If you’re a history buff who is interested in military ephemera, Prestige Estate Services can help you add to or begin a collection. If you’re fascinated by the military and its part in history, collecting artifacts and memorabilia is a great way to personalize history in a meaningful way for you and estate sales are a great place to start. If you would like to start collecting, here are some tips to help you get started.
Military memorabilia, or Militaria as it is sometimes known, is a vast subject. Some of the categories include uniforms, headgear, insignias, medals, buttons and wristwatches. Soldiers used these things both in the field and on base. Back at home, propaganda posters, memoirs, letters, and postcards written during conflicts look at war from a different vantage point.
Trench art is a more personal expression of men during war. Using art as a way to assuage the monotony, fear and anger they felt, soldiers and prisoners of war often painted, carved, etched or drew on anything that was available. Soldiers recuperating from wounds embroidered badges and fashioned belts to relieve boredom. These poignant mementos are very personal views into the world of a soldier.
Weaponry is another area of collectibles that is extremely popular. Not only are there the weapons themselves, but the associated ammunition, tools, manuals, holsters and cartridge belts are highly collectible.
Military memorabilia is a wide subject, so it’s best to narrow down your scope of interest. If you have a particular period and country that is of interest, limit your collection to that time and geographic area. By giving yourself a starting point, you can concentrate on one aspect. You can always branch out as your knowledge develops.
There is usually a personal history associated with artifacts and memorabilia. You’ll make your hobby more interesting and challenging if you research who owned an item, why and how it was made and specifics of the design.
There are a number of books, catalogs, and organizations to help with your research. Several organizations include the OMSA (Orders and Medals Society of America,) the ASMIC (American Society of Military Insignia Collectors) and the AAMUC (Association of American Uniform Collectors.)
Spend time researching a potential purchase to determine the authenticity, desirability and condition before buying an artifact. You’ll learn as you expand your collection who you can trust in the field and develop your own radar for ferreting out treasures among the trash. When you combine history and the people who lived it with the military memorabilia, it becomes a very personal and satisfying experience.
Prestige Estate Services
2201 Kipling Street, Suite 101
Lakewood, CO 80215