Ceramics and ceramic investments have been gaining a lot of attention in recent years. It is a legitimate business that can be as valuable and enriching for investors as antiques. In fact, Millenialls and Gen Z have made it one of their main investments. We decided to dig deeper and invite Julia Parkes, a specialist in the topic.
A Bit about Me
“I was born in Stoke on Trent, and I come from a long lineage of potters. You could say that pottery runs through my veins. Therefore, I am a ceramic expert by nature. I was fortunate to find a pottery close to my Yorkshire home, where I worked for nearly twenty-eight year. Recently, I retired and can now pursue my passion for collecting ceramics and add to my ever-growing collection. My collection was started by inherited pieces. These are my most valuable, not because they are financially, but because of the connection with my loved ones, long gone.
Types of Collector
Do not be intimidated by the perceived snobbery in antique collecting. There are many types of ceramic collectors.
Dealers will purchase as little as possible and then sell at maximum profit.
Hobby collectors will search online for rare pieces to add to their collection. This gives them the satisfaction of having a complete collection and can potentially increase its value.
Car Booty and Treasure Hunter
There are also a growing number of people who enjoy nothing more than getting up early on Sunday mornings to go to car boot sales. They will buy anything they see – and sometimes even find a rare gem. Local online selling sites are worth checking out as many items appear every day. The category of profit-making hopefuls also includes charity shop magpies.
Studio Pottery Fans
This is my last example. I love it very much. Studio potters and newly qualified ceramicists can be a great way to get into the world of collecting ceramics. You can also make a long-term profit by working with them. Check out the Potfest website for details about all the shows you can attend. Potfest in Pens is a great place for beginners. Here you can meet potters and possibly start your own collection.
Do your Homework!
Ceramic collecting can be a satisfying and enjoyable hobby. Especially when you are buying for the joy of having something you love. It can be addictive to comb through the discarded ‘junk’ of others. To make your hobby a profitable business, you will need to do a lot of research. You can do some research online to find out which ceramics sell for a lot. Over time, you’ll start to notice patterns in the makers and styles that have sold well. Hornsea Pottery is becoming a popular collectible for those who like the mid-century style. Hornsea was produced in large quantities, and is a regular find in charity shops. If the design is John Clappison, then the value and collectibility skyrockets. Martin Brothers Pottery is another name to watch out for. Troika has been valued again, after years of being unwants.
Beware of FAKES
It can be hard to distinguish between modern and old imitations or copies. Original Delftware is very rare, but there are many duplicates. Even though Chinese porcelain is extremely valuable, the market is saturated with imitations. My final example is Staffordshire dogs. While many people have them, very few are going to be worth their weight. These dogs have been around for many generations and their prices and values can vary greatly. It is important to do your research on what to look out for if you plan to purchase a high-end item. There are many genuine sellers, but make sure to read the seller reviews and scroll down to find out where the item came from. Unscrupulous individuals and companies will often sell multiple items from the same address.
A piece’s condition is another important aspect to consider when you are trying to collect to make a profit. Most items are greatly devalued by cracks and chips. There are exceptions to this rule. You can see Flog It reruns on daytime TV. The renowned experts sometimes feel sour after valuing a sad or damaged item. However, there are often more bidders than originally estimated and the item sells for a lot more.
You might find a box full of miscellaneous oddities in your possession. Make sure to turn it upside down so you can check the maker’s marks underneath. You can sell the item if you don’t want it. If you don’t want to keep it, then you can try to sell it for the best price. An auction house will typically take 20% plus VAT. To make the most profit, an antiques dealer will buy at a low price. You can sell your item on eBay, but you need to specify a minimum price and include postage and packing. It must be properly wrapped and packed in a sturdy box if the item is to be shipped via postal mail.
If it isn’t worth much, then you can still enjoy owning something that you love for a low price. It doesn’t have to be worth much. At least it will give you the satisfaction of owning something you like for a low price.
Ask the Expert: A Beginners Guide To Ceramic Investment MoneyMagpie.
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