The Journey of Collecting Cows – How the Cow Collection started
Hello and welcome to my Cow Collection page. My name is Carol Tan and I have loved cows since I was 17. I have only milked a cow about 4 times in my life and never lived on a farm. I currently have Australia’s Largest Cow Collection (4,073 official cows in December 2016) awarded by the Australian Book of Records. On the 23rd of May 2015, I set a new Guinness World Record for the Largest Collection of Cow-Related Items, consisting of 3,206 unique cows.
Check out the video of my cow collection below!!!
So, why do I collect cows? I don’t know. It’s just something I am passionate about 🙂 In 1997, a friend said to me, “How Now Brown Cow?” and that got the ball rolling. I then started referring to people as cows (I know that is weird, but its more like a term of endearment although I heard that calling a woman a cow is rude).
I started collecting seriously from 2005 and have managed to collect more than 4000 items. I also have cows in Malaysia but I have not catalogued that yet. I travel the world to collect cows (not exclusively to buy cows but I do have a pretty strong cow-dar when I am on holiday). My cows come from Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, China, South Korea), Europe (Italy, Switzerland, UK, France, Spain), North America (Boston, NYC), South America (Colombia), and of course Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth). I also buy cows from opportunity shops such as Vinnies, Salvos, eBay and online retailers. Since I’ve been featured in the media, numerous people have also generously given me their cowlections as they are no longer cow collecting! Thank you Kezza from Maffra, Jan from Wodonga and Cathy from NSW! *so blessed* I also met a really nice lady from Shepparton, Helen, who had the most amazing antique pieces – she thought it was best to sell it to someone who would take care of her collection. There were 3 particularly unique items which were made between 1855 and 1910!
My love for cows was also an influencing factor in my decision for buying property. One of my friend’s was walking through the North Melbourne suburb and told me about a House of Angus boutique apartment development, which had a display unit. I was extremely excited and went to view this place, talked to the agent and took their marketing materials which were all cow themed. Each apartment was even named after a cow breed such as Friesian, Angus, Highland & the Wagyu. The display unit was also decked out with cow paintings! It was my idea of heaven. However, given that we should not make emotional decisions in relation to investment, I decided to walk away (also because it was out of my price range).
Funnily, exactly ONE year later, as I was looking at potential properties in a variety of suburbs, I randomly searched “House of Angus” just to see what had happened to this development. There were still about 4 apartments left, and the price seemed right this year. I decided to buy the “Burlina”, an Italian black and white cow which is plump and short (just like me!). I guess you could say that this is my most expensive cow related item! Was this an emotional decision? I would say no, as I had consulted with many people regarding this property without telling them the name and everyone thought it was a good decision :). I am happy! The name of the apartment is just the icing on the cake.
Some might call me crazy, but do you know that the Greeks did not write obituaries? They asked one question after a man died, ‘Did he have passion?’ So I guess, you could say that I wear my passion on my sleeve, my house, my office, my car, and everywhere you can think possible *wink*
Thank you to my family, friends, colleagues, and students who have contributed to my collection and the cow counting process which took months to finish 🙂 The cow family wouldn’t have grown so rapidly without everyone’s contribution!