Biddington's Home and Search

Long-Term* Investing: Art, Antiques & Collectibles
9 Basic Rules

Jake Biddington's Investing
*Long-term equals a holding period of 10 years or more.

#1 Buy the Best You Can Afford
The best work by artists--great and not-so-great--appreciates in value more than mediocre work by the same artist. The same is true for antiques and collectibles, too. Even in a down market, prices hold-up better for the top examples of any type of object.

#2 Buy Items with a Paper Trail
A good provenance hikes the value and adds to the resale allure of an object. Two reasons: it testifies that the piece is authentic & it tells a story. People love a story.

#3 Buy Signed Objects
The signature doesn't show when you exhibit the item? Nobody sees the signature on a Cartier brooch or on the back of an abstract painting. For resale value, it must be there.

#4 Buy Items in Perfect Condition
Everybody knows stories about the huge price spread between mint-in-box toys versus ones that kids actually used. Sure, you can have a piece restored, but it will never be as desirable as something that was never damaged.

#5 Keep Items in Perfect Condition
Simple attrition is one of the basic reasons antiques have value. Over time, fewer items survive and those that have survived usually deteriorate. Your investment goes up because you take care of it.

#6 Buy Small Scale Objects
On a dollars/square inch basis, small items trade higher than big ones. This has to do with display logistics: People prefer Amish crib quilts versus full size ones, because you get the idea, and it takes half the space to show it.

#7 Buy Typical Items
Sure, you could buy a Jackson Pollock drawing showing a representational depiction of a reclining nude. When friends walk in the door, they say: "nice nude". For resale, buy a Pollock dripped painting. Friends' response: "awesome Pollock!"
(Resale market: nice nude=$X0,000; awesome Pollock=$X0,000,000)

#8 Do NOT Buy at the Top
Tempting it may be, but whatever is terminally fashionable and on everyone's tongue this week is probably not a viable long-term investment. (That's not to say you can't flip it.) If an object, period or artist you own is all over the mass media, it's time to think about unloading.

#9 Sensitize Yourself to Major Trends
Global political and economic shifts are a great clue in trend spotting: In the early 80's as OPEC's oil-pricing power declined, prices of oriental rugs took a hit. In the late 80's the price of Korean antiques skyrocketed as that Tiger economy grew. In the 90's, the fracturing of the USSR generated good interest in Stalinist memorabilia & other tchotchkas since they marked the Cold War--an era now relegated to the history books. Pick your political or economic scenario and build a portfolio of tangible investments around it.

For an insightful overview of the global economy see this:
March 2005 Peter Drucker Article

Jake Biddington's Collecting Series:
What's It Worth? Appraisals and Valuations
Investment Grade Contemporary Art
MORE Jake on Investing in Tangibles:
PPP Test: Judging Quality in Contemporary Art
Art, Time and Technology
American vs. European Paintings
Jake Biddington's Art as Entertainment
Jake Biddington's Vetted Antiques & Art Shows
Jake Biddington's Patent Numbers as a Dating Tool
Jake Biddington's Hard Assets as Portfolio Diversification
Jake Biddington's Buying Fine Jewelry at Auction
Jake Biddington's Long Term Investing
Jake Biddington's Short-Term Investing
Jake Biddington's The Craft of Art

Jake Biddington's BENTLEY Connoisseurs' Travel Series:
Art Tourism New York City 2005: Christo's Gates
Art Museums, Neighborhoods & Dining in Buenos Aires
Art and Touring along Italy's Amalfi Coast
Art Museums & Restaurants in Amsterdam
Cultural Touring along Spain's Costa del Sol
Art Touring in Lisbon
Art Touring in Milan
Art Touring in Antwerp
Art Touring in Barcelona
I-80 Park City to New York City Art & Antiques
Art Tourism New York City 2003 (Archive)
Art Tourism New York City 2002 (Archive)
Art & Wine in the Finger Lakes of New York State
Art & Antiques in Hudson, New York (Columbia County)
Art & Restaurants in Rome 2002 Update
Hartford & Wilton, Connecticut
San Francisco Jackson Square
New Hampshire Route 1A
Morris County, New Jersey

Contact Jake


Jake Biddington works on The Street and is responsible for the opinions & information in INVESTING. Young Jake, as he is known within the virtual BIDDINGTON clan, views tangibles such as fine art, antiques and jewelry as stores of value as viable as stocks or foreign currencies. He sees these items as another asset class in which to place one's money. To that end he keeps price histories and charting information on various categories of objects. He views some items as long term investments, others as items for a quick trade--and he even sees some as short sales.

COPYRIGHT: Images and information within are Copyright Biddington's, Inc. 1997-2005--except where superceded by individual copyrights of the artists.
Downloading or printing for online or print reproduction of any materials without specific written permission from Biddington's, Inc. is prohibited.

BIDDINGTON'S BENTLEY--Travel for the Art Connoisseur.  MY ART--Art for Kids.