The Times of London does its readers a service by surveying the markets for collectibles. It would seem everyone is revaluing their assets these days. So they went to Judith Miller who runs Miller’s guides and she gave them her take on the furniture and tableware markets:
Judith Miller, of Miller’s Antiques & Collectables Price Guides, says that furniture prices have suffered, with traditional “brown” furniture doing particularly badly.
The exception, she says, is 20thcentury design in original condition — especially Scandinavian pieces. Prices for these have climbed steadily. However, she adds: “There are a few early indications of a slowdown in the area. For example, a couple of good pieces by Charles and Ray Eames underperformed in recent sales.”
Nick McElhatton, of Christie’s, says that run-of-the-mill Georgian furniture is terrific value, selling at about half the prices of ten years ago: “It is simple, classic stuff that looks good in contemporary interiors and will always come back into vogue. You can pick up a wardrobe for £600 to £800. That is much more affordable than the Conran Shop, for example, and gets you a true one-off.”
Verdict: Buy Georgian; hold contemporary
Ceramics, glass and silver
Ms Miller says that it is a similar picture for tableware, with prices down for everything that is not rare or contemporary. She points out that 18th-century Irish silver is still “strong” and there is increasing interest in 20th-century glass, especially Czechoslovakian and Murano pieces.
Meanwhile, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported this month that prices for antique silver were up overall, as many investors turned to the metal as a safe haven.
Ms Miller tips 18th-century glass as especially cheap and likely to recover. Also anything art nouveau. “It’s out of fashion, but this is another market that keeps coming back,” she says.
Verdict: Buy 18th-century and contemporary glass and 18th-century silver from rarer Assay Offices, such as Dublin. Otherwise hold.
Is Now the Right Time to Cash In on Collectibles? (Times of London)