What make a collection a pedigree?
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 21, 2
Author


Prolific Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 151
Joined: Nov 24, 2004
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2010

Post Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:36 pm 
 

I have tried to wrap my mind around this singular question, and I can't find a reasonable answer. How does one's collection become "pedigreed"? When does my collection of anything end being just a collection from some nut <G> to being "The Wraith" collection?

Thanx for any input.


The Wraith - [email protected]

Yin & Yang Productions on eBay:
http://myworld.ebay.com/yinyangpro


 WWW ICQ YIM  

User avatar

Sage Collector

Posts: 2332
Joined: Feb 20, 2006
Last Visit: Aug 27, 2017
Location: Shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods

Post Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:40 pm 
 

The Wraith wrote:How does one's collection become "pedigreed"? When does my collection of anything end being just a collection from some nut <G> to being "The Wraith" collection?

IMHO, that's all a collection is --- items belonging to someone.  It's just stuff.

If all of the items are rare, mint-condition, or historic, then the collection is obviously a step up from that of the average collector.  Such a collector may get a reputation for having an above-average collection.

If someone becomes famous or infamous, the his collection may be junk, but the items may be more valuable because of the association with fame or notoriety.  I bought some junk from John Freyer, the AllMyLifeForSale guy, just because he had an interesting concept.

What do you want from your RPG collection?  I am painting my lead miniatures in metallic monocolor with gloss clearcoat.  It's my "miniatures collection", and it means something (visual fun) to me.  If I wanted to be known as a collector of miniatures, then I'd be buy them NIP, post on miniatures sites, and spend hours painting a single showpiece miniature.

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7942
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 25, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:45 pm 
 

The Wraith wrote:I have tried to wrap my mind around this singular question, and I can't find a reasonable answer. How does one's collection become "pedigreed"? When does my collection of anything end being just a collection from some nut <G> to being "The Wraith" collection?

Thanx for any input.


    I think Depth and Condition are the two biggest factors. If you are some guy who owns 200 wargames and half of them have been played, well that's nice enough.  If you are some guy with 1000 wargames that are all pristine unplayed condition, you have a pedigree.
  Another factor is obviously reputation in the community. It helps to have a pedigree, sometimes.
   The perfect example of a "pedigreed" collectible is the Mile High comic book collection.  If you google the name you'll probably find an article with the very interesting story about how these were located and why they are considered to have such a high pedigree.

Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
Subweb Admin
JG Valuation Board

Posts: 4475
Joined: Nov 08, 2002
Last Visit: Jan 26, 2021
Location: Land of 10,000 ponds

Post Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:14 pm 
 

I have a fine collection of Judges Guild material, is that pedigree? Course I don't have the most Judges Guild material :wink:

ShaneG.


I reject your reality and substitute my own

 WWW  


Active Collector

Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 07, 2005
Last Visit: Jan 22, 2014

Post Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:25 pm 
 

Badmike is mostly right, but the other thing that can especially make a smaller collection shine is having really exceptional, unique items - you're not so much the completist collector as the really unique oddities guy. If you have truly unique stuff that other people are very unlikely to have and you organize it tastefully with other truly unique stuff then people will recognize your 'taste' and you can get away with not having as many items or even necessarily some of the 'ordinary' really rare ones (though you'll probably need a few of the latter at least to cement the deal).

All three things (Depth, Condition, Uniqueness/Display of Unique Taste) basically boil down to the same thing though: making other collectors jealous, or at least respectful.


Looking for your old-school fantasy roleplaying fix? Don't despair...Fight On! Check it out at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/FightOn.

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector

Posts: 3155
Joined: Nov 21, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 05, 2016
Location: UK

Post Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:44 pm 
 

Calithena wrote:All three things (Depth, Condition, Uniqueness/Display of Unique Taste) basically boil down to the same thing though: making other collectors jealous, or at least respectful.

:lol:

Depth and Breadth, maybe, but that's certainly an interesting way of phrasing the concept! thx.

Provenance is (as usual) another fun word to bandy around, IMHO.

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector

Posts: 3155
Joined: Nov 21, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 05, 2016
Location: UK

Post Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:58 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:If you are some guy with 1000 wargames that are all pristine unplayed condition, you have a pedigree.

*shudder*

Erm, did I say that? :)

Untouchable museum, more like, but it's very much horses-for-courses.
(Any CGC'd copies of TD#1, yet?)

  

User avatar

Verbose Collector

Posts: 1271
Joined: Jan 09, 2005
Last Visit: Nov 17, 2020
Location: Azeroth

Post Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:34 pm 
 

faro wrote:
Calithena wrote:All three things (Depth, Condition, Uniqueness/Display of Unique Taste) basically boil down to the same thing though: making other collectors jealous, or at least respectful.

:lol:

Depth and Breadth, maybe, but that's certainly an interesting way of phrasing the concept! thx.

Provenance is (as usual) another fun word to bandy around, IMHO.


Basing it along the lines of where we normally see pedigree I would go along with Faro about provenance. If the bulk of your collection can be traced back to important people or events then I would say that makes the case for a pedigree. The CoC box set auctioned recently, the PHB that was the froom the first box signed by Gygax, original tournament modules run by the noteables in te field ...those items I think make for a pedigreed collection. Many of the items Stomber (not sure if that is the right person or name) had in their auctions would probably work. But you could also go a number of other routes...this is just my opinion.


Information Superhighway - A Rough Whimper of Insanity - Scott Hansen

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7942
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 25, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:46 am 
 

faro wrote:
Badmike wrote:If you are some guy with 1000 wargames that are all pristine unplayed condition, you have a pedigree.

*shudder*

Erm, did I say that? :)

Untouchable museum, more like, but it's very much horses-for-courses.
(Any CGC'd copies of TD#1, yet?)


Yeh, scary, I know. This coming from someone who HATES the CGC movement in comics....
   But I had a friend in the mid-90's that attended a game auction put on by one of the major auctioneers...and it was pretty much what I stated, almost 1000 games in unplayed condition.  All sorts of games including a lot of wargames from the 50's to the 80's.  Most of the ones went for a pretty penny to a handful of bidders who outbid everyone else. My friend managed to get a few opened, used games that the other collectors showed outright contempt for.....sad to think about all those games living on decade after decade without someone opening the board and laying out the pieces!

Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  


Sage Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 2884
Joined: Nov 04, 2004
Last Visit: May 09, 2020

Post Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:36 am 
 

JohnGaunt wrote:It's just stuff.

Amen, brother. It's very interesting stuff to anyone here, and it's fun to track it, buy it, store it, display it, and sell it — and perhaps even one day find that "ultimate" piece you've been seeking — but it's still just ink on paper. It's never fed the starving or put an end to a war.

<<**ducking rotten fruit and vegetables now**>>

On the other hand, I do have lots of respect for pieces that might be considered historical or a key part of what has become our shared experience. If a collector manages to snag a true one-off or a unique piece of gaming lore — how about the original police report from Egbert's disappearance?  :) — then I say more power to them and congratulations. But I would also hope they have their other priorities straight in this wacky journey we call "real life."

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Jul 24, 2020

Post Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:51 am 
 

Four things could confer a pedigree on a collection:

1)  Rarity

2)  Time

3)  Celebrity

4)  Sheer volume

.....like that guy in California whose house has converted itself into a museum of science fiction, fantasy and movie collectibles just through the collection's enormous bulk and the number of years involved in collecting...which has given the guy some small measure of celebrity.

....or that guy who sold his collection of thousands of vinyl records a few years ago for $100,000.  He cried on the news as they packed it up...I wondered why at the time...but not anymore.

  Of the four routes to pedigreed status, celebrity is the least valid...but the most common.

Mark   8)


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

Verbose Collector

Posts: 1271
Joined: Jan 09, 2005
Last Visit: Nov 17, 2020
Location: Azeroth

Post Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:55 am 
 

MShipley88 wrote:Four things could confer a pedigree on a collection:

1)  Rarity

2)  Time

3)  Celebrity

4)  Sheer volume

.....like that guy in California whose house has converted itself into a museum of science fiction, fantasy and movie collectibles just through the collection's enormous bulk and the number of years involved in collecting...which has given the guy some small measure of celebrity.

....or that guy who sold his collection of thousands of vinyl records a few years ago for $100,000.  He cried on the news as they packed it up...I wondered why at the time...but not anymore.

  Of the four routes to pedigreed status, celebrity is the least valid...but the most common.

Mark   8)


Why would celebrity be the least valid? Most here go crazy when we have items that can be connected directly to a member of the industry as shown by the auctions of Marsh, Sutherland can't remember other names right now.

I would say volume would be the least as anybody with deep pockets can buy up large volumes of items regardless of value. Having 1000 X1's scares me more than it impresses me.

The next least would probably be time and I am guessing you mean age. If not then I apologize for assuming that. But I am not sure age means anything unless coupled with some other factor such as rarity or one I would add to your list quality. You can buy some Roman coins cheap and I purchased a French bank note from 1712 for $1 one time.

Next I would put as quality. This could mean condition though not as much as the actual accepted value of the item in the collecting community. If you collection is filled with items that a almost universally panned who wants to see it or hear about it.

Next would be rarity. This is almost in a photo finish with celebrity. The reason I place it below is the fact there can be really rare items that are junk. I think you may have even touched on this in a thread about maybe somethings are rare because they were junk and people tossed them with the garbage.

Celebrity and by that I mean connection to an indistry or historically significant event and or person makes the item more collectible. There are  some people who waould want a life preserver from the RMS Olympic but there are multiples of those numbers that want the same item from the RMS Titanic or if you want to remove rarity from that even make it deckplans.

Now of course this is just my opinion others are just as valid...and their spelling and grammar has to be better than mine.


Information Superhighway - A Rough Whimper of Insanity - Scott Hansen

  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 1709
Joined: Feb 04, 2004
Last Visit: Aug 23, 2016
Location: Chandler, AZ

Post Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:55 am 
 

I can think of one excellent example of how "celebrity" can greatly increase the value of something.

Sometime several years ago, all the Stan Lee file copies of Marvel comics were sold.  Though, I don't particularly like CGC, the one good thing is that they provide authentication to certain items - so when the Stan Lee file copies are on sale, the buyer knows they are the real deal as it states it on the CGC label.

In any case, these were the actual comics that Stan the Man would use as reference - some were hardly touched, but many others were well used (presumably he would use them to refer to pervious events when writing/editing current stories . . . or just read them for nostalgia.)

In the cut-throat, high-grade condition crazed world of comics, these stand out as low grade comics can sometimes fetch more than Near Mint based on their pedigree to Stan the Man.

But, that's about the pinnacle of a comic celebrity right there.  Maybe if Gygax himself were to sell his personal gaming books, there would be some comparison.


"Gleemonex makes it feel like it's seventy-two degrees in your head... all... the... time! "

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7942
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 25, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:57 am 
 

Beyondthebreach wrote:I can think of one excellent example of how "celebrity" can greatly increase the value of something.

Sometime several years ago, all the Stan Lee file copies of Marvel comics were sold.  Though, I don't particularly like CGC, the one good thing is that they provide authentication to certain items - so when the Stan Lee file copies are on sale, the buyer knows they are the real deal as it states it on the CGC label.

In any case, these were the actual comics that Stan the Man would use as reference - some were hardly touched, but many others were well used (presumably he would use them to refer to pervious events when writing/editing current stories . . . or just read them for nostalgia.)

In the cut-throat, high-grade condition crazed world of comics, these stand out as low grade comics can sometimes fetch more than Near Mint based on their pedigree to Stan the Man.

But, that's about the pinnacle of a comic celebrity right there.  Maybe if Gygax himself were to sell his personal gaming books, there would be some comparison.


I would agree. Celebrity is often far, far overrated unless it's got some big cachet behind it (Stan Lee or EGG, agreed, would be those sorts).  Any "professional" collector of rarities will tell you that celebrity is often used to boost the value of something that frankly is almost worthless. Think of all the "creator signed" comics hawked on the Shopping Network back during the comics boom of the early 90's, thousands and thousands of comics that now could be put to better use as packaging material.
  IMO, in our hobby there are only  a few names that would generate interest in me if their collections/items came up for sale.  You can probably guess at the handful, everyone has their ownlist.  Time and again I have been flabbergasted at the large amounts paid to what I consider fringe people in the industry just to own a common Dragon magazine or module they had as part of their collection.  Original manuscript by Frank Mentzer, sure.  EGG's personal notes on a Castle Greyhawk gaming session, fine.  Rob Kuntz's personal dog-eared copy of the Player's Handbook, sure.  But random magazine or module from some dude who worked at the TSR Hobby Shop in the early 80's, or handwritten dungeons from some dude who happened to get lucky and have one Judge's Guild module published 30 years ago, ah, no buddy.
(Just to let you know the above two descriptions do NOT refer to any real living person, I just pulled them out of my head.....seriously)
    One of the things that has absolutely destroyed the sports collectible industry is the monomaniacal need to have items that are "authenticated" when it turns out about 50% of these "authenticated" items are blatant fakes.  A very close relative of mine a few years ago bought a Babe Ruth/Lou Gehrig autographed ticket stub from a very reputable dealer (some say one of the the MOST reputable dealers online). He paid quite a bit for it.  When he had it insured lastyear and had to get independent authentication, you guessed it, fake.
         I'm very glad in our own little niche hobby that celebrity hasn't invaded the worth of most of the items we collect.  For a lot of us, it's still about the item itself......it's getting a POTVQ PERIOD, not having to get one signed by the creators.  Ditto with goodies like an orange B3, Lost Tamoachan, etc.  That's why in our hobby I would rate Celebrity rather low on the list below Rarity, Depth, Condition.

Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  

User avatar

Verbose Collector

Posts: 1271
Joined: Jan 09, 2005
Last Visit: Nov 17, 2020
Location: Azeroth

Post Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:24 am 
 

The question was not what makes it valuable. It was what makes it pedigreed. I was speaking to that and I still think that  the history of the item a very strong contender. What would you rather have a fairly minty T1st PHB I bought new or one that was in good condition that could be authenticated to have been used by Frank when he was running the Great Bugbear Hunt for the first time? But again it is all subjective and maybe I fall into the cult of celebrity fan club too much.

A number of years ago at Origins there was a Monster Manual (early or even perhaps 1st) that had notes written in it by Lenard Lafofka (pretty sure that is who it was) about changes that needed to be made. I was bidding against Frank and I had to stop when it was apparent he was not going to stop. I still regret that to this day. If you read this Frank do you still have that....


Information Superhighway - A Rough Whimper of Insanity - Scott Hansen

  

User avatar

Verbose Collector
Acaeum Donor
Valuation Board

Posts: 1843
Joined: May 01, 2004
Last Visit: Jan 26, 2021
Location: Almost Lake Geneva, WI

Post Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:10 pm 
 

Live Frank or Dead Frank? ;>

If it was me, I'd have to go look, and my items are 200 miles distant.


As to pedigrees... I simply refer you to my posted pics of lil' booklets with autographs, and let you judge for yourself.

  


Grandstanding Collector

Posts: 5611
Joined: Nov 16, 2002
Last Visit: Jan 26, 2021
Location: Wichita, KS, USA

Post Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:12 pm 
 

One of the things that folks haven't really touched on much is that for something to be valuable, people have to know about it.  As such, the sharing of information, evaluations, and the promotion of the context/history/development/etc. of the hobby has immense impact on what qualifies as a "pedigree" item, collector, collection.

A good chunk of that is driven by communication:  if the gaming public doesn't t know anything about Fazzlewood or Tsojconth, they're both just random junk left over from conventions attended by a few hundred people and no one would care.  It's the communication and the resulting spreading of awareness from collectors to the public via sites like the Acaeum, Adrian's site, the two afterglo sites, etc. that sets the standards for pedigree, and drives the interest and historical context and value to the gaming public.  Without us, most of this stuff would hold much less worth (yes, Frank's GenCon auctions would then still define the premiums, but most gamers never attend a gaming convention, so the "at large" public perception and value of this stuff would still be nada).  

So, all of that said, when we contribute to the key sites that define the collecting info, and share historical info, to me that's when you see the pedigree collections/collectors in action:  buying and hoarding the stuff is one thing, but leveraging all of that history and sharing it is what really defines the collector pedigree to me, whether that's nuancing the printings, bringing hitherto-unknown products into the spotlight, adding historical context through research (much of which definitely requires funds to buy printings, odd-ball books, etc.), etc., etc.


Allan Grohe ([email protected])
Greyhawk, grodog Style

Editor and Project Manager, Black Blade Publishing
https://www.facebook.com/BlackBladePublishing/

 WWW  


Long-Winded Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 3066
Joined: Jul 09, 2004
Last Visit: Apr 30, 2015

Post Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:34 pm 
 

grodog wrote:One of the things that folks haven't really touched on much is that for something to be valuable, people have to know about it.  As such, the sharing of information, evaluations, and the promotion of the context/history/development/etc. of the hobby has immense impact on what qualifies as a "pedigree" item, collector, collection.

Yeah, what he said.  If they haven't found the Acaeum, most people won't imagine there are people willing to pay obscene amounts of money for 30 year old pieces of paper.  That's the requirement for something to be valuable -- people have to have heard of it.

As Marlith noted, we're talking about pedigree.  For pedigree, a similar concept prevails:  we need to have heard of the owner!  

Believe it or not, saying "This is Deimos3428's personal Monster Manual" would mean nothing to some people!  Ok, bad example, but you get the idea.

 YIM  


Sage Collector
JG Valuation Board

Posts: 2709
Joined: Feb 10, 2003
Last Visit: Jan 26, 2021
Location: Olde London Towne

Post Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 12:59 pm 
 

Marlith wrote:What would you rather have a fairly minty T1st PHB I bought new or one that was in good condition that could be authenticated to have been used by Frank when he was running the Great Bugbear Hunt for the first time?


Minty 1st print every time.  No offence intended, but for me it is the items themselves rather than who used them.  Yes, the history is interesting and adds to he value - but not significantly.


Let's go fly a kite
Up to the highest height!

  


Active Collector

Posts: 59
Joined: Nov 07, 2005
Last Visit: Jan 22, 2014

Post Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:09 pm 
 

For what it's worth, I lived with James Dallas Egbert III's cousin for a while. She was a very hot, sharp, and interesting woman, but she had been forbidden to play D&D as a child.


Looking for your old-school fantasy roleplaying fix? Don't despair...Fight On! Check it out at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/FightOn.

  
Next
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 1 of 21, 2