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Glass Discussion & Research. No ID requests here please. => British & Irish Glass => Topic started by: BohaGlass on February 20, 2012, 09:11:06 AM

Title: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: BohaGlass on February 20, 2012, 09:11:06 AM
Hello Everyone,

I am thinking of starting a collection of British glass as a pension plan.

I have about 15 pieces of Isle of Wight, but wouldn't want to part with any of them.

As an investment for the future, what British glass would you recommend collecting?

I was considering Nailsea Glass - the factory is only three miles from us but sadly it's now buried under a Tescos Car park.
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: johnphilip on February 20, 2012, 07:00:05 PM
Well i had that brilliant idea about 25/30 years ago now i have a house full of good glass that i cant sell even at reasonable prices .  sorry but i would look elsewhere . Become a politician and get paid for incompetance , the more you cock up the  more you are paid and the bigger your pension  :grrr:
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: Max on February 20, 2012, 10:21:28 PM
I'd look elsewhere for a pension fund too.  Only collect it if you like it....or the other way is to research it and try and find it cheap at bootfairs or somewhere to sell it on later.  That's the only way you're going to make any money at the moment and it's fun at least.   :thup:

Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: flying free on February 20, 2012, 11:44:28 PM
glass collecting for investment would be about as predictable as playing the money markets  - a lot more fun perhaps as in having colourful things to look at rather than just bits of paper with numbers on,  but just as UN predictable.  And it would come with the same tagline 'please note the value of your glass may go up or down'.  And it's quite a bit more volatile in my opinion (if anything can be more volatile than the markets).
I couldn't recommend buying art for investment as in my opinion, unless you are prepared to also create and drive the market for demand, or unless you have money to burn on losing out on the no hopers you bought by accident - one is statistically unlikely to win overall in the long term.  However of course, people do buy art for investment, but I think they are the ones who can afford to lose the money if they made a mistake.   And glass does not have the same PR machine or 'voice' as say sculpture or paintings out in the wide world. Unfortunately.
m
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: nigel benson on February 20, 2012, 11:47:35 PM
I'm afraid we have a number of cynics in our ranks on this board ;)!!!!

Actually, having been a full-time glass dealer specialising in British Glass for the last well, nearly 26 years, I think that there are indeed areas that you could collect and get a good return, providing that you are looking at a mid to long term investment. A minimum of five years (in most cases) will mean that you get your original investment back. This is a rule of thumb and naturally can vary, according to the item. I have known some items that have gone up throughout the twenty five or so years, and others that have dropped off the scale.

My suggestion would be that you use a good quality dealer, who has a track record, who can advise you and give you the confidence to back you own judgement over a period of time.

Like many investments, glass has its ups and downs and fashion can play its part, so the use of a dealer can pay you back through their knowledge of the subject. However, if your aim is to enjoy yourself while collecting then you need to do some research and look for areas that interest you and give you pleasure.

The scatter gun approach can work, as can the bootfair/charity shop circuit, however both have their shortcomings, which usually entails gathering large numbers of items together, but with only a small proportion having lasting value. This is not to put down that way of collecting, just to give advice, Some folks have been known to have a lot of luck through both methods, but that is not always the case if you are thinking in terms of an investment.

Be judicious and buy quality items in good condition! And, develope a good 'eye'.

Lastly, but importantly, only have this as part of a diverse portfolio of investments. It never does to put all your eggs in one basket  ;) :)

Kind wishes, Nigel
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: KevinH on February 21, 2012, 12:02:19 AM
I suggest anything by Mike Hunter could have good investment potential - but probably not as a pension plan.

Maybe cameo work by Helen Millard (http://www.helenmillard.co.uk/) or Jonathan Harris (http://www.jhstudioglass.com/) could eventually become as good an investment as the 19th century cameo by George Woodall etc.
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: flying free on February 21, 2012, 12:03:59 AM
Nigel you put it well  :)

I would add to my input,  that if you are going to buy glass as 'part' of an investing portfolio, then you buy top end and in very good condition.  And as with anything that is going to be done for investment, prior to the fun buying bit,  it is vital to do the requisite in depth research, which of course takes time and money.
Have fun and enjoy  :)
m
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: johnphilip on February 21, 2012, 08:54:22 AM
Part of the problem is there is so much pretty glass coming out of China and parts of Europe for so little money its affecting prices , i do agree you can make a profit out of the best pieces but its harder to find really good pieces , Coz Bothery Nigel has them all stuck away in his kitchen , then their is the breakage problem like when someone crashes a hoover into your show stand , :cry: init Nigel  :cry:. More people are buying glass these days but a lot of it is from Dear old TK Max .
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: scavo on February 21, 2012, 11:30:36 AM
I'm new to glass but have collected and sold in different areas over the last 25 years. In some areas I bought and sold for quick turn-over - other items I have hung onto and taken to longer term investment approach. Both have worked for me to varying degrees. I have used the charity shop, car boot and flea market 'scatter-gun' method with relative success.

In a completely different area, posters, I made good money on a ten year investment.

As I say, I'm new to glass so I don't know much about Nailsea glass. But as you are close to the old works there might be a lot of it about at investment prices? Having googled Nailsea I imagine there is already an established market for it. However, if you consider it to be currently undervalued there may be room.

The price of gold bullion has more than doubled in 7 years - based on the price of Thai gold I didn't buy in 2005. As they say, we more often regret what we didn't do more than that we did?
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: Paul S. on February 21, 2012, 08:45:46 PM
I'd suggest buying 5 - 7 acres and starting up a quality boot sale.       No new goods - encourage the antique dealers and good bric-a-brac sellers to come in - high class butchers and green grocers are permitted however, with flower sellers and a good ice cream van also (you have to encourage families with kids, and they always want an ice cream).   With 250 - 300 pitches at say £12 a throw - transits and lorries at higher rates - and the punters pay a quid on exit  -   you could be spending your winters abroad at that rate.    I'll be your agent ;D
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: rosieposie on February 21, 2012, 09:57:03 PM
You forgot the Kebab and Burger van Paul!

Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: aa on February 21, 2012, 10:40:29 PM
If you really want to collect with a view to investing, you need to consider who your future market is likely to be. One option is to choose something that is scarce - demand could exceed supply, which can push up prices. Another is to choose something where there is plenty available - more people in the market wanting to create collections can stimulate growth in prices.

The big problem is always going to be that fashion and taste changes.

Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: scavo on February 22, 2012, 12:00:20 AM
: :rlz:
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: Mosquito on February 22, 2012, 12:46:58 AM
I know it's not really answering your question, but myself, were I buying glass specifically for investment, I'd look beyond Britain and put my money into top-end Chinese and Taiwanese art glass; i.e. Liuligongfang, Tittot, etc. (and concentrate specifically on special and limited editions).

Another area which I think has potential for growth (and which doesn't require as much initial outlay) is Japanese glass from the sixties and seventies. Many nice quality coloured and textured pieces are still around and available for little money. However, were someone to research them and identify which firms made which patterns, etc., then I do think there is potential for them to become more widely known and collected.
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: johnphilip on February 22, 2012, 08:24:00 AM
One of the problems is to first buy your good glass ,you may have to buy at auction the small ones 12-15%
 the big ones 20-25% all plus VAT 20% , then when you retire how do you sell it , thru auctions ? their rates may be even higher by then or willl you stand at fairs for hours with the unloading and reloading ? not an easy job for a pensioner ,  ;D is it Nigel ? not too bad for young Adam A tho , of course then there is ebay , not much happening there at the moment !!!!!! if you can make money then you may have the taxman & VAT on your back . sorry but someone has to put the downside to it .
All i am saying is think it thru first , but good luck whatever . The >:D advocate
I believe it was Kev who mentioned Helen Millards cameo work , i totally agree thats where i would invest if i were younger , every single piece takes many months but the result WOW Fabulous as good as anyone in the past . Helen will be standing at Cambridge on Sunday .
i believe . just go and look for yourself .
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: BohaGlass on February 22, 2012, 09:07:02 PM
Blimey, a few days at work and loads of replies.! Thank you to everyone for taking the time to help me garner my thoughts.

John - my mother was a local politician and after 30 years hard work for our local community she lost her seat by 17 votes and is 67 with no pension. They aren’t all bad – just 99%

Max - I dream of walking in to old curiosity shops and finding the most amazing bargains. Now I have a two-year old human steam roller I can't even risk going into a glass shop for now.

Flying free - I agree, the glass would be far more eye catching to look at than bits of paper. If I find pieces that I like and enjoy looking at for ten years, even if I don't sell them, at least I’ve had the enjoyment of looking at them.

Nigel-Good advice and much appreciated. I definitely think a balanced portfolio makes sense - look at all the buy-to-letters who got bitten in the last few years. I don't think I would be in the find a dealer bracket - but I am a good Googler and would hope to find my own opportunities. Recently, I managed to buy some of the last few pieces of Adam Jablonski stock from his factory. He has now retired, and I felt this would be a good investment. Even if they don't sell I am enjoying looking at them.

KevinH - Thank you for the links, there is some really lovely work yet. (P.S. Hooray! A post that you didn't have to remove/close. My bad - I should have read the rule book more thoroughly!)

Johnphilip - I have been looking on Alibaba and Tradekey but the pieces I have seen are mass produced and look it. I am sure there are lovely artists out there but have not located any so far. I would love to come to Cambridge - I got the b/w email reminder the other day - but with two kids under 3 and its 3 hours drive away.

Scavo - Sadly, Nailsea Glass closed down a long time ago and a lot of the finer pieces are over in America it seems. My family have a lovely Nalisea glass cane in the local museum, but local collections are thin on the ground.

Paul - I think you definitely have something there! Bristol has only 5 antique shops and only two of them are any good. The nearest good antiques fair is Sheption Mallet once a quarter. I used to run a market stall and used to have permanent cold fingers and flat feet, but a manager position would be good!

aa - Hello my name is Barnaby and I'm an alco...sorry, wrong group! I think I am looking for scarcity and timeless beauty or something that is connected with something bigger/historical that draws people in through its celebrity status.

Mosquito - I would put money into any glass that I feel combines artistic quality and uniqueness. I will definitely be looking worldwide, and thank you for your recommendations

If anyone has made it this far, thank you for reading! Please keep the replies coming. I am sure I can learn a lot from you all.

Kinds regards
Barnaby
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: nigel benson on February 22, 2012, 10:00:16 PM

Hmmm, Just looked at your website. No wonder you wouldn't consider spending with a dealer :o
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: adam20 on February 26, 2012, 10:24:04 AM
I buy glass because I love it so much, often take a risk just for the excitement of a good ID - however I believe its possible to buy as an investment - I buy off eBay - auctions not buy it now and if the price is fair and the peice of good quality, well designed by a good maker then the worst that can happen is you get your money back when selling again on eBay. The trick is to try and guess what areas in glass will remain stable at least and what is good for the future - well good Czech glass is climbing still and IOW is still stable and climbing (Mdina?) - if you can collect pieces with labels still attached then all the better, but signed pieces speak for themselves - some areas are inflated, look at Alsterfors Per Olaf Strom - a few years ago it was ignored and now a good signed piece is hundreds.

As mentioned there are other areas apart from glass - I bought good West German ceramics many years ago and have seen that climb to great heights - again its the quality that counts in any area you collect - a tip I was given is if it was expenisve and well made/designed when firts sold new, its going to be sought after in later years within any field of collecting.

When an area of glass is on a high there usually follows a book, that is again usually a good sign - I suggest that Caithness is a good area to collect, the paperweights and the domestic/art glass - I still pick up peices for a few pounds that I see sell on eBay for £50 up - Mark Hill's book is an excellent resource as is the Scotland's Glass website.

Then there is Chance Glass - Again a good book has been published and some more collectable bits like Canterbury often turn up for a few pounds in charity shops - well this is my experience.

Thanks Adam
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: BohaGlass on February 26, 2012, 06:31:16 PM
Nigel, I'm not quite sure what you mean, but I took it as, you have great admiration for the way I have managed to combine quality and affordability on my site ;)

Adam - thank you for your thoughtful and thought-provoking message. There are so many makers out there that are not being appreciated and maybe there are still chances to get in there early.

I often used to find the odd good bargain in charity shops, but they are more keenly priced these days and the margins are generally too tight now. If I ever saw something seriously under priced, I like to think I would point this out to them though. :-[

Thanks
Barnaby
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: Fuhrman Glass on February 26, 2012, 07:10:55 PM
I would look at individual artists from the Czech Republic from the last 20 years. There are handful that have made museum quality ware, also a couple from Hungary. Only problem is they are not inexpensive to start with and you won't end up with that many pieces. There is a book that comes out every year sponsored by the Corrning Museum of Glass entitled New Glass Review. It is printed in Germany and is part of the Neues Glass/New Glass April/June issue. This will give you an indication of what is being bought for the Corning Museum and some up and coming glass artists and some that may never do anything again, but it's a good barometer of what's going on in the "art glass world". Erwin Eisch for one would be very good, if you can afford it. He's getting up in years but has produced an amazing body of work.
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: chopin-liszt on February 26, 2012, 07:13:11 PM
I'm very curious about a bit I can see on your site. I have a piece just about exactly the same (colours are slightly different, but that's all).
Yours is signed by Marian Pyrcak, but mine is signed by Adam Jablonski. Mine aslo has 2 Jablonski labels, and a cardboard tag.

It's a very tall "thing", with a cased and coloured open bubble at the bottom, (it sits on the open end) with great tall pulled-up sorts of bits going into the rounded top in another colour. Mine's blue and a sort of orangey pink - which sometimes refracts green.

I imagine it could be used to hold paper down.....

Weird.  :spls: I wonder who did the design!
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: BohaGlass on February 26, 2012, 09:54:09 PM
Hi Sue,

I think Marian and Adam worked together. Now Adam has retired and closed his factory and Marian has started up on his own. The original design would be Adam's but his students would work on a similiar design and as they made them, they would sign them.

Hold on to your piece because, as Adam has closed his factory - his pieces have started shooting up in price.

Regards
Barnaby
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: BohaGlass on February 26, 2012, 10:03:18 PM
Fuhrman, than you for that. I have been planning another trip to Hungary, it is really stunning, and would like to discover more eastern European glass artists in general. Unfortunately, my day job (looking after vulnerable women in the acute stage of psychosis) takes up both a lot of my time and my mental energy. My wife is Polish and I hope that when we are over there in May we can make time to drive over to the Czech Republic on a glass reccee.That is, as long as we don't have to visit every aunt, uncle, cousin, godchild... ::)
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: rosieposie on February 28, 2012, 12:26:33 PM

I often used to find the odd good bargain in charity shops, but they are more keenly priced these days and the margins are generally too tight now. If I ever saw something seriously under priced, I like to think I would point this out to them though. :-[

Thanks
Barnaby

No need to look embarrassed, I like your way of thinking Barnaby.... :)
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: BohaGlass on August 21, 2012, 09:24:21 PM
I wouldn't be able to sleep of I did that Rosie. Cubs honour.

Reading around the inter-web there is a lot going on in the UK, but I am finding myself drawn to the garish and loud pieces coming out of the US. My stiff upper lip has evaporated and I am reveling in the multi-coloured pieces. I am thinking they will sell quite well over here - take peoples' minds off the abysmal weather and all that. I have put all the best bits I find on my Pinterest board under Boha Glass.
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: rosieposie on August 21, 2012, 11:41:49 PM
I have stated looking more seriously at glass these days... I still buy the odd quirky piece,  but am gradually selling some stuff off and today John drove me to Devon to pick up a nice piece that is too delicate to be posted.
Some of the animals will have to go as this piece is tall and I will have to lose a shelf in the cupboard... it is time to start serious collecting now... I think!

BTW, I believe you Barnaby, I was a Brown Owl years ago....dib dib dib!  ;)
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: johnphilip on August 22, 2012, 08:31:00 AM
Good morning Rosie there is an R in started , if you want to remain my spelling corrector please get it right . I believe you have signed up another GMB member who cant spell . cheers  ;D ;) jp
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: rosieposie on August 22, 2012, 12:30:36 PM
JP, my dear boy, there is a difference between a 'typo' and a spelling mistake, and it takes a little written English knowledge to recognise that difference.

As for 'signing up' other GMB members who can't spell... it would be a full time job if I did that and corrected all the grammar mistakes... so I just pick on you, 'cos you're worth it!  ;)

Just looked at your site Barnaby, WoW!... yes, definately going to go serious on glass collecting now, Scandi, Leerdam, and my new love, Komaromy.
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: johnphilip on August 22, 2012, 01:48:15 PM
That told me . :'( :(
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: oldglassman on August 22, 2012, 02:01:50 PM
To return to the subject I thought I would add my tuppence worth .

  17thc and 18thc glass has never let me down in 25 yrs , although it is the higher end  that has shown the best return over that time scale so i would imagine it would be the same for whatever genre of glass you decided to collect with investment in mind , the best will always command the best prices .

 below is a recent arrival for the keepers cabinet .

cheers ,
              Peter.
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: chopin-liszt on August 22, 2012, 02:35:50 PM
 ;)
Are you sure, Peter? It looks remarkably Spanish to me.... Lafiore?
(ok I'm going.... ;D )
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: oldglassman on August 22, 2012, 02:41:05 PM
LOL ;D

  Dont go buying any old glass Sue , 17thc for sure , but yes it maybe Spanish or Liege c1660.

cheers ,
              Peter.
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: chopin-liszt on August 22, 2012, 03:12:25 PM
I don't go buying old glass, Peter - I know my limitations!
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: Paul S. on August 22, 2012, 04:27:04 PM
for a moment I though you were implying this piece was your tuppence worth Peter. ;)

coming back to the original subject........most people with common sense could make money out of virtually anything if pieces can be purchased at the right price to start with, and therein lies the rub.     
Ordinarily, we can rule out auctions to provide a continual supply of glass at prices good enough to sell on and make a profit, since there are too many of us looking.       Maybe the odd piece, but not a permanent supply.
I've tried boot sales, flea markets and charity shops, and again found the odd piece.........C18 drinking glasses with folded feet, C20 signed Finnish pieces, Whitefriars, and some run of the mill material - some for as little as 50 pence  -  but never remotely enough to make a pension pot.       I must have spent a king's ransom on fuel over the past few years, plus depreciation on the car's value, all of which needs to be costed into the equation.

I think the answer lies in turning professional dealer, and purchasing pieces from people who have decided to sell their collection etc., or who buy good pieces occasionally, and wish to move them on and make a profit.       A dealer will then, in turn, sell this steady flow of good glass on to a list of high end collectors at suitably adjusted values.
I've watched the beeb's antiques programmes (Road Show etc.), and there is no doubt that some experts have a list of customers who are prepared to pay high prices to a dealer they trust, and who saves them the bother of going to auction etc.
Of course, this needs sound knowledge, not only of the subject but also of market trends......what fetched good money ten years ago, is not necessarily doing so now.          But then again, if you're a dealer you part with your glass, and could I do that :-\

Is this my next career move do we think ;)
Title: Re: Glass Collecting as an investment
Post by: johnphilip on August 22, 2012, 04:29:33 PM
More like La Granja than Lafiore , very nice .