According to a recent article from The Times Online, antiques sales have dropped by 21% in 2009 as a direct result of the credit crisis. It has also been a difficult year for antique furniture, with prices dropping by as much as 7%. However, the industry is starting to fight back.
London, regarded as the trading centre for the top end antiques market, is set to see the launch of some international antiques fairs this year. An antiques industry commentator, Ivan Macquisten of Antiques Trade Gazette, said:
‘There is scope for more (fairs) to come in. Whether they will all do well is another matter.’
It was the sale of an Eileen Gray art deco chair in Paris, from the estate of Yves Saint Laurent, that bucked the trend back in February last year where a bidder paid a record £19m for the antique chair. However, this was a high point in a generally very low year that saw a high profile antiques fair at Grosvenor House in London get cancelled, after it had been going for 75 years.
It was obviously the celebrity connection and the named designer that helped to produce a very respectable price at auction in Paris for the art deco chair, in what has been referred to by the Antique Collectors Club as a ‘difficult year’ for antique furniture. However, leading dealer Thomas Woodham-Smith said:
‘We feel it’s incredibly important – not just for our business, but for London – to stop the slide.’
Despite difficulties in the capital, buying antiques for investment and profit has become a British pastime. Reasonable prices, and the availability of quality antique furniture elsewhere in the country, can mean buying antique chairs in Lancashire at competitive prices in preparation for a resurgence in the market.
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