In the course of my over three decades of antique santo collecting, I wish I could say I have seen everything, been there, done that. But as they say, collecting takes a lifetime, and you never really stop looking around. That's collector's instinct!
But I certainly have seen a lot, and this article is all about that—the things my eyes have seen through all these years—beautiful santos, ugly santos, folk santos, elaborate tableaus. Then there are the antique shop pieces that I could not afford, pictures of ivories e-mailed to me for my consideration, heirlooms for sale by families, tabletop images peddled by middlemen. And what about those santos that got away? I have since retired from santo collecting, but whenever I see these pictures, I still get a tinge of regret, leading me to ask myself—now, why didn’t I get that? I don’t even know what happened to these santos—most of them, I presumed must have been sold, re-sold or in still on somebody’s shelves, as these were taken many years ago.