Designer furniture next big thing for investors?

Designer furniture is the next big thing for investors in collectibles, according to auction site Barnebys.Isamo Naguchi table

The auction market for design is growing rapidly

The site singled out 15 designers that have achieved combined growth of almost 330% since 2009, including Danish makers Hans Wenger and Arne Jacobson and American artist Harry Bertoia.

Demand is highest for mid-century European designers.

The trend is chiefly driven by an increasing appreciation for the clean lines of modern furniture, combined with a limited number of original pieces.

Pontus Silfverstolpe, co-founder of Barnaby’s, comments: “Collectors are paying considerable attention to design, with prices on a limited supply of unique high-end pieces boosted to fine art market status…

“The whole process is reminiscent of the early days of the now long- established market for art and antiques, which goes to show that design is more than a short-lived trend.

“Just like artists, great designers can fall into oblivion. Just like the art market, there is great potential of finding these forgotten masters.

“The addition of new names combined with new markets, like Asia, will lead to a growth in the design market for a long time to come.”

It’s interesting to note that while modern design is on the up, so-called “brown furniture” (from the pre-1910 era) has dramatically decreased in value – down 28% over the past 10 years according to Art Market Research Developments.

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