Home' Scoop Homes and Art : Insite 24 Autumn 2010 Contents 186 INSITE AUTUMN
There's good and bad news for
the antiques scene this year:
international experts are predicting
a buyers' market with furniture
and art being offered up at great prices in
exchange for fast cash, while Perth dealers
are celebrating a period of booming prices.
International antiques expert and
editor of leading UK publication Antiques
Trade Gazette Ivan Macquisten says the
global situation is thanks to a continuing
"challenging" economic climate.
"In terms of art and antiques, I would
expect to see more high-quality, mid-
range pieces of furniture and works of
art consigned for sale by those who need
liquidity," explains Ivan. "People selling
will realise that they will have to price items
competitively to create any sort of interest
and, hopefully, bidding battles. But it also
means that it could be a year of fantastic
bargains for those who are ready to buy."
Perth dealers are continuing to highlight
the strength of sales, particularly auctions,
where "prices are going ballistic". However,
Fremantle antiques specialist Lauder & Howard
says bargains can still be found at a local
level, pointing to an influx of unfashionable
items on the market. "People are getting rid
of things they bought in the 70s and 80s,
such as Victorian furniture and mahogany
furniture, and there's just no market for
these items," says manager Matthew Lucas.
Back in Europe, Ivan points to one area
that isn't experiencing the downturn:
Chinese works of art. And Matthew agrees
these pieces are not only the biggest
international boom sector, but also highly
sought at a local level.
"Chinese porcelain from the 18th and
early 19th centuries is being sought by
Chinese buyers among others," he explains.
"So much was destroyed in China during
the Cultural Revolution that there is a trend
towards buying back their history.
"Secondly, much of this porcelain was
made for the export market in Europe,
particularly Holland and England, so is not
that familiar to contemporary Chinese who
do not have a recent history of collecting," he
says. "As China becomes more affluent, the
wealthy are interested in collecting objects
that have cultural resonance to them, much
of which must be sourced from abroad."
e trick to getting your hands on the
works, Ivan says, is to "spot where the
treasures lie hidden without the trade and
Chinese collectors finding them first".
"With so many sales being conducted via
the internet these days, on sites like the-
saleroom.com, finding a 'sleeper' is proving
more difficult," he says.
For those who can't compete in the
competitive Chinese market, Ivan says
to look to other sectors, such as: English
portraiture -- "pricing remains keen and
there seems to be more of a taste for what
is proving a pretty solid market at the
moment"; Modern British paintings and
prints -- "pre- and post-war pictures for a
number of artists have been undervalued
for a while now"; and well-made pieces
of oak and walnut furniture -- "there are
probably more bargains to be had in this
sector than any other".
TEXT: Georgina Walsh Lauder & Howard (08) 9335 3856, lauderandhoward.com.au.
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