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Most of us collect something. I think it is primal in us, to accumulate things we value, to organize them, and to exhibit them. Freud thought collecting represented an anal need and related it to toilet training, but I think it is more akin to a squirrel gathering nuts.

I collect Regency research books. You can read more about that here

I also collect historical prints from the 1800s, mostly architectural prints and fashion prints. One of my treasures, both book and print, is a bound version of the 1815 La Belle Assemblee, a Regency ladies magazine. In Regency times, ladies collected magazines, just like we do, only at the end of the year they had the 12 issues bound into a book.

Each issue of La Belle Assemblee had two fashion prints. Each fashion print was hand tinted; color printing came later than the Regency. Here is one of the fashion prints from my 1815 La Belle Assemblee:

1815 001Two

 These are really beautiful works of art, incredibly detailed, As you can see:

1815 001three










I have more fashion prints than the ones in my 1815 volume. Most of these I get on ebay, usually late at night when I take to browsing….but there aren’t any Regency ones there now.

Most of the architectural prints I collect are from antique stores and from a very good friend and expert collector, Tony Wallace, who lost his battle with ALS a couple of years ago. Tony’s father was the collector of prints and I was very fortunate that Tony sold some to me, including a whole set of churches, all dated 1828. Prints like these were once in magazines and books. Libraries like the Library of Congress have found the prints stripped from old books in their collections.

Here’s one of the churches:

St Pauls Balls Pond









And, to again show you the incredible detail of these prints, here is a detail from this image:

St Pauls Balls Ponddetail









What do you collect now? What did you collect as a child?

Remember, Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress is still in bookstores. And my blog contest is ending next week. Comment today or before Sept 14 for a chance to win a signed copy of Wicked Regency Nights. Don’t forget about my website contest, too. I’ll pick the first winner for that one on Sunday, Sept 12.

Oh! Another announcement! On eHarlequin the Harlequin Historical authors started a blog. My turn is the third Wednesday of the month. See my first blog there this Wednesday, Sept 15.


  1. What lovely things to collect! I collect books. I truly try to keep all the books I’ve read but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that it’s just not possible anymore so I have been donating some to the American Legion which sends them to hospitals and overseas. But I still will be keeping way too many lol.

    I also collect cups, mugs, playing cards and ornaments and paintings (I’ve also run out of wall space). I am a bit of a pack rat lol.

  2. I collect horse statues, prints… have a wide variety, wood, metal, stone, ceramic, etc. Also love dragon and fairy statues and prints… do not really remember collecting things when I was younger… my middle sister had masks… my youngest sister now collects shot glasses, Gone With The Wind stuff, and her fav baseball team stuff. 😀

    1. Oh, I used to collect horse statues when I was about 11. I wish I had some of them now.

      I did go through a period of collecting cat figurines and cream pitchers.

      I’ll bet you did collect SOMETHING as a kid, Colleen!

      1. Well I had games and toys… I guess you could say I collected pets… had a wide variety growing up! At one time I had about 30 mice, stopped naming them after the third set of litters…

  3. Oh I love those prints! I have 4 small ones picturing ladies in fabulous fashion. I call it a collection but the number of prints has stayed the same for many years. And considering prices I’m afraid I can’t indulge in expanding my little group.

    One thing I collected as a child is buttons, the sew on your clothes kind. Mainly glass for I loved those colors and some had flowers or swirls on them. Real pretty. Still have most of them in a wooden box, nice to look at.

    And if it counts I collect Christmas decorations. Didn’t mean to collect them but it sort of happened. I have enough for at least three completely different trees. Not that I have room for those to be on display at the same time. But I can change my tree every year. I have all sorts of bells and angels, bears, bulbs and soldiers, gingerbread houses and so much more. All stuff that reminds my of my childhood.

  4. A psychologist friend of me has informed me that Freud is now considered to be in need of psychological help himself because he was far too fixated on sex. Just so you know. 🙂

    As a girl, I collected Breyer Horses. I’ve since given many of them to my niece. I’ve collected stuffed animals, which I’ve mostly given to a child crisis center. I collected LOTR, though not as much now. I still collect books, keeping only the ones I’d like to read again; the rest I give away, usually to Friends of the Library. (I still a huge number of books.) I have not quite as many CDs but close. I used to have a huge VHS collection, mostly given away now. I also collect place settings, which I use at meal times. When I’m tired of something, I use it as part of a gift, like a plate of cookies, with the stipulation that the plate either be kept or passed along to someone else.

  5. I did not collect anything when I was younger maybe since we did not have much to collect. I collect a few things now. Like books and a few miniture animals or vases. I also love sunflowers so I try to find unusual or pretty prints or paintings of them. Not too many though I try not to have to many of one thing. Don’t have the space. I also collect shotglasses from places I visit. Friends also send me them from their vacations too. Its funny that I collect them I don’t drink I wonder what Freud would say about that!

    1. Freud would probably think you had oral issues! I think it is cute! I never use my cream pitchers so I’m in the same boat.

      I really do think it is very simple. We like to have lots of things we value. It is good that you don’t go overboard!

  6. As a child I collected paper dolls. I played with them, too, so they were pretty well used. I still had them stored in a box when I finished school (college). I had over 100 and they were a nice remembrance. I went into the Peace Corps and discovered when I came home 3 years later that my family had thrown them away with 2 of the 3 boxes I had stored my keepsakes in.

    Now I collect books. I live old books. Nothing special or very expensive. I pick them up whenever I find something that I like. I have small collections of bookmarks, teddy bears and tea pots.
    I have a nice selection of items from the country where I spent my Peace Corps assignment.

  7. I collect Regency research books too, O Divine One! They are starting to take over the house. Then again I have a HUGE collection of historical romances, books on ornithology, zoology, dogs, cats, horses, reptiles, parrots – the list goes on and on. Bookshelves in every room of the house.

    I also collect English bone china teacups. That collection started with my first writing contest final and I have a teacup for each subsequent final.

    I also collect postcards and have several lovely bound albums of them. Many of them are from my travels, but some of my favorites are those sent to me by my friends and family over the years.

  8. I have a lot of collections that don’t seem to get added to much any longer except my apple-teacher things. I tend to get a lot of apple-teacher items from students, so I have those things on display above my cupboard space at school. I like apples so much that I’ve decorated my kitchen in them as well.

    I used to collect angel figurines, porcelain eggs, teapots, old spice cans, antique salt and pepper shakers, blue Danish plates, and thimbles (women from 1900-1940) from Avon. I still have these collections, but just don’t seem to add to them any longer. My faves are the angels and the Danish plates (that’s my heritage).

  9. Actually, I like collecting Christmas deorations too- we have some Christmas tree balls over 50 years old, so each year we bought or made new Christmas deos to add to our ‘family’ collection. I used to collect late C19th & early C20th English porcelain & some kitchenalia. Now, I collect more books and prints, especially on the Regency era. For instance, I own a 1798 edition of Udolpho and a largely intact La Belle Assemblee 1816 and a regency cookbook. I love the fashion prints as well from Ackermann’s and La Belle.
    I’d love to see more of your La Belle fshion plates if possible. 🙂

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  11. Hello! I have been looking online and in libraries for a copy of the la belle assemblee 1815 as I wish to recreate some of the costumes I have seen. Would it be possible for you to scan for me the February and April section on a color printer and send the sections to be? I hate to ask but I am grasping at straws. There is a beautiful pink evening gown from April 1815 that I am particularly looking forward to recreating. I wouldn’t ask you to upload the whole book, but you are one of the few people I know that has a bound versions. Thanks so much for any help you can render me!!

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