5 Items to Collect from Around the World

Written by Jason Gordon

It's natural for travellers to collect souvenirs of their trips. For many people, expanding their collection is the entire point of the journey. Those travellers can find something of value in any nation, since every culture creates its own artifacts. However, there are a few items that stand out above the rest.

1. Limoges Box

Limoges Box with Dog Design
The French town of Limoges is famous for producing elaborate porcelain boxes. These Limoges boxes are richly decorated, to the point where many of them are better described as sculptures that hide a small storage space than as boxes. Expert artisans make all of them by hand, and they come in a huge number of shapes and sizes. Every collector can find something that reflects both the traditional culture of Limoges and their own preferences.

A box must come from Limoges to be considered authentic. Since that restricts production to a small number of artisans, collectors need to make sure that they are getting an authentic box. Verifying the authenticity of a box is relatively easy for anyone who knows the sign to look for, so there's no excuse not to do your homework and research the basics of Limoges boxes.

2. Dolls

Dolls are not simply toys for children. Many of them, such as the dolls of Japan or the porcelain dolls of France and Germany, are works of art. Most dolls will be dressed in the local style, so they provide a record of a culture's fashion that will last a lifetime.

Be sure to be careful with artistic dolls. Since many of them are meant for display, the rough play a child will put them through could easily destroy them.

3. Netsuke

Ivory Netsuke - Japan
Netsuke are small sculptures native to Japan. They originally served a practical purpose, since they were invented to attach small containers to sashes. That purpose became obsolete when the people of Japan adopted European clothing styles, but some netsuke production remained for the benefit of collectors.

Modern and traditional netsuke come in a variety of styles. Many of them depict animals or religious figures, but other shapes are also reasonably common. They are most often carved from wood, but ivory, ceramics, and even some metal netsuke do exist. Since they are so small, it is easy for a collector to acquire a large variety of them for display, even when their space is strictly limited. Many Europeans and Americans have already done so, which has resulted in many museums collections of netsuke all over the world.

4. Coins

Coins make ideal souvenirs because they are easy to find, small enough to carry, and highly durable. Since each country produces its own coins with distinctive patterns, it's almost impossible to forget where each one is from.

The easiest way to start collecting a nation's coins is to simply start spending a little bit of money in the local shops during your trip. You can easily keep your change as a souvenir and even get duplicates that you can pass on to your friends and family. As nations change their currency over time, the souvenir will eventually turn into a historical artifact, which can make it even more interesting to collectors.

5. Scarves

Clothing is one of the most distinctive parts of any culture, but it's also bulky and hard to collect. Buying a local scarf is a way to get a piece of that culture without the inconveniences of a whole outfit.

Most regions have their own styles, so you can collect a variety of distinctive scarves while travelling within a single nation.

There you have it fellow travellers.

Do you buy and collect items from around the world while on your trip? Comment below to give our fellow travellers an idea on what to add to their collection.

Author's Bio
Jason hails from New York City where he is a marketing associate by day and blogger by night. He is a diehard sports fan that loves to travel, and tries to combine the two as much as possible.

One summer, Jason road tripped across the U.S. attending as many baseball games as possible. He ended up making it to 28 of 30 MLB stadiums.

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