Why Richard III matters for the collectibles sector

If ever you needed proof that fascination with our past is "alive and well", here it is:

The major news that the remains of the last king of England to die on the battlefield have been discovered in a city centre car park in Leicester, UK.

Richard III
Global fascination with British history,
including Richard III, endures

Here in Britain the newspapers, radio stations and news channels have been awash with coverage.

It's stories like this that remind me of the power of history and historical collectibles to enthral.

You either get it or you don't.

You either get a sense of wonder when you hear that Richard III's resting place has been discovered, and are in awe when you see centuries-old documents or artefacts, or you can't work out what all the fuss is about.

And for those in the latter camp, I genuinely feel sorry for them. Because they're unable to fully experience the richness that an appreciation of history can offer.

Yet if you're one of our many readers who also has an eye on the potential profit of owning world class collectibles, in addition to the sheer delight of ownership, then this week's story has also provided plenty to excite.

Royal collectibles have international appeal

The coverage that the discovery has received in the international media, particularly in North America, has been staggering.

It seems conclusive evidence that interest in the British monarchy, and British history is strong around the world, and not just confined to these windswept shores.

And where there is sustained global interest in a particular sector we can often find considerable interest in the corresponding collectibles market - pushing prices higher.

Auction results in the case of Richard III seem to bear this out. A document signed by the king sold for £109,250 ($168,900) at Christie's in June, smashing its £15,000 estimate.

It had last auctioned in 1960 for just $850 in May 1960, corresponding to a 10.7% pa increase. Who knows where this market could be headed following the excitement surrounding this discovery?

It's just one example of many from the strong historical royal collectibles sector in recent years - providing plenty of opportunities for investment-minded collectors.

If you would like to own a piece of history to stir the emotions, or perhaps provide a potentially profitable nest egg in years to come, I would urge you to take a look at our historical manuscripts for sale, where you will find pieces signed by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

Until next week


Paul Fraser

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