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By STEPHEN COHU Director, Stephen Cohu Antiques


Investinginantiques andcollectables.


"Works by highly regarded 20th century British artists, such as this large bronze sculpture by Barbara Hepworth, have proved to be exceptional investments over the last thirty years."


Anyone can invest in antiques and collectables. Whatever your budget, it can be fun and exciting to furnish and decorate your home with items you have sourced yourself from antiques dealers, galleries or auction sales. Indeed, many great collections started with one spontaneous purchase. Bank statements and share certificates don’t make good wall decoration and if you are concerned about your carbon


footprint, antiques have impeccable green credentials.


In times of low interest rates and great uncertainty in the financial markets, antiques and art can be a great way of both investing for potential gain and a way of surrounding yourself with wonderful objects and artworks that will be loved and admired every day.


Page 94 Money & Investment


Investing in fine antiques, art and collectables is not immune from risk and the antiques and art market are subject to regular change in taste and fashion. For the serious investor or collector, there are rules that apply to minimise risk and maximise potential return. These should ensure that even if trends change, capital will at least be preserved. Get it right and returns could be significant.


1. Buy the best you can afford. In a rising market, the best or rarest examples will increase in value faster than average,


common or poor quality items. The best examples will always be the most desired and the most highly prized. In a falling market, where for example, an item has been a victim of changing trends or fashion, prices for the best will hold up much better than for poor examples. Remember, if it was cheap when it was made it should usually be cheap now.


2. Buy only items that are in perfect condition or are in the best condition to be found for the particular item. For


"A rare and unusual pair of Victorian Staffordshire dogs. These have lost two thirds of their value since the beginning of this century, down from £450 to £150."


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