“What else is a collection more than a mess that habit has accommodated to the point of making it look orderly?”
According to the Royal Spanish Academy, a collection is “an ordered set of things, usually of the same kind and brought together for their special interest or value.” But what is it that determines what can become of “interest” or “value” for an individual?
The following collections show that there are no borders when placing the drive in an object. The fascination when it comes to collecting can go through unexpected places.
“Do not disturb”
The Swiss Jean-François Vernetti seems to be a lover of good sleep. He has collected 11,111 different samples of the “do not disturb” sign from hotels in 189 countries around the world. His quest to get the most of these signs began in 1985 when he found one of them that was misspelled. In 2012 it entered the Guinness Book of Records. The challenge would be to calculate Vernetti’s spending on hotels and airline tickets.
Graham Barker does not suffer from an ego complex, but from a disgusting fixation on the fluff that collects in his belly button. This 51-year-old Australian man has spent more than half his life – 32 years – with this creepy compilation that has exceeded 22 grams and has achieved a place in the Guinness Book. Baker confessed that the beginning of the hobby was “for the simple curiosity about how much fluff a body can produce”
At the age of 21, in 2010, Lisa Courtney verified in front of a scribe, having 12,113 Pokémon products, and in this way entered the Guinness Book of Records. The young woman from the United Kingdom made several trips to Japan specifically to collect objects from the famous series and video game. Part of the collection was exhibited at the Hertford Museum, as part of an exhibition on popular culture. Today, Courtney owns a collection of more than 16,000 franchise items.
Argentine architect Sergio Goldvarg resides in Miami, and is the owner of the largest collection of scale cars in the world, with more than 14,000 different models. He was awarded twice by the Guiness book, in 2007 and 2012. His sample collection includes toys such as Hot Wheels and Matchbox, and “1:43” scale cars with the perfect lines approved by the factories, unique pieces and desired by any car fanatic.
In addition, the architect is the owner of a replica of the Batmobile that Adam West drove in “Batman”, the iconic series that marked television in the 1970s. In 1985, he had the opportunity to meet George Barris, the creator of the replica, when he went to cover the 24 Hours of Daytona as a journalist. In January of this year his Batmobile turned fifty years old. Goldvarg owns a restaurant where some of his cars are exhibited, and his ultimate dream is to create a museum to display his brand new designs.
German Paul Brokman, 81, met his wife Margot, 79, in 1948 at a ballroom dance. He confesses that from that day on he knew that the American, for whom his parents would disinherit him, was the love of his life. The romantic Brokman decided that his beloved would have a different dress for each occasion when they went to ballroom dancing. In this way, by buying dozens of dresses each week, over the years, she managed to accumulate no less than 55,000 garments. Unable to cope with the high costs of storing the dresses, the couple who currently live in Los Angeles, California, are selling the bombastic collection.
Wang Guohua has a collection of more than 30 thousand cigarette packs, stamped by one hundred brands, from ten different countries. Guohua began putting them together in 2003 and is still waiting for a place in the Guinness Book. Each package is part of the “wallpaper” that covers the walls and ceiling of a room in his home in Hangzhou, China.
Uruguayan Emilio Arenas is the largest pencil collector in the world. His passion for piecing together graphs placed him in the Guinness Book in 2002, with a quantity of 5500 units. By breaking this record, he was invited by Faber-Castel to visit the German factory. Arenas began collecting pencils at the age of eleven and today, at 70, he has 10,200 different ones from all over the world. In his treasure he has a 17 mm pencil – there are only 10 in the world, Faber has 9 and one Arenas – to one 1.10 meters long, from Brazil. Arenas is also recognized by world leaders. Tabaré Vázquez, Mauricio Macri, Jorge Larrañaga, the ambassadors of Serbia, Japan and the United States have come to his home in Colonia del Sacramento to contribute to the collection.
The German farmer Heinrich Kath owns more than 20,000 different beer mugs. The most colorful fact is that, despite the fame that her nationality could give her and her passion for collecting jugs of the most typical drink of her culture, Kath does not drink alcohol.
German Bettina Dorfmann owns 15,000 Barbies. He began collecting them in 1993 but it was in 1966, at the age of five, when he received his first doll. Dorfmann has a special room in his house where he exhibits the dolls in display cases. The most expensive piece in her collection is the Barbie Pony Tail Number 1 edition, valued at $ 10,000. Although there are more than one hundred thousand collectors of Barbies in the world, among which is the actor Johnny Depp, the German occupies the throne with a wide advantage of units of the doll compared to her “competitors”.
According to the Terra portal, the actor has a very wide collection, so he does not hesitate to spend thousands of dollars to acquire even limited edition dolls whenever he can.
According to the actor himself, he started in this particular hobby buying toys for each of his children, and now has a collection that includes several sought-after (and coveted) collector’s models, such as those made in the image and likeness of Britney Spears and Elvis Presley.
As if this weren’t strange enough, her collection features a Lindsay Lohan figure that includes the monitored bracelet she wore around her ankle when she was under house arrest.
Apparently, Depp sees in this hobby the opportunity to get away from his “problems” related to alcohol and drugs, as he himself has said on several occasions, because what he enjoys most is acquiring accessories that complement the roles of the dolls and be able to release your stress by playing with them.
“It has dozens of limited editions. It has them based on Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child, the cast of High School Musical, New Kids on the Block, Elvis Presley and even Donny Osmond, ”a source assured the Daily Star.
Professor Sigurdur Hjartarson is a penis collector and exhibits them in his Phallus Museum in Húsavik, Iceland. The hilarious and unusual collection is made up of some 300 penises from 90 species of marine and land mammals. The pieces are exhibited as hunting trophies, stuffed, embalmed or preserved in formaldehyde. In the Falological museum you can see male reproductive devices of all kinds: from the micropenis of a hamster, about 2mm, to that of a sperm whale, weighing 70 kilos and 1.7 meters long. Representations of the supposed phalluses of Norse mythological beings, such as trolls, elves and goblins, are also exhibited. In 2011, Pall Arason decided to donate, before he died, his entire member – the museum already had a foreskin and two testicles – to complete the phallic collection, with the missing piece: a human penis.
There are people who collect stamps, stickers or insects. Other people collect penises. In that particular club is Sigurdur Hjartarson, founder of the Icelandic Faloteca. This museum has more than 300 penises of different mammals, including that of a human, which makes it the world reference in the cult of the virile member. “This year about 50,000 people will have visited us,” says Hjartason, who answers Verne’s questions by email.
At 75 years old, the father of the Icelandic Faloteca clearly remembers the first penis in his collection: “It was that of a bull”. “Many years ago when bulls were sacrificed, penises were never thrown. They were left to dry to be used as whips with other animals. I myself used them shortly after World War II when I went to the field. ” Three decades later, in 1974, another bull penis crossed his path: “It became the first specimen in my collection.”
Hjartarson’s hobby did not go unnoticed by his co-workers. “At that time, I was the director of an institute. Several of my teachers worked in a whaling station during the summer and they brought me whale penises to hesitate ”. This Icelander did not take it as an insult at all, but as a way to expand his particular collection.
In 1997, he had 62 penises under his belt, a number large enough to start a museum. Then they opened the doors of the Icelandic Faloteca in Reykjavik, the capital of the island. “Right now we have about 300 penises in our collection. They come from many countries, spread across Europe, Asia and Africa ”, he explains. His latest acquisition comes precisely from Namibia: “It’s an antelope penis.”
It is by no means the most interesting specimen of those stored in the Hjartarson museum. “Perhaps the penis that most attracts the attention of our visitors is the sperm whale.” Not surprising, considering that you could share height and weight with one person: 170 centimeters and 70 kilos. At the antipodes of the sperm whale’s penis is the smallest in the museum, a hamster limb only two millimeters long.
Among the museum’s attractions is also a human penis, which they received in 2011. “It belonged to an Icelander. In addition, there is an American, an Englishman and a German who have confirmed to us that they will donate their penises to the museum ”, he says. The museum’s melting pot of male reproductive organs also travels back in time, with a 20,000-year-old member in its cabinets: “We have a cave bear penis.”
Among the 50,000 people who will have visited the Icelandic Faloteca in 2016, Hjartarson estimates that some 2,5000 come from Spain. In addition, he is very clear about the genre most interested in his collection: “Many more women are coming.” “I don’t know of any collection in the world that compares with ours,” adds the founder of the museum, now managed by his son.
Some of the specimens are stored in formalin, while many others are dissected. In addition, the museum displays three hundred artistic pieces of different materials and even replicas of real penises: the Faloteca includes a copy of the penises of the Icelandic Olympic handball team that won the silver medal in the 2008 Olympic Games. That team defeated Spain in the semifinals.
The museum also contains a catalog of erotic products of all kinds, including a series of condoms inspired by the nature of Iceland. Local designers Fridgerdur Gudmundsdottir and Kristin Birna Bjarnadottir sell their geyser, volcano and rock condoms at the Hjartason Faloteca.
His enthusiasm for the study of the virile member pushes him to claim phallology, a term that is not included in the Royal Spanish Academy of the Language. “It’s a very old science that needs a lot more attention than it gets,” says Hjartason. What could be classified as the world’s most famous penis, Rasputin’s, is not in his collection. The sexual organ of this enigmatic Russian character from the early 20th century is in a museum in St. Petersburg, although historians disagree on the authenticity of the relic.