Luxury collectibles markets are continuing to boom in 2010

The report from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), measuring confidence in the general arts and antiques market, brought good news for collectors and investors alike.

Dealers have reported rises in the £50,000-plus item bracket, with figures doubling during the second quarter of this year.

Of the 10 collectible categories surveyed, nine reported price increases were recorded with silver and jewellery among the best performers.

The Cushion Cut Diamond

Sales like the one held at Christies in New York, last month, demonstrated the continued global strength of the jewellery market.

The top lot was an exquisite cushion-cut diamond set in platinum which beat its estimate of £1,600,000 ($2,500,000) to sell to an Asian collector for £2,330,200 ($3,554,500).

When dealers were asked which sectors they felt were strongest, alongside traditional jewellery and metals, a significant number pointed to the growth of oriental art and ceramics.

Oriental art is certainly beginning to mix with the high earners in the market.

According to figures from sales analysts Artprice, last year, 20th century Chinese master Qi Baish was the third most lucrative artist in the world. His sales totalled £45,900,000 ($70,000,000) during that period.

Andrew Davies, a spokesman for RICS said:

"We are noting a resurgent interest in oriental ceramics and works of art, particularly from Middle and Far Eastern investors."

These investors have also developed an interest in other luxury collectibles like fine wines and rare stamps.

Inverted Jenny
An Inverted Jenny

From July 31 to August 1, Hong Kong will host an auction of aver 2,200 lots of Chinese, Hong Kong and Asian stamps.

Also up for sale will be one of most sought-after and regarded stamps in world: the 1918 United States Airmail 24¢ carmine rose & blue, center inverted - aka "the Inverted Jenny."

Described as "a very fine sound example of this iconic stamp," the inverted jenny will appear with an estimated value of £330,000 ($512,997).

And, in the collectible fine wines markets, last May saw 880 exhibitors attend Winexpo, Hong Kong's premier fine wine sales event.

In conclusion, the RICS survey projected that over the next 12 months, auction sales are likely to increase in number, with even greater demand for rare collectibles.

With a global base of 200 million established collectors expected to double over the next 20 years and the traditional housing and stock markets still facing difficulties, maybe it's time you assessed your investment options.


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