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  • Writer's pictureSimon Adams


In the final scene of the movie Citizen Kane, Orson Welles’ 1941 classic, we are shown a vast room filled with trinkets of all sorts – a collection so large that it dwarfs the people standing amongst it. This is the personal collection of Charles Foster Kane, a media mogul who has accumulated both wealth and power throughout his life, and a man who has left the world with a riddle. On his deathbed, Kane whispers a single word: Rosebud.

As the camera pans across the room, showing us all the things that money can buy, our gaze comes to rest upon a simple wooden sled. Surely this has been put here by mistake, so out of place does it look next to the gaudy trophies of life so lavishly lived. And yet, as it is taken away and incinerated, the final twist in the tale is revealed: the sled is emblazoned with the word Rosebud. It is in fact Kane’s own childhood possession, something that he loved in the time before he had such incredible wealth.

For anyone who has ever collected anything, be it sports cards or not, this is perhaps something to which we can all relate. Whilst we may not all be so fortunate as to be as wealthy as the fictional Citizen Kane, the fact remains that for many collectors their level of disposable income will one day far exceed that which they had in their childhood – and that they too will leave behind their own personal Rosebud in search of ever grander things.

Perhaps what I am advocating is for any collector, of any level of wealth, to not forget the reasons why they started collecting in the first place. For me, it sometimes feels as if I have always been collecting something or other, and as I look upon my collections of cards, comics and records, I sometimes feel that just like Citizen Kane, I am becoming lost in a sea of ephemera and that I no longer can enjoy them in the purest sense.

Which is all very depressing, of course, and not really what you want to hear when you are spending hundreds or thousands of pounds each year on maintaining such a collection!

So, what is the solution? In my opinion, the solution is to be found in recapturing our own versions of Rosebud, whatever they may be.

Some of my earliest memories, for example, are of the thrill I felt when opening packets of Premier League stickers and seeing stars such as Alan Shearer, Eric Cantona and Ryan Giggs peeking out – stickers which you can find today on eBay for a relative song in comparison to the pieces I commonly look for these days!

My final thought would be to implore you to ask yourself this one simple question: what is my Rosebud? The answer to this question may just take you back to the source of why you started collecting in the first place, and from that place, you may find a greater appreciation for its simple pleasures.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find a packet of World Cup stickers to open!

Written By:

Simon Adams:


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