why don't you... carve out a gallery space with painted stripes?
Spotting this image of built-in display shelves, (designed by Todd Romano, Jan '07 Elle Decor), I was suddenly inspired. One doesn't need built-ins to create a graphic display to showcase a collection -- probably not platters, but hats; mirrors; or prints/ photos.... It would be fairly simple to 1) put up some molding to frame a blank section of wall; 2) paint three wide stripes, and 3) display your pieces in 3 x 6 grid. Optional, 4) Take a cue from Romano, and center the largest pieces.
It would be really beautiful to paint light stripes on dark walls. . .