I have a thing for vintage silverplate. Sugars, napkin rings, teapots, mugs, bowls, pitchers, serving pieces. I love the aethetic designs engraved in these old pieces. They are often tarnished, dinged, or missing their lids. The darker, the better. I can't stand things polished and shiney! They still retain the beautiful detail applied to them so many years ago. This pic is of a few pieces that sit behind the counter at my store. Since I can almost always get these pieces for a few dollars, I think I must be the only person around that collects them, or I am very lucky.
My apologies to those people who come in to the store and ask to buy these personal treasures. (I have a shelf that hangs above these pieces and it is full of ravens, toys, pottery and misc weird stuff.) It happens on almost a daily basis. Yes, I do have a sign that reads: NOT FOR SALE on the shelf. But, still people get upset at me about not selling these items. Many of the pieces are gifts given to me by customers and friends. Other items are things my daughter and I have selected to keep after a day of treasure hunting.
My suggestion to those people- start a collection of your own. Whether it be alarm clocks, bakelite pieces, or Mickey Mouse figures, find something that speaks to you. Maybe something that evokes good memories from your childhood. Display three or more of them on a shelf. The rule thumb is to keep the number of items ODD (not even). Pile small items into a vintage bowl or glass jar. I like to display things that are the same color, age, or kind. I have a collection of door knobs on a shelf in my kitchen. Others are piled into a ceramic bowl in our living room. Not what a typical person would expect to see on one's living room coffee table, but anyone who comes over ends up loving them as much as we do!
Good luck treasure hunting and enjoy your treasures by displaying them!