There is something about collecting old things that is fascinating.
Whether it is a connection with the past, rekindling a lost love or something entirely different, Launceston and Tasmania in general has a huge population of antique and collecting enthusiasts.
The subject of this enthusiasm may seem strange to some, but looking at large collections underscored by diligent digging through the internet, boot sales, vintage markets and anywhere else tends to catch the eye.
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Jala Smith of the recently opened Smith & Sons Emporium in the Quadrant Mall has what she believes is the largest collection of antique mini - and full-sized - sewing machines in the state, if not Australia.
"I started collecting them a few years ago, I started on the big ones but the postage killed me." she said.
"I became a touch obsessed with them and then I just kept seeing really cool ones out there that looked like they needed a home and I thought it would be a cool collection to have."
Her collection now proudly adorns the walls of the Smith & Sons Emporium - and sits among the goods on offer at the store - and draws attention from many who walk by.
"It's definitely the biggest collection in Tasmania that I know of," Ms Smith said.
"They range in price from $150 to $1000. There's some really rare ones that I have here.
"I've had a lot of people say, 'are they for sale?', 'you should keep them as a collection', because it is pretty impressive."
One of the crowning glories of the collection is the extensive amount of Singer 20s. Ms Smith said they were highly collectible and came in a number of colours.
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She said while keeping the collection together was a priority, she had a number of doubles that she was hoping to sell to set her in the pursuit of the antique sewing machine Holy Grail, a full collection of Singer 20s.
"I would sell some but just to give people the joy that I get from them, but it also lets me pay the rent and look for the elusive blue one," she said.
"Anybody got one? I'm interested."
Tasmanian auction house Tullochs specialises in antiques and collectibles among other things and director Jessica Reid said collecting antiques was something that Tasmanians tended to do well.
"In Tasmania, probably because there has been an abundance of vintage antiques and collectibles around compared to the mainland, there's still been that collective buzz going on a lot stronger than there is on the mainland," she said.
In general, Ms Reid said people from all walks of life showed an interest in collectibles, particularly domestic products.
She said collecting antiques offered people a window into the past, and the opportunity to connect with the times of yesteryear, while still appreciating the creature comforts on the 21st century.
"These days a lot of things that are made don't have a lot of thought go into the design. They've got built in obsolescence and it's nice to hark back to those days of beauty and quality," she said.
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Ms Reid had seen first hand how varying types of people were attracted to all sorts of weird and wonderful collections. One of the highlights at Tullochs, according to Ms Reid, was an enormous collection of car badges and mascots which drew people in who had no connection of affinity for cars.
While it is not too difficult to see the modern day infatuation with cars and sewing machines Ms Reid said there had been one collection in her days that left her speechless.
"It's got to be a collection of antique marital aids for the bedroom experience," she said.
Do you collect anything weird, wonderful or slightly out there? The Examiner is calling for readers to send in photos of their collections.
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