Rus Articles Journal

Antiquarian passions of

Life costs much - not a secret. And good life - is even more expensive. All spend money, but only some are able to put them. How it is possible to decorate the house and to make at the same time favorable investment?

“high art“ is traditional

it was opposed to low commerce . The collecting of objects of art was considered as destiny of thin, highly educated, but impractical natures. Collectors were represented the other-wordly madmen refusing a piece of bread to themselves and the family for the sake of acquisition of the next rarity. Was considered even that this passion can bring to ruin. And sometimes it is possible to face also bewilderment: “Why to collect someone else`s second-hand articles?“ .

to Such views is a little contradicted by the fact that the glorified Russian collectors and businessmen - Shchukina, Morozov, Mamontova, Ryabushinskiye, Bakhrushina - were the successful businessmen who did not get used to waste money. And presently timid ladies with art criticism education successfully cooperate with “sharks“ of business, and sometimes and show quite serious teeth.

we Will try to prove

that it is possible to call collecting of ancient cloths “ruinous passion“ only in exceptional cases, much more often this hobby enriches the owner of a collection, and objects of old times are reliable object for investments.

we Will look regarding from the economist`s positions , the businessman, the banker and we will understand why one art brings to poverty, and - enriches others. Let`s initially take a cynical, “capitalist“ position: let`s consider imperishable works of art not only as a source “reasonable, kind, eternal“, but also as means of obtaining the income, as an active investment of money.

we Will be defined by

in terms: the asset is a left side of the balance sheet; assets are called investments made where - or for receiving profit (from armor. Activus - effective). Antiques, according to Ojegov`s dictionary, it is accepted to call things ancient and valuable. About them the speech, but not about such exotic meetings as a collection of match labels or candy wrappers will also go (though they can represent value). whether

It is valid, having bought not superfashionable modern set for a drawing room, but the furniture which got out of fashion of years so 150 back you can consider it as active investment of capital? To resolve this main issue, we will try to answer several others at first:

  1. Of what picture cost consists?
  2. , How connected concepts of an assessment and examination?
  3. Why the cost of ancient cloths constantly grows at
  4. ?
  5. What such concept of residual cost in relation to modern and antiquarian pieces of furniture, is decorative - applied art and so forth?

Most of people estimate picturesque cloths by the principle “beautifully - ugly“ , keeping some tens well-known surnames in memory, at the same time often being guided even not by own feelings, but the signature on the plate: time of “Roars“, so it is good. At catalogs of auctions near a reproduction there is such “plate“ which besides the information about the author, a time of writing, the size and a condition of safety contains also “estimated price“ too - i.e. that price at which the picture is recommended to buy. From where there is this figure? What it consists of? Why picture cost after carrying out competent examination can increase in tens of times?

we Will give such example: a certain collector acquired, say, a water color portrait of the young girl of the unknown artist. Art critics begin to work with drawing: study a manner of the letter, a mark and an inscription on fields and on the back, compare to other images - and models identify the personality. There is a concreteness. If represented it is special known - the price of a water color increases. It is possible to go further - to lift the remained archives of that family. At this stage sometimes there are those wonderful surprises for which any collector secretly hopes: there is a letter or other record from which follows that the water color is written by the famous master. The price of a portrait increases in tens of times. The history described here is not invented: it happened in 1995 with a water color portrait of E. N. Muromtseva of a brush of Pyotr Sokolov from a collection of Tveruniversalbank.

it is a lot of

of Similar examples. The broker is guided by a gut feeling and takes the known risk: examination can not confirm his guess. The option is not excluded that acquisition will be a forgery. In this case invested funds will be almost irrevocably lost. The similar transaction can be compared to exchange speculation when, acquiring shares of any company, the dealer counts that their cost will grow soon. Calculation can come true, and can and is not present. Much more often experts get already attributed cloths with the purpose to store them for many years.

Why the cost of a picture depends on the expert opinion? in the picture from an expert assessment nothing changes. It is possible to give such comparison: the most graceful ringlet from unknown yellow metal is possible while on it test is not necessary. After approbation its cost increases in hundreds of times, but in the ring too nothing changes. Just the matter is that unsophisticated people got used to mix two concepts: esthetic value of a thing and its market value.


to the State Hermitage sold about two Years ago the well-known “Black square“ of K. Malevich. It was estimated by the qualified expert, vice-the president of the Russian society of appraisers of antiques and jewelry G. A. Putnikov at 1 million dollars. And this price was called conditional, the expert noticed that abroad the cost of a picture would be 10 - 15 times higher. And it besides that in the opinion of the vast majority of people (I apologize to K. Malevich`s admirers), the esthetic value of a picture aspires to zero.

in favor of differentiation of an esthetics and the price is said also by the fact that, changing owners, some works do not leave at the same time depositary in the Swiss bank. Actually, as a subject of purchase and sale serves not the picture, but the expert opinion on it. I.e. the act of examination, certifying original value, becomes something like a security.

But if the cost of a picture is not connected directly with its esthetic value, then what it is defined by? Why the wooden frame and a cut of the decayed painted canvas can cost millions of dollars? It is possible to answer this question so. The cost of a picture is determined:

Residual cost or that, how much is a thing without all store price markups.

It is comparable two purchases: expensive company modern watch and old watch. What happens to the residual cost of that and another after you opened packing and established the acquisition on the place intended to it? The residual cost of modern hours falls:“ loss of a trade dress“. If several years later, you want to sell them, then realize immeasurably less than the spent sum: hours are not new, the model became outdated.

A in a case with an antiquarian thing? Loss of a trade dress does not happen, at normal storage and leaving years do your purchase only is more senior and, therefore, more valuably. With elementary commercial abilities, years through 10 - 15 you will be able easily to sell them with profit.

Of what this profit consists? Why the cost of cloths or other pieces of antiques grows? This growth is how continuous?

In - the first, collecting old times objects, you protect the savings from inflation.

In - the second, the increase in prices for ancient works of art is connected with the relentless course of time: despite all efforts of restorers and care of collectors, pictures and other objects collapse, perish in the fires, floods, “the local conflicts“ and so forth

But whether the increase in prices is so constant? The answer - is not present. The direction, this or that style was already mentioned about fashion on that or other above. Growth of number of fakes of this artist becomes a consequence of keen interest in creativity, for example, of Ayvazovsky. Fakes cause disappointment and fears, pictures buy less willingly. As a result, the price of them falls. So happened to “propaganda porcelain“ - the Soviet ware 20 - 30 - x from porcelain of poor quality, decorated with revolutionary slogans and propaganda pictures.

Experienced collectors arrive on the contrary: buy unfashionable, and sell as soon as the thing becomes fashionable and the price of it becomes maximum.

I.e. the increase in prices for pieces of antiques occurs by the same principle, as an increase in prices of stocks of the reliable company at the exchange: the vector is sent to the top right corner, but the actual price fluctuates about this guide.

Similar rules can be guided by

also upon purchase of works of modern masters. Here from the expert special gift is required: the glory of the most “untwisted“ painter can die away in several years after his death, and to nobody the famous outsider can be recognized as the genius. Once so happened to A. Modigliani`s works, later - S. Zvereva.“ If, having seen a picture, you feel psychological shock, - buy it“ - S. I. Schukin was guided by such principle, buying up cloths a post - impressionists.

, such investments of capital are How reliable? In the history it is a lot of cases when collections were sold “for debts“, i.e. helped with to pay off creditors. How such event was painful for the collector, it speaks about advantages of collecting as object of investment in comparison with others rather.

If parting with a favourite collection for you “to death is similar to

“, then, as a last resort, it can be put, i.e. the valuable piece of antiques can serve as providing the credit. And such examples are, and not only abroad.

Besides should not be forgotten about one important source of the indirect income: right for reproduction. It means that you can publish the catalog of the collection and sell out circulation, demand a payment for reproduction of your property in printing editions, use a collection in the advertizing purposes both other, and other.

So, ancient cloths and other pieces of antiques not only are pleasing to the eye of the owners, but also can be considered as rather reliable and profitable object for investments. Investments made in them “work“, making profit is similar to securities. Alas, as it is possible to be ruined or, on the contrary, to make a fortune, speculating on the Stock Exchange, it is so possible to come to similar results, collecting objects of fine arts. Matter in knowledge: art criticism education, business intuition, ability to predict tendencies of the market and so forth, etc. If you do not possess these qualities, to you it is not necessary neither to seek exchange adventures, nor to be engaged in a collecting. If you are sure of yourself or are capable to employ the competent expert - risk!

the Author expresses profound gratitude to Putnikov G. A. for granting material for article.