Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Daryle Lambert: Art Glass, Pottery and Paintings make money.

Our wish should be to compound the money we start with until our goals are reached. So to make real money you have to follow a plan and ours is to compound our capital on each transaction we make. My thinking is that we shouldn't try to reinvent the wheel but to follow the easiest route to success. By that I mean we should deal in items that are the most popular in the field of Fine Art and Collectibles.

Yes the rare and unusual command the higher prices but you will find that those in certain areas appear most often and will bring you the greatest rewards. The nest of the bald eagle might be extremely rare but how many people are looking for one? On the other hand a rare vase by one of the better artists at Rookwood Pottery will be sought after by everyone that appreciates great pottery. No, everyone won't be able to afford it but if their circumstances change they may well be a future buyer.

With this reasoning, I have honed down my list to four areas of antiques and collectibles that I spend most of my time researching. Art Glass, Pottery, Paintings and Porcelain seem to be where the biggest bucks are, so these are the ones I concentrate on. I will try to break these down to a list in each area that will allow you to make money and have fun.

First, in the area of Art Glass, you must start with Tiffany because it is still the number one glass in the world for collectors. Be careful of reproductions and false signatures with Tiffany because there are many out there. You can't go wrong with a piece made by Tiffany if you purchase it right. There are some items made by Tiffany that are unsigned but you should let the buyer decide whether it is a real Tiffany or not. I once purchased a small vase, unmarked, for $40 and put it on eBay and it sold for over $1800 even though my reserve was just $400. The purchaser said that it was an unmarked piece of Tiffany and that was perfectly okay with me. Any red piece of Tiffany will bring extra money because of its rarity.

My second favorite Art Glass is enamel and etched cameo glass such as Galle and Daum Nancy. These pieces, depending on the quality of the workmanship, can start at $10,000. The top end is unlimited. A great source of information for you should be Victor Arwas book on glass, Art Nouveau to Art Deco. You might find a great art glass treasure and it could come in the form of a miniature piece by these companies. I once bought a vase by Daum Nancy that was less than 2” tall for a couple of hundred bucks, but after my research I was able to sell it for more than $3500. As with all glass, check for reproductions.

Two other companies that I keep an eye out for are Steuben and Lalique. I have been asked to write on Steuben and I will do that in the future. Frederick Carder was the most famous designer at the Steuben studios and any piece marked by him will be a great treasure. Steuben made many different types of glass and you can read about them in Victor Arwas' book. Lalique is also a very respected producer of fine glass, but don't get carried away with the contemporary pieces. Newer pieces that might retail for $5000 can often be purchased in the open market for under $1000. Color does count with the newer pieces of Lalique and they usually do better than the clear pieces. Rene Lalique pieces are the ones you want to find and they are top collectibles. You will find the real buyers searching for these pieces and if you find any the rewards will be fantastic. To make money, remember you need to find the pieces that others are searching for.

This blog has proven to be longer than I thought it would be so I will continue with Pottery, Paintings and Porcelain in my next three blogs.

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