Collecting Antique Cast-Iron Cookware

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Although DNA tests show that we share over 99% of our genes with chimpanzees, there is a good chance that we also share a high percentage of DNA with a pack rat. People love to collect stuff for the sake of collecting stuff we'll never use, like antique cast-iron cookware.

They fall in love with a particular item and then become collectors, turning their homes into museums. Often these collectors become valuable sources of information about the very things they collect. We might not know much about what a cast-iron cookware set in the past looked like if not for antique cast-iron cookware collectors.

The Thrill Of The Hunt

Part of the thrill of antique cast-iron cookware collecting is finding the pieces. Actually owning the piece can often seem anti-climactic after the thrill of discovery. Antique cast-iron cookware is not just valuable – it's also still useable, beautiful and tells more about our past than our grandparent's stories often can. Many collectors prefer going physically to the seller's homes, auction houses or flea markets rather than just cruise eBay.

Just how old does antique cast-iron cookware have to be before it is considered antique? This is a topic of some debate among collectors, historians and antique dealers. Usually, an item has to be over 100 years old before it can officially be called an "antique". But, when you go into an antique shop, many things there are a lot younger than a century.

The word "antique" on an item for sale needs to be taken with a large grain of salt. Many sellers were use the word without realizing what it means. Many more ethical sellers and antique dealers will instead use word like "valuable", "vintage" or "collectable" as a more accurate way of describing their wares.

Treasures Galore

Unlike Van Gogh's or Faberge eggs, there is an awful lot of antique cast-iron cookware still in existence, so there is a very good chance of finding a rare, old or particularly beautiful item. You don’t have to be collecting all your life to make a particularly significant find. Collectors of antique cast-iron cookware prefer the naked metal, as opposed to items that have been painted or super-glued together.

But the main thing about any collection, particular something as large and heavy as an antique cast-iron cookware collection, is that you personally like it and find it somehow pleasing. It doesn’t matter how much money you could get for selling the piece – it's how much it makes you feel that is the real value of a collectable or antique.
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