Your art-collecting clients are likely to pick up helpful but hard-to-follow advice on building their collections.
“Buy the highest-quality objects you can afford” is one adage they’re likely to hear. But that guidance makes sense, because it’s often the top end of markets that attracts wealthy collectors and offers the greatest potential for long-term price appreciation.
“Build your collection around a theme” is another piece of oft-repeated advice.
This, also, is helpful, since a collection with a thematic structure can provide investors with greater aesthetic rewards and may attract a wider audience of potential buyers than non-themed collections.
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For some fine art categories, though, implementing this advice is almost impossible for all but the wealthiest collectors. Most clients can’t afford to build collections of six- and seven-figure contemporary art pieces, for instance.
One way to reconcile the conflict is to focus on collectibles with wider price ranges, such as glass art, that still provide investors with the pleasures of collecting and also have potential for profit.
Collecting glass art in earnest has been popular since the 1970s, according to Nicholas Dawes, vice president of special collections with Heritage Auctions in Dallas. This market is dominated by Americans, says the expert, who has written “Lalique Glass” and other works on the subject.
Dawes, who focuses mainly on glass art from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, between around 1890 to the late-1930s, points to Louis Comfort Tiffany and René Lalique as two of the best-known makers of glass art.
There are several benefits to collecting glass art, he says.
First, it’s popular, with numerous collectors and international museums, with many books dedicated to the leading artists’ works.
In addition, collecting can be the focal point of educational vacations, as some Lalique and Tiffany collectors center their European vacations on glass hunting and museum visits, according to Dawes.