A recent article in Personal Finance by Jo-Marie Rabe suggested that good pieces of antique furniture were still getting substantial prices at auction throughout the recession. Sales in South Africa earlier this year saw a local 18th century buffet made in coromandel wood by Johannes Casparus Lotter sell for a third more than its estimated price. It fetched R950,000; the equivalent of around £83,000.
The point of the article was that good quality antique furniture seems to make record prices particularly during or at the end of an economic recession and she quoted the Eileen Gray chair which sold last year in Paris for $28million. However, provisos are that pieces will only reach record prices if they are exceptionally rare, have a good provenance and the condition is superb.
She looks back to the 18th century which she refers to as the ‘golden age of craftsmanship’ in furniture terms where materials, sophisticated design, and the skill of cabinetmakers meant quality was unsurpassed. However, she adds that these pieces need to really be in untouched condition where patinas can be ruined through Restoration; its provenance a piece’s history has to be in place; and a piece should be rare although not too rare as a price needs to be fixed somewhere.
These fabulous pieces don’t come up for sale often. However international consultants Deloittes are advising that now is an opportunity for buyers to invest in the more general end of the antique furniture market. When looking for investment potential, there are good opportunities to find quality antique cabinets and antique bookcases in Lancashire and Cumbria.
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