Unique: The only example of its type.
Unique items are not necessarily valuable. Unique items that are in great demand most certainly are.
It explains why Gandhi's blood, a wanted poster for Jesse James, Charles Dickens' dog's collar, Robert Burns' personal bible and Marilyn Monroe's bathrobe have all achieved strong sale results in recent times.
It's one of the fastest growing areas of collecting. The appeal of owning a completely unique piece of history that you, and others, feel passionate about is a very compelling investment proposition.
Reasons to invest
Liquidity: Truly unique pieces are aspirational, the market is very liquid as there will always be a buyer.
Limited supply: By definition unique items are in short supply! This ensures that values are not be diluted by other specimens on the market. Find a unique item in great demand and you are as close as it comes to guaranteeing yourself a sound long-term investment.
Price growth potential: 200m collectors in the world offer the potential for huge capital growth. It's hard to generalise on unique collectible values, however we would conservatively suggest that a truly unique piece of great historical importance can show a return of more than 10% pa over the mid- to long-term.
Diversification benefits: Unique, top grade collectibles have little correlation to the stock market. It's why we have continued to see strong results during the recession.
A wanted poster for notorious US outlaw Jesse James beat its $25,000 estimate by 129.9% at a US auction in June 2012, selling for $57,475.
A small fragment of soil containing traces of Mahatma Gandhi's blood sold for £10,000 ($15,940) at a UK auction in April 2012.
Charles Dickens' dog collar sold for $11,590 at Bonhams New York in 2010, almost doubling its $6,000 high estimate.
In 2010, we sold Scottish poet Robert Burns' personal bible to an investor, only to receive an offer from another client just seven days later which would have shown the new owner a 50% return in one week. Instead he decided to hold for the long-term.
Marilyn Monroe's bathrobe up 35% pa in a decade. Purchased for $6,000 in 1999, it sold at auction in 2009 for $120,000.
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