Museums wouldn’t exist without collectors.
There. I’ve said it. But it happens to be completely true.
Most people who are new to the collectibles markets either underestimate, or don’t realise, the ongoing relationship between collectors and the world’s top museums.
Whether it’s the Victorian collector John Charles Robinson, whose thousands of treasures helped establish London Victoria and Albert Museum.
Or the noted art collector Charles Saatchi who once said of his collection: “I buy art primarily to show it off.”
Art collector Charles Saatchi’s need to show-off has benefitted the art markets in innumerable ways – most famously with this Damien Hirst formaldehyde shark
Be it because of altruism or the urge to “show off”, collectors and museums have always gone hand-in-hand.
Consequently, museums are now major buyers in the collectibles markets. Iconic dresses worn by Princess Diana sold to a South American fashion museum.
Elsewhere, the Sir Winston Churchill Archives were bought with National Lottery funds.
And it isn’t just museums that are driving the collectors’ markets. So, too, are the wealthy individuals hoping to show off their collectibles in the world’s top institutions.
Jussi Pylkkanen, President of Christie’s auction houses in Europe, nicknamed these buyers “Medici” collectors after Italy’s elite dynasty of art patrons who, across centuries, employed only the era’s most brilliant artists.
Wealthy Medici buyers are on a mission to amass world-class collections. Whether it’s to return rare cultural artefacts to their homelands (be it China, the UAE or the West) or to show them of in a top gallery in a city near you.
So what does all this mean to you as a buyer, or would-be buyer, or collectibles?
Well, the enthusiasm of museums and Medici buyers is playing a crucial role in strengthening the worldwide collectibles markets.
What’s more, their passion for collecting could change the collectibles you buy.
Put it this way: let’s say you want to buy a collectible to enjoy, yet also want the security of knowing that it could bring you a profit in future years?
Thankfully, the collectibles markets are constantly throwing up collectibles for sale which could be of interest to museums in the long-term.
In other words, you buy the collectible now confident that an institution will be there to buy it from you at a profit in future years – whether it’s a rare letter signed by King Charles II or Sir Paul McCartney.
This historic Charles II letter is worthy of a museum’s collection – but it is also worthy of yours
So, museums wouldn’t exist without collectors. But you, as a collector, can have far more freedom, fun and financial security thanks to museums.