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I started collecting around 2005. Back then it was minimal. I had a couple used originals, but mostly reissues. I lurked on forums and eBay, searching for ones I liked but not buying much. I was just paying attention to what they were going for…big money.  

It wasn’t how much they were worth that got me into it. I’ve bought decks for $200 that I was offered $2000 for a day after I got it (I didn’t sell it btw). Its the fact of owning these rare pieces of history from a time where graphics and shapes ruled everything.

Most of these graphics are ingrained in my brain from staring at them in magazines non stop as a kid. As I grew older they now mean more then ever. We were part of something amazing in those days, the early days of the skateboarding. Theres a feeling I get when I stare at these walls that I can’t get anywhere else. It reminds me of simpler times. Nostalgia. Nothing takes me back in time like my collection.

Fast forward to 2012, and I started to get a lot more serious about things. The problem was, the decks I saw a few years back going for a few hundred were now going for much more. I set some money aside and bought a few good decks, and the rest is history. Its a very slippery slope.

I’ve spent countless hours scouring websites, eBay, craigslist, forums and creating relationships around the world just to find needles in haystacks. Every deck I buy and sell pushes the collection in different directions. I may get one deck that completely changes a lot of what I collect. Its like a ripple that turns into a wave. It might be something that doesn’t fit in at the time, but eventually I may start collecting based around that particular deck.

The moment where you find something you’ve been after forever is the best feeling. It can come out of nowhere. A lot of the decks I have I never ever thought I would find.

You have to have an “act now, figure out the finances later” attitude or you’re never going to lock down the rare ones. Most of the time if something pops up that I’m after, I jump, and then figure out something to sell to buffer it. A lot of times, I just eat the expense for the opportunity.

You’re obviously going to spend a lot of money and time making this happen. I have zero regrets when I come home from work, stand and stare at my collection. I’m transported back, and it’s an honor to hold this small piece of history in my hands.

Everything pictured is original from the late 80’s and early 90’s. I also collect a lot of mid 90’s decks which has become a secondary collection in itself. I could go on forever, but I’ll spare you and get on with some photos. A frozen moment in an ever evolving collection:

But where does Dockery begin and the equally resolute Lady Mary end? “I’m asked this a lot, but I still have to think about it. Really, I’m so different from her,” Dockery demurs. “I love that she’s so complex. She’s very modern in that sense because she’s more than a strong woman: She’s witty, vicious even. She doesn’t suffer fools, yet she’s sensitive. She’s a mixed bag, and I enjoy playing those sides of her.”

-Michelle Dockery for Miami Magazine March 2014