Antiques and Artistry: Purchasing an asset which you can't use

Antiques and Artistry: Purchasing an asset which you can't use

Sep 13, 2016, 4:00:40 PM Life and Styles

You might have found yourself several times in a gallery deciding on which piece of artwork suits your living room best. For casual buyers, the choice is most often subjective. It could be that your beloved loves elder-flowers and lavender fields, the artwork which you are more likely to place a purchase for might be entitled, 'lavender field' or 'a study of elderflower'.

Investor-typed buyers usually consider the resell value of their purchase. Artwork is a broad-spectrum category, bank notes are nevertheless a hybrid of both artwork and antique as it is a purchase which entitles you to count your days to the end of life and decide which of your grandchild should inherit the antique.

Prior to the existence of internet and bitcoins, printing was an expensive business. It was considered a high revenue business, everyone was desperate to publish their content and it was the only way to reach out to the public was through making a speech and distributing prints. Assets were also written on sheets of thin rice papers and legislative personnel would leave their seal imprints at the end of each written banknotes to certified its authenticity. This was the earliest form of banknotes, and it was a personalized note, 'this is what I have with me, my house, my x-amount of money, not in coins but in notes.'

Since the first mass distribution of standardized banknotes, artworks have also been acquired to accompany with the numeric writings on each print. A collection is considered complete when each valued banknote printed in the same year has been kept safe and with no distortion, i.e. no missing edge, though a slight crease is quite common among antique banknotes.

Modern banknotes are valuable in today's, tomorrow's and yesterday's world. An investment in antique banknotes is no much of a difference to purchasing a painting drawn by Van Gogh or Antoni Gaudi. At the end of the day, and unlikely to use antique banknotes to purchasing a property, it is an investment which you cannot use but to trade when the demand goes up and to sell it to another collector. As the investor who has then sold the antique, you will be waiting for the old to new  banknotes to swell up your bank account which you can then use for shopping or other investments.

There are several precautions to take note of when investing in art or antiques that compliment art. 

  • Real works: You have to look for genuine artworks, drawn by the artist as stated in your auction -shopping list. 

  • Clash of clans: I am a big fan of artworks which contain some unusual techniques. A bonus comes by when the artwork resonates my philosophy. If you have seen an artwork that is clearly against your philosophy or political views, please drop the idea to place a purchase. This saves you the trouble to stare at the numbers on the invoice for a week questioning yourself, 'why in the world have I made such purchase?'

  • What you see is what you get?: The final auction price when the hammer strikes is the price you will be paying for. The valuation of to-be -auctioned artworks is best described as... God might not know the answer to that too! It is subjected to high uncertainty. There were scenarios whereby a contemporary artwork was sold at millions of dollars more than its expected valuation. One of my other favourite recent examples is a diamond which is similar to the size of a tennis ball, the largest diamond ever found. But nobody place a bid when it was presented at the auction in early 2016. N.B: The diamond recently fetched $63million at a private auction, sold (

An investment in artworks and antique banknotes is a game that questions the subjectivity of a product driven by genuine popularity, and a gamble in hope that the urge among other collectors  increases, and in return driving up its demand and its valuation.

*This story originally appears in NaoRococo.

End notes:

Whether it is right or wrong for an auction house at NaoRococo or The Waterhouse, it is still a distanced vision. Due to the nature of our work-scope, we have the supply but would need more billionaires and Art collectors who are keen to invest in artworks and high-valued antiques.

We would love to introduce more aspiring artists, and perhaps just before all of them become abit too famous, you may be able to stock up their artworks in your living area and sell them when the right time occurs.

Thank you for the invitation, I hope the audience will enjoy this piece of article.

Published by Yuhui Lin

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