Does it have to contain rare items? By all means NO. A well laid out and accurately labeled display of Army Good Conduct Medals with maybe a few photos of the recipients, is much more appealing to a viewer, than say, a rare British Victoria Cross just tossed in a case and thrown on the table. After all, most viewers can relate better to the common items and wound have a greater interest in them.
Does it have to be real? Real is better, but not required. When using a reproduction to fill a void in a collection or display, please just label it as such. We don’t want to confuse anybody. Many fine museums use reproductions for many reasons when an original is not available or non practical.
Can I sell items off a display table? Absolutely NOT, display tables are just that, for display only! We charge less for display tables for two reasons, first to encourage setting up a display, and second, to help the collector in the expense of doing such, since he’s not making any money. Good displays are hard work. It is also not fair to a dealer, who had to pay full price for his tables. You could basically undercut a dealer’s prices since your expenses wound be less. Anybody caught selling of a display table will be charged full table rate and banned from displaying again.
Are there prizes for best display? Yes, we present a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place plaque along with a small cash award for each.
Who judges the displays? We try to use three judges each time, and we try to use new ones each show if possible, sometimes this is hard to do because finding judges can be tough. We encourage judges to view displays without drawing attention to whom they are. Yes you’ll see me taking pictures of the displays for the newsletter, but that does not mean I’m judging them. I’m also the guy who is making up the certificates and logging the displays down. Any TMCA member who is in good standing and has a good knowledge of collecting can request to be a judge. See Bill Price or myself (Dave Hoagey) if you’re interested. One more thing, if Larry is setting up a display, don’t expect to see his brother “Darrell” and his other brother “Darrell” become judges. We try to keep things as neutral as possible. Favoritism is not the goal, history and education is.
I see some of the same “great” displays at many shows, do they win every time? We do not discourage repeat displays since they always have a great value to fellow collectors and to the public. We do encourage changes if possible with repeat displays and judge them appropriately. We try not to give the same award out for the same display multiple times for obvious reasons. We all remember the late Richard Cornwell’s wonderful display of Machine Guns, he won numerous awards over the years with them and they added a nice touch to our show. But let’s face it, Richard set up at approximately 56 of our shows (not to mention hundreds of local gun shows) with the same display of guns. We could not possibly have given him an award every time.
A nice display of:
British .303 Pattern 1914 MK 1 Rifles
By Rick Moody
Note: The guns are displayed in a nice 3D effect to catch the eye. They are well labeled and identified, and Rick is usually sitting beside them, and is always eager to share his knowledge with anyone who has a question.