During the mortgage collateralizing frenzy that sunk with excess subprime shenanigans, I always thought antiques had an underlying value that could be monetized.  The lack of a coordinated and cohesive marketplace to package and warehouse the product as well as a payment distribution method to bond holders are big hurdles to overcome.


But I do like the concept; it is where dealers and traders, like in any commodity, look for value and try to make some money.  I guess you could take this to other forms of art and collectibles but it should be structured in the form of a REIT (real estate investment trust).  REITS basically own a collection of real estate properties that can be traded and or held for rental income.  REITS have shareholders but also can afford carrying debt on their properties.


Warehousing and general physical maintenance of these items isn’t all electronic.  Shares of IBM are literally on a computer hard-drive, but REITS do have managers that run the properties. This is where dealers, who know how to warehouse and know what has value, can succeed.  It also allows for shareholder to see and invest in a portfolio of antiques which not only are described, valued, and inventoried in a prospectus, but can be sold, traded, or liquidated at any time.


With all the hoop-la from collateralizing mortgages, to student loans, credit card and car payments, oversight of the marketplace was lax or nonexistent. Dealing with antiques can be no different.  All the parts are there to make the concept work.  As an investment I believe antiques are on par with any form of asset class having a value that can fluctuate, but doesn’t disappear.


While my fantasy concept won’t come about in the near future, it does offer a challenge to the auction process.  It allows for an orderly distribution and reasonable valuation in a diversified or specific inventory of items.  It also starts to create a real marketplace for antiques to be traded in bulk or individually.  The shareholders/owners directly benefit, not the auctioneer who uses deceptive practices of secret reserves and conflicts of interest with a buyer’s premium and seller’s commission, irrevocable bid scam, etc.  SEC, bring it on!





Bind their dealer members to adhere to reputable standards of quality and expertise

Facilitating the legitimate circulation of art throughout the world

Disseminating practical information on the art market

Proactively supports measures which aim to eliminate traffic in stolen antiques and works of art

Takes an active part in speaking on issues which impact the market sector’s economy

LAPADA (The Association of Art and Antique Dealers)  

Works to maintain a flourishing art and antiques trade

Keep UK in the forefront of the international market

Vital to dealers faced with increasing national and European legislation as well as financial, regulatory and marketing pressure

Lobbies national and local authorities over current and proposed legislation to ensure that the interests of dealers, both large and small are considered at the highest level

BADA (The British Antique Dealers’ Association)

Set the standard(s) for trading in the antiques business

ADAA (Antiques Dealers’ Association of America)

Dedicated to integrity, honesty and ethical conduct of the antiques trade

Dealer organization with auctioneer ties (Dean Failey (Sotheby’s)-Hon Member

NAADAA (National Antique & Art Dealers Association of America)

Safeguard the interest of those who buy, sell, or collect antiques and works of art

To promote the best interest of the antiques and art trade

To promote the just honorable and ethical (industry) trade practices

AADLA (The Art & Antiques Dealers League of America)

Devoted exclusively to the best interests of the dealers and buyers of antiques and works of art


To dedicate itself to the study and the protection of the interests of the trade

To oversee the issues, propriety and development of the trade

Assist in trade developments with the rest of the world

Stimulating the art market

Safeguarding the purchaser of antiques

Assurance that the customer’s invoice will contain a fair description of the article sold

To inspire the public’s confidence in its members

Aim to bring antiques into the lives of everybody

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