In a time when peoples savings aren’t what they use to be and it becomes more and more difficult to know what you should put your money in…….there is one place it will always continue to go up…….ANTIQUES.
Supply and demand have always been the corner stone of investing. Consider this analogy…….Beachfront Property. Here in the United States we have an East Coast, a West Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. There is only so much coastal property. Because there is a finite amount of it, and every year more and more people are looking for it……the price goes up. Throughout the United States there is an abundance of land that can be built on and for the time being it will take thousands of years to fill it. But when it comes to beachfront property……you get my drift.
The same principal holds true with original old antique iron beds. Back in the 1800’s, there was a limited amount of them made. The Industrial Revolution ushered in a newer more efficient way of production, making hand made, craft oriented items like these beds a thing of the past.
In the 40 years of being in this business, Ive seen the supply of beds go from one person being able to find enough to load a semi-truck full with them, in a day, and have no more than a couple hundred dollars invested, to having a network of a dozen “pickers” scattered all across the country looking and lucky if we can come up with a couple dozen in a month. When we do come across an old bed that we’ve had numerous times in the past, the price can be many many times more than I originally had to pay for it just 10 years ago.
Anything that was made in limited finite numbers years ago and is no longer being made in the same manner, like our beds, will continue to go up.
Keep in mind……. any time you see an abundance of reproductions available to the public…..it means the originals are in such limited numbers that there aren’t enough of them to satisfy the demand and companies that reproduce beds are trying to fill that demand.
So why, you say, don’t you just get a reproduction? Lots of them look great and even have old distressed finishes that make them look old and antique. A couple of good reasons…… The first being the value and rate of appreciation. Reproductions don’t have it. Plain and simple. Reproduction beds are being turned out in such large numbers, there is no such thing as a finite amount…..they are limitless. Old beds were limited in their numbers and their availability becomes less and less by the month. The second reason to invest in original old beds, is the quality and materials they were made with. Today’s reproductions are made with thin wall tubing and aluminum, making them flimsy and nowhere near as strong ans secure as an original.
This same principal follows suit with any limited made furniture. And one of the nicest thing about investing in our past is that you get to see it every day and enjoy it. It’s not like a business statement with nothing but numbers. When was the last time you enjoyed looking at one of them. And when was the last time your investment in the stock market didn’t hinge upon some other countries economy and the money we owe them or they owe us.
So if you want a fool proof way of investing whatever amount you have……whether it’s $50. or $500,000. Consider antiques………maybe even an old bed
Here’s a “first hand” short story on investing in antiques. Many years ago I use to deal in Tiffany leaded glass lamps and leaded glass shades. I had the good fortune to have been turned on to a lamp shade in Pennsylvania, that the dealer wasn’t sure was a real signed Tiffany. I bought if for $1500. back in 1979, knowing it was a signed Tiffany, and I turned around and sold it to a deal in Beverly Hills for close to $15,000. Not a bad profit you say. I was very pleased. Last week I took my wife and two girls to the Los Angeles County Museum to see an art exhibit. While there I wondered into a wing of the museum that was displaying Victorian painters and Victorian furniture. In one room, very prominently displayed on a pedestal, was a lamp shade exactly like the one I’d sold the Beverly Hills dealer. It had been donated to the museum by Barbara Streisand. It’s value was………..$250,000.
Need I say more.