Up 50%: This surging market is shocking the experts
A medal linked to one of the world's greatest military heroes beat its estimate by 50% on July11
Paul Fraser Collectibles, Thursday 12 July 2012
The auction result shocked many - but not me.
If ever you needed confirmation of the surging power of history's most important military figures at auction, this was it.
A Battle of Trafalgar medal, awarded to a man who carried Lord Nelson below decks following his fatal shooting, smashed its estimate at a UK auction yesterday.
It sold for a hammer price of £27,000 ($41,700), demolishing its £18,000 ($27,810) high valuation by 50%.
This is not an artefact used by Nelson, worn by Nelson, or even once touched by Nelson.
Yet its connection to a man who was with Nelson in the last hours of his life ensured a big price.
It took the delighted auctioneer and consignor by surprise. But not me.
It is simply confirmation of what I've been witnessing for years:
That artefacts connected with history's most important military figures, those whose names are still instantly recognisable 200 years after they were alive, are experience a huge upswing at global auctions. And Nelson and Napoleon are leading the way.
· The only surviving entire Union Jack from the Battle of Trafalgar sold for £384,000 ($606,870) to a US buyer in February 2010, 2,460% up on its £15,000 ($23,160) estimate.
· In January 2011, a locket containing a lock of Nelson's hair made £44,000 ($68,000) at a UK auction, 1,366% above the £3,000 ($4,630) valuation.
· A wine glass believed to have belonged to Napoleon made £10,800 ($16,730) in June, trebling its £2,000-3,000 estimate.
· Signed letters by the two men have also grown in value: Nelson's from £1,800 ($2,835) in 2000 to £9,500 ($14,970) in 2011, according to the PFC40 Autograph Index, while a rare letter written in English by Napoleon saw an increase on estimate of 306.2% to sell for $409,998 last month.
What's causing the rise in values?
The days of the great general on the battlefield are gone. Today you will find the top brass sat behind a desk - they're too important to risk in the line of fire.
It's why the memorabilia of the military heroes of yesteryear, those who led their men from the front, is so revered and in demand today.
And with the wealthy baby boomer generation retiring at an ever increasing rate and returning to or finding new interests, there is a growing demographic with the means and the desire to own these remarkable items.
A growing body of investors, looking for some added portfolio diversity, is also helping to propel the market forward, as they realise the considerable potential of the sector.
You can join their ranks today.
They are a perfect way to capitalise on a hugely enjoyable, and upwardly-mobile market.
To discuss any of these items or to enlist our help in sourcing a particular piece, get in touch on +44 (0) 117 933 9500 or email@example.com
Until next week,
Recent and related articles
· Wilkinson turret revolver to top Bonhams auction at $47,000 | 11 July 2012
· '$54,340' Dettingen Standard to auction in London | 17 June 2012
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