Articles & Valuation News

How to Value: Russian Painting
Since Russian art was reintroduced to the western art market in the late 1980s there has been a growing interest in the repatriation of Russian art of all periods, a trend powered by the growing purchasing power of Russian collectors. With this trend, previously underappreciated names are also becoming mainstream among western collectors which is only increasing the value of Russian paintings. Read More »

Learn About: Russian Painting
Until the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the iron curtain was a firm barrier between Russian art and the markets of the world. Today, Russian painting is highly prized across the world and its history, particularly during the soviet era, is an area of thriving academic study. Read More »

How to Value: Old Master Paintings
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a genuine painting by a renowned Old Master could be worth a small fortune; recently, the Salvator Mundi, the so-called “last da Vinci”, sold for the record price of $450 million at Christies, New York. There’s more to Old Masters, however, than these enormously valuable examples and many Old Masters can be found on the market closer to real-world prices. Read More »

Learn About: Old Master Paintings
For many people, the likes of Rembrandt, Raphael, Rubens or Reynolds are names confined to the walls of galleries and museums, and while paintings by such famous artists are few and far between on the market, their style as ‘Old Masters’ does feature in many private collections too. Encompassing a huge time-period and variety of styles, this is also one of the most diverse categories of painting. Read More »

How to Value: Painting
In recent decades paintings and art more generally have become a prominent area for financial investment as more and more collectors from across the world join the market for fine art. This has in turn boosted the desire for new works not known to the market, making pieces that have gone unsold for years particularly important. Read More »

Learn About: Painting
Historically, fine art has been dominated by painting, and while there have been claims over the last 50 years that painting is declining as a medium for contemporary artists, paintings remain at the forefront of the art market as its most ubiquitous form. Read More »

How to Value: Vintage Fashion
Vintage clothing has only grown in popularity over the last decade, making it more than just the latest fad. Backed up by big name stars and facilitated by rapidly growing fashion sale websites and apps like Depop and Thredup, while many vintage pieces still have a modest second-hand value, there’s bound to be a buyer out there whatever you’re selling. This said, some vintage fashion has real value to it and the challenge is sorting the quick buck from the valuable sale. Read More »

Learn About: Vintage Fashion
Trying to decide which items of clothing and accessories ‘count’ as vintage fashion is a challenging task; the market and tastes for vintage are new and evolving even if the clothing in question isn’t. But the current vintage craze hasn’t come from nothing, as any other fashion trend it takes inspiration from history and from other aspects of popular culture like film and television. Read More »

How to Value: Sculpture
Sculpture is an area of enormous variation, having been a medium for expression since pre-history; add to this their appeal as 3D, displayable art and sculpture becomes a key component of many collections. Collectors look for sculpture in all kinds of media and most are also valued as decorative pieces to the general market. The key to a sculpture’s special value may lie in its maker, its rarity or its subject matter but aspects such as condition will always also have an impact. Read More »

Learn About: Sculpture
Sculpture is one of the most universal forms of visual art, found on modern mantlepieces and sideboards as well as in medieval churches and in museums of prehistoric carving. Although many might think of great renaissance sculptors like Michelangelo or classical works in white marble, there has been a rich history of sculpture since this golden age which is more accessible to anyone interested in owning a piece of sculpture. Read More »

How to Value: Watches
As items of both luxury and popularity, many watches are high value items. The reputation attached to watches as retirement gifts and as objects of high society has made them into symbols of wealth and elegance that appeal to many collectors and the wider public. But watches are not that straightforward, they are ubiquitous, and their quality varies greatly: some watches have aged better than others and there is always the challenge of finding the classics of the future. Read More »

Learn About: Watches
Despite their popularity today, the history of the wristwatch only stretches back about 100 years. Designing a portable means of telling the time has always been sought after though and the story of watches is a social history from aristocratic and scientific beginnings to a 20th century people’s timepiece. Read More »

How to Value: Watches
As items of both luxury and popularity, many watches are high value items. The reputation attached to watches as retirement gifts and as objects of high society has made them into symbols of wealth and elegance that appeal to many collectors and the wider public. But watches are not that straightforward, they are ubiquitous, and their quality varies greatly: some watches have aged better than others and there is always the challenge of finding the classics of the future. Read More »

Learn About: Watches
Despite their popularity today, the history of the wristwatch only stretches back about 100 years. Designing a portable means of telling the time has always been sought after though and the story of watches is a social history from aristocratic and scientific beginnings to a 20th century people’s timepiece. Read More »

How to Value: Pop & Film Memorabilia
Often emerging out of an emotional attachment to the music, stories and characters associated with film stars and musicians, pop and film memorabilia are serious passions of many collectors. As film and music have become more a part of collectors’ childhoods and adult lives, their memorabilia have grown in popularity and value. In this market, big names and big personalities usually point towards high values, sometimes for apparently trivial items. Read More »

Learn About: Pop & Film
Over the course of the 20th century, cinema and television brought the personalities and characters of Hollywood and the recording studio into the public consciousness like never before. The modern concept of the ‘fan’ was born along with cult followings that continued long after acting or film careers came to an end. Today, there is a market for anything closely related to the film and music industries from smashed guitars to decorative posters to costumes. Read More »

How to Value: Sports Memorabilia
By and large, sports memorabilia have very little intrinsic value as objects but get their worth from their association with people, places or particular events. Trophies are sometimes an exception to this rule, as are works of art, but in general unless made by a particularly well-renowned artist or silversmith, these items will be considered primarily in their sporting context. Do not be surprised to see a rare cigarette card sell for more than an unremarkable silver trophy in this market! Read More »

Learn About: Sports Memorabilia
Sports memorabilia collecting is one of the most open categories of collecting, drawing in casual and keen collectors alike, united by their love of sports. While sports memorabilia collecting has not been a recognised pastime for very long, it has caught on very quickly and this is reflected in the popularity of sports museums around the world. Read More »

How to Value: Furniture
As something in common to both the ultra-wealthy and the modest, furniture ranges in value as much as any antique. It is no secret that the current antique furniture market is not strong, but many observe that the best pieces continue to sell well. ‘Brown’ furniture has not been popular amongst interior designers in recent years but does show some signs of life and like past periods of disinterest (1950s style also strongly rejected Victorian furniture, for example) prices may well see a recovery in the future as more and more people reject the dominance of minimalism and mass-produced furniture. Read More »

Learn About: Furniture
Almost everyone in Western society uses many different pieces of furniture in their lives and as antiques that are both ubiquitous and valuable, the market for antique furniture is very large. Many might assume that antique furniture has a primarily aesthetic appeal but the variety of pieces, their utility and their history make furniture more than decorative. Read More »

How to Value: Toys and Dolls
Children’s toys are areas known for surprise valuations because toys continue to prove extremely collectable despite their lack of intrinsic value. Expectations have to be countered, though, by the understanding that modern toys are often very common, and collectors often look to build large collections and so are only rarely willing to part with huge sums. This said, almost all types of toys, games or dolls have their own collecting niche and will be of interest to someone. Read More »

Learn About: Toys and Dolls
Children’s toys are amongst the most well-known collectibles and have been ubiquitous in societies across the world for thousands of years. Widespread toy collecting is, by contrast, a relatively recent phenomenon amongst adults having followed the mass-production of toys from the 19th century. Over the years, the style and fashions of toys and dolls have seen both continuity and change, as much as any antique or collectible. Read More »

How to Value: Tapestries and Textiles
In recent years, tapestries and textiles have not been popular amongst interior designers. Unable to reconcile these traditional, often eclectic craft pieces with 21st century minimalism, prices for decorative tapestries and textiles have not been high. Currently, however it appears tapestry is growing in popularity, especially in a period setting and retains its appeal to collectors; the best examples continue to sell for large sums and the same can be said for other textiles such as clothing and quilts. Read More »

Learn About: Tapestries and Textiles
Tapestries, textiles and embroideries found on the market today generally originate in Northern Europe and America. Things are not as simple as they appear, however, as there are many embroidery and weaving traditions common across the world. For example, in their manufacture, tapestries are identical to ‘kilims’ (a West- and Central-Asian type of carpet) but are generally distinguished from each other in the saleroom. For this reason, this article will look primarily at Western examples of tapestries and textiles. Read More »

How to Value: 20th Century Design
As the 20th century progressed, there was a greater and greater inclination towards the use of inexpensive materials in the manufacture of furniture and domestic wares. Without true ‘antique’ appeal either, it is usually the design of a 20th century piece that gives it its value and current fashion determines whether a piece will of interest to home-buyers, collectors, both, or neither. Read More »

Learn About: 20th Century Design
In the years between the First World War and the fall of the Berlin Wall, design of furniture, ceramics, glassware, sculpture, domestic-ware and lighting changed totally. The transition over the ‘short 20th-century’ from Art Deco to the Mid-Century Modern period and culminating in Post-Modernism was arguably the most revolutionary in the history of design with a near constant cycle of reaction to contemporary trends. Read More »

How to Value: Costume Jewellery
It is generally true that, because of its lack of intrinsic value from its materials, much costume jewellery is only as valuable as it is wearable. As with fine jewellery, fashion and favour play a big part in the value of costume jewellery but equally, there are many famous names whose reputation and craftsmanship regularly command four-figure sums. Read More »

Learn About: Costume Jewellery
Although it is sometimes thought of non-precious or imitative, costume jewellery has its own rich history and is considered a craft and an art form in its own right. Costume jewellery may lack the intrinsic value of its “fine” bigger brother, but this has placed more emphasis on design and material making some costume jewellery very interesting and desirable to collectors and the fashion-conscious. Read More »

How to Value: Lighting
In the past, the value of some lighting pieces has gone unappreciated. While the value of some pieces, such as fine Venetian chandeliers or grand silver candelabra, appear obvious objects of value, others such as early candlesticks have been melted down and lost. In a more modern setting, pieces from the 20th century which have fallen victim to changing tastes have also been readily discarded without realisation of their collectible potential. Lighting is first and foremost a functional field, but this has made it no less collectible or valuable. Read More »

Learn About: Lighting
It will come as no surprise that the way we light our houses and public buildings has changed greatly over the last 500 years. Innovations from glassmaking to electricity have allowed designers to produce and reproduce such a range of new designs that pieces such as candlesticks or lamps have become popular subjects of collecting in their own right. Read More »

How to Value: Metals and Brassware
Over the centuries, metals like brass, copper, pewter, iron, tin and bronze have been discovered and re-discovered for a great variety of uses and by many different stylistic movements. Desirable for many different reasons to many different collectors and buyers from the simplest American folk art to the most ornate bronze sculpture, many types of metalwork have highly valuable examples. Read More »

Learn About: Metals and Brassware
When people think of metal antiques, silver usually comes to mind, however, there is a wealth of other metallic materials that have been used in the production of domestic wares and art. Copper, brass bronze, chrome, iron, tin and pewter to name a few offer a myriad of uses and forms due to their spectrum of properties from pewter tavern tankards to elegant Art Deco sculpture. Read More »

How to Value: Japanese Art
Japanese art appears in many forms in European and American markets; two of the most popular of these are carvings and ceramics. These are also both highly collectible in the right cases both to a Japanese and a Western market but the value of Japanese ceramics and carvings can often be hard to determine unless you are familiar with Japanese standards of craftsmanship or desirable characteristics. Read More »

Learn About: Japanese Art
Historically, Japanese art has epitomised the exotic and mysterious image of east-Asian wares to the West. Isolationism and the country’s relations with China, Europe and the US have more than created an air of mysticism, however. Japanese art has drawn on European, Chinese and Korean ideas over its long history and its market in the Europe and the US today is strong thanks to its decorative appeal and reputation for great craftsmanship. Read More »

How to Value: Silverware
Like jewellery but unlike most other antiques, silverware has an intrinsic value tied to the price of gold and silver bullion. Your silverware is also, however, may be worth far more than its value as base metal; although the market for antique silver has not been at its strongest in recent years, quality pieces appraised by an expert continue to fetch high prices. Read More »

Learn About: Silverware
Before recorded human history, only 7 metals, the so-called ‘metals of antiquity’ were known to civilisation, of which silver was one. Its malleability and lustre made silver unsuitable as a building material but, along with its rarity, has meant it has always had a place as a material of status. After Columbus’ voyage to the Americas and the mass import of the vast silver wealth of the New World, silver slowly became more popular in European society while maintaining its imagery of status and luxury. Read More »

Learn About: Scientific Instruments
Many collectors today buy scientific instruments for their innate connection with the great ages of science, medicine and exploration. A practical and cultural window into the worlds of great men and women from Galileo, to James Cook, to Marie Curie; items like telescopes and laboratory apparatus reveal the methods of renowned scientists while sextants and sample jars depict the worlds of exploration and naturalism. Read More »

How to Value Oriental Carpets and Rugs
Many original full-size oriental carpets and rugs from all parts of Asia are valued in the thousands of dollars and some even fetch tens of thousands. While modern carpets of the 20th century or later tend to be less valuable, a fact probably down to the growing commercialisation and mass-production of carpets and rugs, many examples are still of significant value. There are, however, carpets to watch out for. Read More »

Learn About Oriental Carpets and Rugs
Carpets and rugs from Asia have been popular in western culture and markets for hundreds of years; the famous 16th century German-born painter Hans Holbein, renowned for his portraits of famous Brits such as Henry VIII, even has a style named after him for the significance of these carpets in his desirable portraits. The demand for carpets from all over Asia only grew from Europe in the following centuries, and good examples of rugs and carpets from Persia, the Ottoman Empire, Central Asia and the Far East still fetch high prices today. Read More »

Our Top 5 Antique Inspiration Instagram Accounts
We've gathered together our five favourite Instagram accounts, for antique inspiration. Check them out, follow them and let us know where you find your antique and vintage inspiration from. Read More »

Top Tips for Buying Antiques & Vintages
Be flexible and patient. Commercialisation has made us picky and impatient. It takes time and a keen eye to shop vintage, be open-minded, browse and investigate whatever catches your eye. It often means that you come out with something that you didn’t know you needed, but you will love all the same. Read More »

Buying Sustainably: Shopping Antiques and Vintage in England
There’s a myriad of reasons to buy vintage and antiques: pieces are on the whole cheaper, it means you can find unique décor that no one else will have, antique pieces are often made with exquisite craftsmanship and it’s more sustainable than buying new. Read More »

Collecting Vintage Posters
Whilst many people dream of one day owning a piece of fine art, very few ever see this dream materialised on their mantelpiece. On the other hand, almost everyone grew up surrounded by posters, either on their bedroom walls or adorning the streets around them. Vintage posters represent a kind of graphic art which was designed for mass consumption; they were not made to be framed in museums but to advertise products and events, knowing that they could be rained on, torn down or covered up. Read More »

Collecting and Understanding Old Masters
The term ‘Old Masters’ generally refers to European artists and their work dating from (approximately) the 1500s to the 1800s. However, the category of Old Masters is not a formal classification of art in historical terms. Instead, it acts as an umbrella term and encompasses a wide range of styles, movements and locations, including Romanticism, Renaissance (Early, High, Gothic, Venetian, Spanish, Northern), Baroque, the Dutch Golden Age, Rococo and Neoclassicism. To be considered a ‘Master’ is partly... Read More »

Hollywood Memorabilia
Few people can resist the glamourous appeal of Hollywood and in recent years this nostalgia has emerged in several high-profile auctions of noteworthy memorabilia. Recent sales include the personal possessions and cinematic souvenirs of two iconic Hollywood stars: Christie’s The Personal Collection of Audrey Hepburn (the star of Roman Holiday, My Fair Lady, Breakfast at Tiffany’s) and Sotheby’s The Vivian Leigh Collection (Gone with the Wind, A Street Car Named Desire). Read More »

Dollhouse Furniture Collecting
Pieces of furniture made by the Ladies’ Guild are in very high demand and that translates into cost. They are extremely fragile now and many are in very poor and degraded condition. However, for keen collectors - particularly in England - they do have special appeal. Read More »

The History of Chess
The history of the game of chess dates back 1500 years. Its origins have been debated between India (where it was called Chaturanga) and China. From Asia the game spread to Persia, and then Southern Europe after the Arab invasion of Persia. It’s in Persia that archaeologists have discovered the oldest chess pieces. From Persia the game spread across the world, for example in Russia through Mongolia, where it was played from the 7th century, cementing its presence and importance there. Read More »

Chinese Ceramics
Chinese ceramics and porcelain have a long and illustrious history. These world-renowned ceramics are not only remarkable for the quality and artistry involved in their production, but the ways in which their styles and motifs can be traced from the early Palaeolithic era to the modern day. Read More »


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