The members of the Lane miniature box collecting community are - let's just say - an anti-social group. In fact, you could say the community doesn't exist at all because there is no evidence on-line, with the exception of this site, any serious box collecting is occurring. Given Americans collect almost anything, from rocks to Pez candy dispensers, it is likely the collectors are out there but just not active on-line. This website was designed, in large part, to find collectors and connect them to each other.
Evidence suggests women who received miniatures as a gifts upon graduation remember the gesture fondly and definitely cherish the boxes. Websites and social media platforms dedicated to "the good 'ole days" often mention the boxes and ladies share their memories and stories about the special little gifts and how much the boxes still mean to them - a very romantic notion. Still, years of combing the internet and contributing to these conversations has not turned up one single serious "collector" of these boxes. A "collector" would be defined as an individual with a keen interest in the boxes and generally someone who owns several examples of the boxes.
In collecting, there's got to be a point, right? People don't collect things that are homogeneous. Collectors often attempt to complete or add to their collection by adding items that are rare or different. What's the fun in having a bunch of items that are exactly the same? Although few people recognize it, the Lane miniatures have many collectible features.
As found in the Box Variation Chronology area of this site, 11 distinct variations of Lane miniatures have been classified. And, within these variations, there are even more features that can be used to separate the classifications even further. One "collector" (let's call her Carol) made mention on the Lane Mini Cedar Chests Facebook page (see link on the Home page) that she would like to find a box stamped with a dealer from all 50 states. See, now that's something to strive for...and it appears Lane did have a dealer in all 50 states! Carol will find, during her quest, that she will likely have several of the 11 variations in her collection by the time she reaches her 50th box. We look forward to sharing stories from Carol and many others like her that are fascinated by the Lane miniature box story.
In lieu of an area on this site for viewer dialogue (coming soon), please direct your communication about collecting to the Contact area of this site. Information will ultimately be shared on this site with the community. Additionally, an area for women to share their box gifting stories is in the works.
As always, more to come - keep checking back and please reach out in the Contact area!