These Are The 3 Things That Are Most Valued At Auctions

The last item on the list might just surprise you.
Tuesday 4 August 2020
Although live auctions are slowly resuming after a long suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic, collectors have continued to acquire luxury purchases in multiple online auctions. Photo: AFP

Even during the pandemic, auctions were being held online and there was no shortage of buyers. While prospective buyers are increasingly comfortable with the idea of purchasing pedigreed pieces sight unseen, a recent report by Knight Frank Research suggests that collectors prefer to invest their assets in very specific objects of desire.

Here are the top three items to put your money into, and the last one may seem unexpected, but there’s now a good excuse to collect more of them.


Rare whisky

The market for rare whiskys has grown in value the most over the last 10 years (+564%), with Knight Frank Research noting that collectors continue to seek out rare examples from iconic distilleries such as Dalmore, Springbank, Ardbeg and Lagavulin.

While wine has lost some momentum as an investment prospect (+1% in 2019), a bottle of 60-year-old Macallan whisky from 1926 set an auction record for any wine or spirit in October 2019.


The highest price sold for a bottle of whiskey was a Macallan 1926. Photo: Sothebys


The coveted piece sold for just under £1.45 million (about US$1.8 million) during Sotheby’s “The Ultimate Whisky Collection” sale, surpassing its pre-sale estimate between £350,000 and £450,000 (around US$438,000 and US$563,000).



The art market registered growth of 141% over the last 10 years, and a more modest 5% in the past 12 months. While 2019 was marked by records such as the US$91 million sale of Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, auction houses had to move several of their marquee sales online in reaction to the pandemic.

Last June, Sotheby’s made headlines when its marathon sale of Contemporary, Impressionist and Modern art brought in a total of US$363.2 million, with a 93.2% sell-through rate by lot.

The nearly five-hour-long session was led by Francis Bacon’s Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus (1981), which went under the hammer for US$84.5 million with fees.


Francis Bacon’s Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus (1981) went under the hammer for US$84.5 million. Photo: AFP


Collectable handbags


Handbags are increasingly being seen as an investment class in their own right, with the market for collectable handbags growing by in value by 108% in the last 10 years, and 13% in 2019 alone.

Although bags made by luxury brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton are highly collectable, those made by Hermès attract the highest prices at auction.

A black Porosus Crocodile Hac Birkin 40 nearly doubled its high pre-sale estimate of HK$260,000 (about US$33,545) and fetched HK$475,000 (about US$61,287) during Christie’s “Handbags Online: The Power of Colour,” which realized a memorable total HK$14.4 million (around US$1.9 million).

Meanwhile, Knight Frank Research notes that collectors are turning less to classic cars to invest their assets, with the car market falling by 7% in the past 12 months (+194% over the last 10 years). The sector still continues to attract potential buyers, as testified to by the US$2.64 million sale of a 2003 Ferrari Enzo during RM Sotheby’s recent “Driving Into Summer” online auction.


Source: AFP Relax News