Any dedicated hobbyist will tell you that collecting is a lifelong pursuit—one that only grows more refined, more discerning, and more difficult with time. As Anne Brockinton Lee, the wife of renowned automobile and firearm collector Robert Lee, once explained in this magazine, “I don’t think you can tell a collector, ‘okay, you’re done.’ Not a collector; they’re insatiable.” Rarely is a collection ever complete, just as the search for the next great acquisition never ends. Yet it’s precisely that refined focus that makes the discovery or acquisition of a new piece so rewarding.
At this holiday time of the year, when wishes are made in greater number and with greater resolve, we have asked a variety of collectors who specialize in popular categories to share with us the items that they would most love to acquire. From single-signed baseballs and Marvel comic books to distinctive Italian wine and vintage British motorcycles, the following stories reflect lives influenced by a passion and prized items guaranteed to please even the most discerning collector.