As the trend for vintage continues, the UK’s leading furniture auction house, Pro Auction, has revealed its top tips for spotting iconic pieces. The advice comes as the industry leader is preparing its latest auction, set to take place in London this month, which will showcase an iconic British brand that’s become synonymous with luxury.
Simon Rose, Director and Principal Auctioneer of Pro Auction, said, “Almost everyone has watched an auction on television with numerous UK programmes, yet many people have not sat in a salesroom and experienced the theatre and excitement of a live auction. Auctions are great places to discover and buy unusual, unique, and intriguing pieces, from works of art and jewellery to furniture and property. For those new to the world of auctions it can be a daunting prospect but with the right knowhow, they can soon spot the pieces they should be investing in.”
Pro Auction has been delivering luxury pieces to market for over two decades, amassing invaluable insights into the industry during that time and building up a stellar reputation. Simon Rose explains there are three basic considerations for a serious collector of iconic furniture – quality, condition, and rarity. While minimal flaws might be acceptable for buyers that want to use the lot they’re bidding on, if it’s to act as an investment it’s best to choose items that are in mint condition or close to it. Simon also notes that determining rarity can be a challenge as sellers can misrepresent pieces, listing them as ‘hard to find’ or ‘one of a kind’ when these statements are far from true. To combat this, he advises asking for any provenance or employing the services of a professional appraiser to certify the claims.
Establishing authenticity without the help of a professional can be achieved if buyers know what to look for. Simon urges collectors to pay close attention to materials, particularly metals that can mimic one another, and consider the time period when the lot is said to be from. Another way to determine authenticity is to examine an artist’s or manufacturer’s catalogue to see how the item slots into their timeline. While there are ways to view and buy items digitally, the key advice is attend a preview wherever possible.
Simon Rose added “Being able to look at the lot in the flesh gives you a much better idea of what you’re bidding on. Of course, it’s not always possible to attend a preview but if you see something in the catalogue that looks interesting, it’s always advisable to head to the preview.”
The London Pro Auction event will be taking place at the Furniture Makers Hall 12 Austin Friars between the 18th and 20th July 2017.
To find out more visit iconicbritish.com/.