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Tag Archives: investing in collectibles

Put down the wine and cognac, now is the time for whisky and beers

Wine and cognac have long been the preserves of wealthy collectors, who fill their ample cellars with the best bottles, ready to break out when the time is right – or to save as an investment.

An investment hangover awaits those who bought wine too eagerly - image: Sotheby's

An investment hangover awaits those who bought wine too eagerly – image: Sotheby’s

These collectible drinks hold a special place in the world of collectibles investment. They hold their own kind of insurance against any potential losses, with the owner able to pop open a bottle and drown his sorrows should profit go down the pan.

Not much of a consolation, but far more enjoyable than losing thousands on stocks and shares.

But the market for Bordeaux – once the big-hitter of wine auctions everywhere – has been ailing since 2011, when a bubble pushed prices unsustainably high and they were sharply corrected soon after.

There are only so many sorrows you can drown before you have to throw in the towel, and with just 1.5% growth in the second quarter of 2013, many wine collections are being sold off.

But there is hope for the collectible beverages market: whisky and beer.

Those oh-so-manly and uncouth drinks have been taking off lately, with collectors forking out top sums to own the very finest the world has to offer.


A cellar full of whisky proves more potent than wine when it comes to investing – image: Spink

Whisky in particular has proved its potential as an investment, and those aficionados that would have drank a bottle down without a second though now think twice before doing so.

While Bordeaux languishes, the whisky world has seen two world records in the past year, both for a cask and a single bottle, with Scotch the decided favourite. Meanwhile, the top 100 bottles have seen an 18.75% increase in value in the past year, making them a better investment that the S&P500.

This is a young market, and its being spurred by foreign collectors, with figures showing that Russia is actually the biggest importer of Scotch whisky. This rise is supported by the newly-wealthy middle classes in growing economies emulating the traditions of the rich around the world.

Now, the beer market isn’t as well established as whisky, but there is an increasing global interest in “artisan” ales and the like and some of those bottle are fast becoming collectible.

See some of the top-selling collectible beers in the world.

One of the world most valuable beers comes inside a taxidermied squirrel: we're not sure about this one - image:  Brewdog

One of the world most valuable beers comes inside a taxidermied squirrel: we’re not sure about this one – image: Brewdog

These aren’t for investment, as beer will spoil in little over a year, making the contents almost worthless. Rather, beer collectors will cherish a few precious bottles, while gathering breweriana.

You may not have come across the word breweriana, but collecting artefacts from brewers – such as beer taps, kegs and advertising – is a long established market that regularly sees sales held across the world.

What’s more, breweriana leaves the collector free to enjoy their drink, while appreciating the history of their favourite pastime.

A $29,000 beer can that sold at auction last year - image: Morphy Auctions

A $29,000 beer can that sold at auction last year – image: Morphy Auctions

Check out this guy’s collection of beer cans and breweriana – it’ll soon get you drunk on collecting.

by Joe


Limited edition Goya prints and the truth about investing in collectibles

Leafing though the catalogue for Swann Galleries’ Old Master Through Modern Prints Sale, I came across 14 etchings by 18th century Spanish artist Francisco Goya. Circa 1799-1825, the black and white images remain as intense and compelling as they must have seemed 200 years ago, as the ink was drying on the page.


My favourite Goya etching, “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters”, was among the 14 images on offer.  Goya writes of “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters” in Los Caprichos: “Fortune maltreats those who court her. Efforts to rise she rewards with hot air and those who have risen she punishes with downfall.”

The print from the Los Capichos series depicts the artist asleep at his desk. The owls are thought to be symbols of folly, the bats, ignorance, and the cats, witchcraft.

Thinking about collectible prints, and in particular how to profit from purchasing collectible prints, somehow led me back to this quotation. “Fortune maltreats those who court her.” Of course, Goya’s intended meaning has nothing to do with investing in limited edition art works and photographic prints, but the dictum struck a chord nonetheless.

As a potential investor, the biggest mistake you can make is purchasing items that ought to be pleasurable, that out to excite a passionate response, solely for profit.

While these Goya etchings are likely to increase in value, it would be a shame if they were purchased for that reason alone.

The best advice I can think of? Buy the very best you can afford and only what you love. You never know, if, when you come to sell your collection, enough people love it too, you might just make a fortune.


P.S. Swann Galleries’ Old Master Through Modern Prints Sale takes place on May 1.

Brave New Worlds of Undiscovered Collectibles

There is an auction coming up early this April that I am thrilled to share with you.

Potter & Potter Auctions, specialist dealers in Magicana, are holding an extensive sale of the personal possessions of Cardini, The Suave Deceiver, on April 6.


Cardini was, as described by the auction house, ‘the most imitated – and likely the most influential – magician of the 20th century’.

And being a West Country girl myself, how exciting that Cardini was in fact a Welshman, originating just a hop, skip and jump from where I grew up.

From Cardini’s props and costumes, to playbills and posters for his shows, scrapbooks, photographs, awards, correspondence and other personal items, Potter & Potter’s auction will provide a keen insight into the life and mind of one of history’s great conjurers.

Such targeted and specialised auctions always give me a thrill. There exists a whole community of magicana collectors, mysterious and secretive as the magicians that they revere, that now emerge into the limelight because of this event.

This serves to highlight that there are numerous pockets of collectors who focus on more esoteric areas of collecting, just waiting for such a specified and fascinating auction to come along. Whole unknown worlds of collecting exist ready for others to discover, and present a profusion of potential markets for the braver investors to explore.

Check out our stock of Unique Collectibles to get you started.

By Louise

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