For love or money: why we collect antiques
Much of what we buy loses value: cars, clothes, and furniture. Houses are a major exception but you can often include art, antiques and vintage pieces as well. Around the world, thousands of antique dealers and antique stores invest their money in items they feel will deliver a profit and a return on their investment. They sell to collectors or those wanting to decorate their homes with antiques. Everyone in this industry must pay close attention to what they are buying, however. It is largely what they are buying that will decide the financial value of what they have bought in the future.
The world of antiques is not different than any other industry in that it is determined by the balance of supply and demand. If something becomes desirable, there are buyers who will pay a price for it. As demand exceeds supply, prices rise. If something is less desirable, supply exceeds demand so it will fall in value and often remain unsold.
Why the lesson in supply and demand? Well, some collectors buy objects in the hope that they will come back into fashion in the future. But this is a waiting game and those take time. Smart collectors, for example, realized the importance and appeal of art deco furniture in the 1960s when it was barely 30 years old. However, it took another 20 or 30 years for it to become widely popular, valuable and sought-after. Collecting changes so what was once highly prized even 5 years ago can be sold for cheap today. It fluctuates so you just never know.
This brings us to collecting antiques for the pure love of it. Collecting can be an investment for yourself, with the objects reflecting your story, your life and loves and even where you come from. Rather than decorating your home with what antiques are “on trend” you might be filling it with things that have meaning. In a world dominated by consumerism and mass production, antiques help give individuality to the person who owns it. Your friends won’t have one, which makes it a good conversation piece and shows you are connected to other cultures and time periods.
Craftsmanship is another important angle when you collect antiques. It really is true in the antique world that they don’t make them like they used to. Antiques can be good for the planet because these items have a long shelf life. You simply cannot always place a financial figure on the reasons why you buy or collect; sometimes you simply just love an item.
It’s okay to buy antiques for investment, but its real value lies in the fact that we simply love and treasure it and there is nothing at all wrong with that. When you are looking for antiques, visit your local antique store like Antique Allure in Southampton. We are experienced in the antique world and we, like you, collect for sentimental reasons too. Buy what you love and love what you buy. You will never be disappointed that way.