One of the biggest concerns that older collectors have is knowing what will happen to their cherished collection of Bears when they pass out of their hands in the longer term.
This is a particularly difficult situation when older collectors have to down size due to health or other circumstances. Often after years of painstakingly building a treasured collection, the collector has to stand by while their Bears are sold off at auction , or distributed among the family or are stored away in an inaccessible attic, where they remain undisturbed only to emerge later in a hurried house clearance.
While such opportunities are hugely beneficial for ardent bear hunters, the very idea can cause sleepless nights for collectors.
So what should you do to protect and future-proof your valuable Bear collection?
The first tip is to get your Bears valued annually for insurance purposes. This will ensure that your collection is properly covered for loss but also it will give you a chance to check on the condition and relative value of each Bear and give you plenty of opportunity to keep them in tip top form correcting any problems you might notice on inspection.
The second tip is to keep an accurate inventory recording the provenance of each bear, its current condition, market value ,price paid and potential resale value. This will be of immense benefit to family members in appreciating your assets and ensuring that when the time comes they don't dispose of your wonderful bears without realising their true value.
The third tip is to identify family members or friends who share your interest in Bears and who may already like to talk about Bear collecting with you , and who in the future may become ideal custodians of the collection.
( If all else fails The Museum of Childhood , Bethnal Green will be an excellent place to will your rarer historic specimens)
By following these tips, I hope you will be spared the need to give up collecting and disposing of your Bears before you need to, and - best of all you may be spared any sleepless nights worrying about it!
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Lizzie is the Chief Bear Collector for Blakesley Bears and writes an occasional blog about Collecting Bears, building , caring for and maintaining Collections and some of the issues affecting Bear collectors generally.