A beginner’s guide to antiques: Top tips for new collectors

Published November 24, 2020, 9:06 PM

by Jessica Pag-iwayan

“Cuarto” auction presents masterpieces, objets d’art, and home décor collectors will surely love

While in the middle of isolation, more and more people, especially the younger set, are turning to or showing their interest in exploring and pursing their artistic side. The burst of creativity may lean toward painting, designing, or collecting art pieces. During the lockdown, art galleries are suggesting an increase in number of young people joining online auctions to check and bid for antique art pieces.

Auction house Casa de Memoria is holding the online event “Cuarto” this Nov. 28. Before this exciting fourth main offering by Case de Memoria, Manila Bulletin Lifestyle takes a sneak peek into the world of art, antiques, and collectibles. Also, we ask Chat Fores, interior designer and auction partner, and Monchet Olives, strategist for Casa de Memoria, for some beginners tips on how to venture and invest in collecting antique pieces.

An ornately decorated silver tobacco box

Here are their pointers:

  • Start with ivory 

The upcoming “Cuarto” auction is set to feature 180 curated Filipino and European pieces including paintings, silverware, decorative home items, and many more. The long list of items gives bidders a lot of options to choose from. But for Chat, young collectors should go for ivory pieces. 

Japanese Okimono carved as Japanese Scholar

“This generation is the one that want to invest early,” she says. “If I were you, guys, go for the ivory. If you can go for big pieces, why not? Those are very valuable pieces.” 

Some of the ivory pieces in the said auction includes the sculpture of the Immaculate Conception and the wood crucifixion with angels and Sorrowful Mother. Depending on the item, bidding for an ivory piece starts at P30,000.

  • Go for silverware

Aside from ivory, the interior designer also encourages beginners to pick silver pieces. One of her favorite antique silver pieces from “Cuarto” is the early 20th century Spanish silver tobacco box. 

“Silver pieces are not made like that anymore,” Chat explains. “You can make money from that if you want to sell it later on. It’s really an investment piece.” 

Napoleon III mirror

Aside from said cigar box, other silver items are the Spanish silver candle stick, art nouveau table mirror, and a set of miniature hats in Mexican silver.

  • Bite your taste

For Monchet, the strategist reminds young investors to pick pieces that resonate with them, especially items that tell stories.

“Bite your taste,” he says. “It’s always nice to have a piece that you can bring to your home or your apartment that has a story. We have beautiful Asian pieces that you can put on your desk on a table. This is something that you can relate to.” 

Spanish earthenware vase by Domingo Punter

For those wanting ecclesiastical pieces, he says that Casa de Memoria always features this type of items in every auction. 

Casa de Memoria will donate a part of the auction’s proceeds to Santa Ana Hospital in Manila for the maintenance of its Covid-19 facility.

For those who want to see actual pieces before the online auction on Nov. 28, there’s an ongoing preview until Nov. 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Palacio de Memoria, 95 Roxas Blvd., Tambo, Parañaque City. Strict health protocols are observed in the venue.