Collectionneurs; and eleven from the printing firm of P. Charaire et fils, who printed the work for publisher G. Charpentier. Also included is a 21-page manuscript document in French on shell collecting and collectors covering much of the material in Eudel's chapter on the subject, written by his brother Emile Eudel.

To be continued with excerpts from collectors' letters.

Figures: Book & correspondence (P. Eudel, c. 1885)

Archaeological & ethnological collections
Various objects
19th to early 20th century

Pebbles from Chesil Beach, supposedly Iron Age sling-stones excavated in the 1930s at Maiden Castle - formerly from Allhallows College, Rousdon, near Lyme Regis, Dorset.

Building a collection à la Pitt Rivers

Description coming later.

Figures: Sling-stones (Maiden Castle / Allhallows College) | Beach stone souvenir (HORSM)

Wunderkammers (16th & 17th Centuries)

Wunderkammer catalogues
17th century

1681 Grew's "Musaeum Regalis Societatis" collection catalogue including an Egyptian mummy, a human fetus, the leg bone of a dodo bird, lodestones, etc.

... The 1681 Royal Society collection catalogue (Grew's "Musaeum Regalis Societatis") is a typical 'Wunderkammer' collection with a strong emphasis on natural history and scientific curiosities but a modest selection of coins and antiquities and a few of art. Grew's arrangement follows that of Ole Worm [From Wunderkammer to Museum 64]. But unlike previous catalogues of Renaissance noblemen's cabinets of curiosities, Grew's descriptions do not emphasise exotic and monstrous specimens. The entries are straightforward and matter-of-fact. Grew gives detailed measurements and descriptions of the shape and texture of artefacts, and also takes care to point out any errors in previous descriptions of the same kind of object (source: Royal Soc. website).

To be continued.

Figures: Catalogue (N. Grew, 1681)