The past becomes an investment

The past becomes an investment

A Barovier&Toso chandelier auctioned for 20 thousand euros. A Gio Ponti’s Singer chairs valued between 8 and 12 thousand euros.

A Patek Philippe watch at 30 thousand. As well as the 5-pound gold coin, coined in 1839 to celebrate the beginning of Queen Victoria’s reign, auctioned in Montecarlo for 1,148,000 dollars.

These are just a few examples of investments in antiques, modern antiques and collectables.

This is a world that you need to know to be able to do real deals: “My advice is to always rely on professionals in the sector, whether you are dealing with furniture, giftware, accessories, or genuine collectables”, suggests Ivan Tresoldi, a Milanese owner of a specialised shop.

“We are talking about a higher level, certainly not the piece, however rare and valuable, found on the Sunday market stall.

To make a real investment, it is better to turn to renowned antique and modern antique shops or specialised auctions held in Italy or on international markets”, adds the expert.

So how do you orient yourself to buy a valuable piece that lasts over time?

“First of all, it is important to understand how the market works nowadays: antique, 18th and 19th century paintings, for example, are more popular with major foreign investors in emerging markets.

Oriental art, on the other hand, which can reach considerable quotations, is mainly sought after by Chinese buyers or even in the United States, where it is perhaps more popular than in Europe”, Tresoldi summarises.

“However, in the northern countries of our continent, tastes are different, compared to the Mediterranean area, and already in Switzerland, for example, Oriental or ancient African art is much more appreciated”.

The discourse for Italian taste is different: “We are in a phase where modern art is popular, so the great 20th century artists: Guttuso, Piero Manzoni, and Alberto Burri, are always investments.

Buying a Giorgio Morandi, whose value starts at 5,000 and can reach a value of 30,000 euro, is always a good deal. But if we have the walls of our house already occupied, we can bet on Murano vases from the 1930s, which start at auctions at 20 thousand euros. Because having a Venini or rather a Gallé in the house is always prestigious”, suggests the expert.

The discourse regarding collectables in the strict sense is different: “Watches, some of which are real status symbol, can be worn as accessories, of course. But there is a whole series of other objects that still represent a good investment today: I am thinking of antique books, which many people like, or the more classical coins, some of which are really rare and made of precious metal, so they have a double value, collectible and investment, in fact.

And for the true experts, the so-called postal history: there are envelopes franked and travelled in the 1800s that, for their values, for their stamps, for the date in which they were mailed, can reach between 4 and 5 thousand euros in auctions, but also reach several tens of thousands of euros.

Of course, they must then be placed in suitable containers and stored with care.

A Louis XIV trumeau to be displayed in an important entrance hall is a different matter: it furnishes and gives a classical touch to one's home”, Tresoldi concludes.

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