If we accept the proposition that valuations in the market for antiques and collectables are decided upon in a manner more akin to that of the Stock Market, than a typical retail business, is it then possible to find other parallels therein which may prove useful. The answer of course is Yes, for, just as changing fashions in the wider world of commerce impact upon prices, so too, within the world of collecting do they cause values to ebb and flow.
In this case, changes in fashion are often driven, at least in some measure by the clutch of magazines which focus upon home-making and interior design as much as by those whose readership is for the most part drawn from the collecting and dealing fraternity. This latter group tends to follow rather than lead these changes, as do the auctioneers, although, understandably there is a symbiotic relationship between the two.
Many successful Investors follow what is termed a contra-cyclical policy when buying stocks and shares, in other words, they buy against prevailing fashionable trends in sectors where prices have fallen or are depressed. This same approach can be employed successfully by those collectors who are happy to ignore what happens to be in vogue and to concentrate their collecting upon areas that have proved, over the long term to be worthwhile in terms both of quality and value. Fashions do after all come and go, while quality remains a constant, and, if prepared to take the “long view”, the astute Collector will benefit from an understanding of their effect upon short term price movements.