Ancient Art and Antiquities have a unique, undeniable and complex value. Firstly, people purchase them for enjoyment and study as part of a collection. Additionally, Ancient Jewellery can be worn to enhance an outfit for special occasions and a wide range of antiquities can be used in interior design. Their mix of aesthetic beauty and ability to tell stories is what also can make them attractive investments.

To begin, why is Ancient Art so Valuable?

As humans we have an intrinsic love for history and the stories of the people that came before us. We are all, at least a little, curious about how we came to be, why we live like we do, and the mark people have traditionally had on the past. Ancient Art and historical artefacts are our way of holding this past in our hands. It’s a tangible connection no one can deny.

Secondly, the pieces we have can just be incredibly beautiful! Ancient art is very much art in its own right when separated from its historical context. Carefully designed and created by expert contemporary craftsmen the pieces demonstrate ancient artistic skills. They evoke emotions and feelings that can still feel relevant today.

The growth in the antiquities market is generally very steady. However, modern technology is increasing online sales of fine art and antiquities. As traditionally closed off and inaccessible galleries are moved online, new buyers are entering the trade. Not only does this mean more people are getting to engage in and experience this art but that there’s more competition for pieces that are sold. No one can be sure, the full effects on the current year have not yet been lived out – but there’s a clear trend.

A Sarcophagus Lid with Mummy Mask that sold for £1,300

Why do People Invest in Antiquities?

The antiquities market in general shows a very stable growth, with the high end prices sky-rocketing. Antiquities are facing increased demand with a smaller supply as it is old collections that are being circulated and resold. This means prices are likely to only go up. Recent sales at Christie’s show this high prices. For example, a marble statue of the emperor Hadrian sold in 2019 for nearly $6 million. Helmets are also extremely valuable, an ancient Corinthian example sold for $855,000 back in June 2020. Helmets are something we’ve also had great success with at Pax Romana, such as this Greek Illyrian Bronze helmet that sold for £28,800 (incl. premium).

What’s especially worth noting is that the value of these items tends to be maintained and even go up during crisis – much like gold. Therefore, they are appealing investments, especially when the world and financial markets face uncertainty like they do at the moment.

As always, diversification is important when investing, so having a portion of antiquities in your portfolio is a desirable move. Many buyers use this to their advantage as it allows for a mixing of styles within their art collection. Indeed, you get instant gratification out of the art you own. That fulfilment is part of what makes them such a good investment.

The Helmet that we sold for £28,800 (incl. Premium)

What do you need be aware of when Investing in Antiquities?

Of course, even though the market is very stable and growing, like any investment nothing is ever certain. Perhaps one of the largest risks you face is the loss of value when an item is damaged. However, this is the case when investing in any art and can be mitigated by careful transportation and maintenance.

Buyers can also be intimidated by fakes and forgeries that exist within the market. However, this is easily prevented if you buy through reputable auction houses. An established auction house such as ourselves will check the provenance, quality, age and style of the object in question to ensure it is an antiquity before it is sold. Something to look out for is a certificate of authenticity provided with any items you buy. Written agreement from an expert that an item is genuine can give you peace of mind when buying. Pax Romana Auctions accompany all sold items with such a certificate. Please check our authenticity page for more information.

Lastly, the antiquities world can appear a bit opaque and knowing how and where to sell on your items can be confusing. However, at Pax Romana we offer an Investment Option so that we can make the selling process stress free. When you invest in antiquities, you get to experience the ancient world hands on.

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