There are numerous services on the internet that will inform you of just what is happening in the art and antiques markets. The primary source for content are press releases, but some offer the latest numbers of what items sold for in auction. The primary focus of these services are the fine arts since they are easier to track because of the name associated with the work of art. Antique furniture is seldom signed and is not as wealthy a market and is thus less focused on.
The value of these services is debatable but their presence is inevitable. Wherever there are markets, there are services that will promote and analyze the market for signs of strength and weakness. The art and antiques market is fascinating to investors because there are no rules. There are no price earnings ratios and there is, essentially, a limited product. It is the Wild West, a casino that entices only the strongest of stomachs and most disciplined of participants.
In short, the market is a lottery for investors. It would be hard to ignore how Warhol, for example, has gone up so hugely in value. Indeed, you might consider a Warhol silk screen a blue chip investment if, of course, you have the right one. And this is the rub. Which is the right Warhol to own and if you buy secondary Warhols, will they increase in value? It is a game and it is a very high stakes game. To some extent, it exists in the antiques’ world as well. It is perhaps a shade more nuanced.
Is investing in art and antiques a game of musical chairs? The last person sitting ends up with what, the painting or the money? This is, of course, the question. What does our society see in art? Do we see investment, do we see beauty, do we see power or is it all a massive delusion? The internet art services are specifically about money, a topic that I don’t associate with the love of beauty, but I guess that answers all my questions.