Dedicated to helping private and institutional clients protect, conserve, value, acquire and manage their tangible assets
Pall Mall Art Advisors was established in 2010 to meet the challenges created by a changing market of collecting fine art and other valuables. This aim has seen the company adopt many innovative approaches, resulting in the provision of a growing range of services as clients, whether private, institutional or professional, engage with the global art market. Pall Mall Art Advisors is a highly respected source of independent advice for those buying or selling art, antiques and collectables. We are also market leaders in appraisal services for the purposes of insurance, estate and tax planning and at the cutting edge of collections management. Tangible Asset Management is the umbrella term describing the three key elements of our business.
Investors now regularly seek to include tangible assets such as jewelry, cars, art and collectables as part of their overall portfolio in the wake of the financial crisis. Such assets need care and management, not just in the sense of conservation, display, storage and insurance, but as repositories of significant monetary value. They also need the kind of oversight required by purely financial assets. In other words, to achieve a balanced portfolio, there needs to be an awareness of current values and when to buy, sell or hold.
Areas Of Expertise
Pall Mall Art Advisors is supported by an outstanding team of hugely experienced specialists. We keep abreast of market trends to ensure clients receive the best current advice.
In a truly global market, exceptional prices are currently being paid for the best-preserved art objects from the ancient civilisations of Greece, Rome, Egypt and Mesopotamia. Rarity, condition and quality are key issues and – with this area of collecting occasionally attracting the wrong kind of headlines – so too is provenance.
Exceptional sums have been paid in recent years across a market that embraces everything from relics of the American West to the intricately inlaid edged weapons of the Eastern world. Recent First and Second World War anniversaries have seen an upsurge in prices for medals and militaria.
The marketplace for Asian art encompasses everything from Mughal miniatures to Meiji netsuke, but has been dominated in recent years by the huge sums paid by Chinese collectors to repatriate their historical art heritage. If there are signs today that the market for Chinese works of art is reaching maturity, then, taken across a roller-coaster decade, the gains have been remarkable. The reappraisal of Asian works of art in existing collections has led to some notable discoveries.
The market for antiquarian books embraces everything from incunabula (books printed before 1500) to Harry Potter. Library sets in fine bindings, early editions by landmark authors, natural history plate books and autograph letters have long impassioned bibliophiles. More recently modern first editions have proved the biggest growth area of collecting and dealing. In the last decade prices have rocketed for many of the classics of 20th century literature.
Softening prices for run-of-the-mill 18th and 19th century European pottery, porcelain and glass can be contrasted with the robust market for the best quality wares from four centuries of ceramics production. The earliest German, French and English porcelain and 18th and 19th century survivors from Imperial Russia remain the target of serious international collectors.
The market for mechanical clocks is polarized. While prices for standard 18th and 19th century longcases have fallen – victims of the movement away from traditional furnishings – the buying base has widened for the scientifically and aesthetically pleasing clocks by the best Golden Age makers (1675-1725) and the precision timepieces that followed in the later 18th and 19th centuries.
Note: Mechanical clocks are exempt from capital gains tax in the UK.
For reasons of fashion and function, the market for traditional antique furniture remains in a parlous state. Few categories from early oak to Georgian mahogany have held firm. With only the finest pieces of 18th and 19th century pieces of the best provevance bucking the trend.
The marketplace for Decorative Arts is dominated by titans of 19th and 20th century design from Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Comfort Tiffany in the US to Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Christopher Dresser in the UK.
Fashion dictates an increasing market focus on mid-century American and European design classics and for the wares of the most celebrated names of the studio pottery movement – all perfect furnishings for the minimalist interior.
Changing remarkably little since the late 19th century, the shotgun remains the standard firearm for hunting game. With increasing demand from new markets, demand remains strong for vintage guns by renowned makers such as Holland & Holland, Boss or James Purdey & Son or Krieghoff or Perazzi.
Note: The sale of shotguns may, depending on the circumstances, be exempt from capital gains tax in the UK.
Economic uncertainty and a global buying audience – notably new players from the Middle and the Far East – is firing the jewelry market. Prices have spiked for untreated colored gemstones and natural saltwater pearls alongside demand for ‘artist jewelry’ of less intrinsic value and branded jewels by the great French and American ateliers such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Tiffany and Black Starr & Frost.
Collected across six continents, classic vintage mechanical wristwatches by the best makers now too rank among the world’s few universal currencies – commodities with investment potential.
Note: Mechanical wristwatches are exempt from capital gains tax in the UK.
While the supply of masterworks by the heavyweights of late 19th and early 20th century art has dwindled, the market continues to reward high quality, market-fresh pictures in the Impressionist and Modern category. As tastes have evolved, great strides have been seen in recent years for Surrealism, for the multitude of painters offered under the Modern British banner and for the Scandinavian Modernists.
Fears of a wholesale collapse in the market for post-War and contemporary paintings, as the global recession began to bite, quickly vanished. After a bump in the road, the work of blue-chip modern masters continues to provide the art market with its most lucrative and most vibrant sector. While optimism prevails, appraisals undertaken sometime ago should be revisited.
Although issues of declining supply, condition and connoisseurship are always to the fore in the Old Master market, the best-quality and best-preserved pictures are highly valued by an international collecting community. The oldest and most traditional of all art markets still has the capacity to surprise.
Taste is increasing towards 20th century works and the blue chip names of recent art history at the expense of more traditional pictures. Demand for many 19th century oils and watercolors, representing many different strands of artistic endeavor, is typically selective but outstanding results are still achieved for the best pictures across all the collecting categories.
A photography market once dominated by demand for the small number of surviving images from the pioneering years of the 19th century has evolved to embrace 20th century fashion photography and large format contemporary works. Record prices at specialist sales in London, Paris and New York have been mirrored by the rise of photography-focussed galleries and fairs.
In this wide-ranging global market the finest weavings from the rich history of carpet making in Persia and India rub shoulders with rugs from the Aubusson region of France and giants of the British Arts and Crafts era. Prices have tended to follow the fortunes of related market sectors: exceptional Islamic and Mughal works have proved particularly strong, so too those from the Modernist movements.
A solid market persists for the many fine examples of 18th century, Regency and Victorian silver that survived the spike in bullion prices of 2011. The movement away from formal dining in the West has impacted prices for traditional table silver, but are there signs that demand from the East might be increasing?
The 21st century collecting market goes far beyond those objects made specifically as works of art. Sporting memorabilia embraces everything from a Babe Ruth bat, an early golfing iron or a run of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. Today all would be worth many times the price of a piece of 17th century furniture.
Fuelled by nostalgia, the market can be volatile. Golfiana has now softened with Olympic memorabilia and football shirts, medals and programmes the current strong suits.