The British watercolour market in fact the whole antiques business is is fast approaching a twenty five year low in respect of demand and prices if you take in real rises in the cost of living in the general economy.
This market like all markets go in cycles and we must be nearing the bottom of this one.
The British picture market is not alone in this dilemma, beautiful Georgian brown furniture is often worth less than equivalent modern mass produced pieces.
The value investors are waiting in the wings waiting to strike on our market. The big question everybody is asking is when is the market going to turn up . The answer is quite simply 'I don't know'. The irony is when the change is clear for all to see it will already be too late for the investor and also in some ways the collector as the market rise will be strong and swift. Supply is the main problem these beautiful paintings are not being made any more and good quality is getting harder to come by. My advice is when you see something you think is a wonderful image and great quality buy it at todays discounted price. My family have been dealing in pictures since the middle of the sixteen hundreds. The first premises was in October 1666 just after the fire of London. The market has had many lows in that time and has always come back. You say tastes have changed and the young want modern pictures and that is certainly true at the moment . However the question is will the modern daubs and splodges of colour which have little skill or craft stand the test of time. Many think they won't and I happen to be one of them.
I believe the interest in beautiful paintings is still alive and well . Whenever I have a show say at the Watercolour fair (now Art on Paper) or BADA (British Antique Dealers Association) the stands are almost as busy as they were when I first started exhibiting watercolours some fourty years ago with my my father.
The difference is simply in the volume of buyers and subsequent sales. I will report again once we have had the winter shows and auctions.
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