[ExI] Antiques as a store of value

PJ Manney pjmanney at gmail.com
Tue Feb 12 19:19:53 UTC 2008

On Feb 12, 2008 8:11 AM, Joost Rekveld <lists at lumen.nu> wrote:
> Many avant-garde artists have had similar hopes about photography,
> film and all media of reproduction: they hoped these media would be
> the end of the cultus of the unique object, and would be a means to
> merge art with daily life.
> Outside the art-world this vision has in some respects come true or
> has at least remained a promise. Within the art world I think the
> media of reproduction have contributed to ever increasing prices for
> a small number of 'original' works. What these investors pay for is
> the aura of the original, they do not pay for access to an aesthetic
> experience. With the advent of some kind of molecular copying I
> suspect this aura will only increase in price, not diminish.
> my 2 cents,

Your 2 cents are correct.  The psychology is rife in any form of
collecting.  It could be art, cars, stamps, etc.  In fact, the
reproduction often raises the original's value because the fame of the
object is heightened and therefore it's more desirable as an object.

Does a replica of a Shelby Cobra diminish the value of a real Shelby Cobra?

What if the real thing was owned by Carroll Shelby?

Does a reproduction of an Inverted Jenny diminish the value of the real thing?

Because I can read a Gutenberg bible online doesn't mean an original
is any less valuable.

Think of all the dorm rooms that held a copies of Escher or Van Gogh
or Picasso.  Do you see art prices dropping?  On the contrary.  We are
in the biggest art boom market in history as the super-rich get
super-richer and need super art to adorn their super walls.  When
paintings sell for $100 - 200 million, you know the original is valued
as the original by someone who wants everyone to know he owns the
original.  In fact, one of the problems in the market is the really
good art that isn't by name brands is being ignored.  So much of an
art dealer's job is to create name brands through PR and hype where
there weren't any to begin with.

The prices reflect the knowledge that these things can be sold at any
time to another person just like the buyer.  They are valued
commodities and investments in a psychology that is unlikely to
change, as long as there are a small group of people with unbelievable
amounts of money and many more without.

You can add my 2 cents to Joost's and make it 4.  Then you'll have a
collection of cents.  It might be worth something some day.  :)


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