Fine art, antiques and collectables are viewed by many as investment opportunities, and with a little care, the returns can be significant over time. Investment aside, buying art and antiques is a great way to acquire something beautiful and unique to display in your home.
Here are some of the categories we expect to see trending in 2023.
Appreciation for Caribbean art has gathered momentum in recent years. The Caribbean Artists Movement (CAM) was active from 1966 to 1972 and celebrated the cultural achievements of Caribbean artists, offering an empowering sense of nationhood to those who had emigrated to London. Although the movement itself was only active for a few years, its impact was great and birthed a new recognition and appreciation of Caribbean art as its own cultural and artistic genre.
The work of these early artists has influenced and inspired the Caribbean artists of today. Over the years, Caribbean art has heavily engaged with its cultural history, becoming a melting pot of influences from different islands, colonies, heritages, and tribes. Today, Caribbean artists have continued to embrace these historical roots through the incorporation of bright colours and tropical imagery into their work, with pieces by the likes of Art Derry and Aubrey Williams, growing hugely in popularity in recent years.
The gold sovereign is a British gold coin that has been struck since 1817, and originally had a nominal value of £1 Sterling. It was originally a circulated coin that was accepted as currency, but today is much sought after by collectors. All sovereigns have a baseline gold value, but the rarer the coin, the higher it's value and the more collectable it is. Coins such as the George III 1819 sovereign is famously rare, with only 10 said to be in existance, and thus worth considerably more than most other sovereigns.
Throughout times of economic instability, people look to gold for it's stability and security, particularly against inflation which is prevalent today. Therefore, gold coins and sovereigns are something we expect to be very popular with buyers and sellers this year.
As the ways in which we choose to socialise have evolved, we have moved on from the age of large dinner parties, and formal occasions are less common. This coupled with the current strong market value of silver, makes selling canteens a popular option for those looking to declutter and make some money.
The value of silver has been strong for some time now, and as more canteens are melted down for their bullion value, the value of the remaining silver cutlery continue to increase in value. Today, canteens have become highly collectable and can be worth thousands of pounds.
The wonderful Scandinavian designs of silversmith Georg Jensen (1866-1935), are more popular today than ever. Praised for his artistry, simplicity and craftmanship, Jensen has become more than just an artist, and today is a highly regarded brand with millions of people from around the world investing in the name alone. What began as a small silversmith business, now boasts huge shop fronts on high-end streets of London, New York, and Copenhagen.
Timeless, simple, and beautiful, the work of Georg Jensen encompasses all the things that makes Scandinavian design so popular, and his legacy so great.
The demand for Studio Pottery has boomed in recent years. Buyers are attracted to the the rustic textures and finely potted details that these pieces are known for. Generally, each piece is unique and tell its own story, making for characterful and personal pieces. One of the most appealing qualities of studio pottery is the creativity, and imaginative ways in which potters work their clay. It's versatility is what makes the process so exciting, and when it comes to ceramics, there is really something for everyone, no matter your taste or budget.
Whilst high-end collectors continue to be drawn by the likes of Hans Coper and Lucie Rie, more and more people are discovering the charm of hand-made pottery, recognising its somewhat romantic qualities that simply cannot be matched by mass-produced ceramics.
Over the last 30 years, the art and antiques market has seen a notable trend in pieces 'going home', with buyers from other countries buying back their heritage. This has been particularly prevalent with the Chinese art market, with Chinese collectors buying back pieces that were exported from China hundreds of years previously. The same trend has emerged with Maltese art and antiques, as collectors in Malta scour the globe, keen to buy back items originating from the archipelago.
In the 1990s, a new generation of buyers entered the market, coindicing with the 1989 release of Joe Galea Naudi’s highly influential book ‘Antique Maltese Furniture’. With the book as a guide, the decade saw significantly more appreciation for Maltese Furniture (and art in general) and a transformative increase in prices. What was once disregarded and sold at lower values, is now keenly contested by buyers who were prepared to pay serious money for the pleasure of displaying these historical pieces in their homes.
The word ‘etch’ stems back to the Germanic word for ‘eat’ and has been adapted to describe a form of art that uses the process of acid eating away at metal to form a template that can be used for printing. Having first been practiced in Southern Germany in the early 1500s, the method quickly made its way over to Europe and has been developed ever since.
The process involves using an etching needle to scratch the desired image into a varnish-coated metal plate known as the ‘ground’, before bathing it in acid to create recesses in the metal. The longer the acid is left, the more the metal erodes, allowing the artist to experiment with depth and tone. In an intaglio process, the final stage involves applying ink to the ground, removing the excess, and using a roller to press it onto paper to create the final impression.
Etching has developed over the many hundreds of years it has been around, but the fundamentals remain the same. Being a chemical process, it is a method that enhances the surfaces contrast and grain boundaries, allowing you to experiment in a way that traditional drawing and painting does not. With its historical background and the many hours that are dedicated to the craft, it remains an innovative and sophisticated form of art across Europe.
Rene Lalique (1860-1945) is known as one of the finest glassmakers of all time. Lalique’s original pieces include vases, bowls, scent bottles, jewellery and ornaments. Originals made during his lifetime are rare today and are considered to be the most valuable, often selling for thousands or even tens of thousands of pounds.
Whilst the ‘modern’ pieces that were made after Rene Lalique’s death in 1945, are generally less valuable than the originals, Lalique Glassware have worked hard to move with the times whilst also maintaining their traditional high standards. Various collaborations with market leading perfume and whisky manufacturers have brough the brand firmly up-to-date, as well as creating the ultimate luxury objects.
Today, Lalique is a powerful icon of expertise and extraordinary craftmanship. Through taking the essence of Rene Lalique’s phenomenal artistry and applying it to their new designs, Lalique have created a brand that perfectly captures authentic, Parisian luxury.
When it comes to Scoth whisky, Macallan are right at the top of the tree. Founded in 1824, they were one of the first distilleries in Speyside to acquire a license. Macallan set up shop on a 390-acre estate in the Scottish Highlands, famously taking a ‘live off the land’ approach to their distillery methods, going so far as to extract their own water from the springs beneath the estate.
Scotland is famously the home of whisky, and it is Macallan’s rich history and distinguished, full-bodied fruitiness that has given it a reputation as one of the top investments amongst whisky collectors in recent years. In fact, it is so sought after that the auction record held for a bottle of Macallan, is for a 1926 bottle that sold for $1.9 million in 2019.
For years, people have preserved and collected celebrity autographs only to find years later that many have little value. In terms of signed memorabilia, items signed by important historical figures are some of the most sought after you can find today. Whilst a signature alone may be worth a significant amount, the value could be further increased if the item signed is of particular relevance to the person who signed it. This was the case for George Washington’s signed copy of the US constitution that sold for an incredible $9.8 million in 2012.
Now is a great time to sell your signed historical memorabilia. For those who have collected wisely, it is possible they are sitting on a small fortune. If you have any autographed memorabilia of historical importance, 2023 might just be the time to sell it.
Do you have any art or antiques that you are looking to sell?
The team of experts at Dawsons are always happy to provide a free appraisal in person at our saleroom in London, our valuation office in Berkshire, or from the comfort of your own home via a home visit or our online valuation service.
Please do get in touch, we would love to hear from you.
0207 431 9445 email@example.com