Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Collecting Field

CTs can be daunting. The collecting field is vast, as there are thousands of them. Some are square, others, rectangular; on the other hand, we have round ones and ovals. There are big ones and little ones, thin and thick pieces -- yes, every dimension shows variance in this series. Most of them are from Scotland, but the series migrated to Canada and the United States. A few are from England and Ireland, whereas others come from far off areas like South Africa and Australia.
     Collectors need to develop a collecting strategy. A buy what you like approach will suffice for a short time, but eventually you will want to narrow your focus. Otherwise, collecting will stall. How does one develop a collecting plan? Figuring this out is the fun part. Two general guidelines are helpful here. First, you need to survey what is out there. This can be accomplished by reading some books and catalogs and watching the auctions -- and yes, go ahead and bid on a few here and there! CTs are inexpensive, so get a few to see if they appeal to your fingertips. The second step is to choose and nurture a specific focus. Some kind of theme will emerge as your mind tries to make sense of it all.
     I wanted to discover how many different types of CTs I could identify. How many types? Of course, there is no definitive answer. The challenge is to figure it out yourself. This is a purely empirical approach -- that is, we start off by letting the tokens speak out. Only then, can you answer the question if some CT types reflect a regional influence? And, do some CT types evolve over time? So, let's start off by pointing out the obvious: there are squares, rounds, rectangles, ovals and oddities. Five Types. See how easy it is! Ponder this.

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