Firstly, Chinese antiques offer investors the opportunity to own tangible works of art that can provide genuine visual pleasure and personal pride in ownership, unlike intangible financial instruments such as stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit, or savings books. Investors can appreciate the beauty and tranquility of their investments in the privacy of their own homes or offices.
Secondly, Chinese antiques have a thriving international marketplace, as evidenced by major Asian art auctions held by prestigious auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s in New York, London, Hong Kong, and other metropolitan centers. China’s auction houses are also flourishing, and there are several Asian art publications and international Asian art trade shows that feature Chinese art. Annual Asian “art weeks” are also widely publicized in New York and London.
Thirdly, Chinese antiques are a private and portable investment. Unlike real estate, investors can take them anywhere they travel, even during times of political uncertainty or emergency. They can also be willed to or given as gifts to children, relatives, friends, or institutions. Moreover, investing in Chinese antiques is a confidential and private investment compared to more visible and public types of investing.
Lastly, investing in Chinese antiques has never been more advantageous due to mainland economic and land reforms, rapid market formation from technological innovation, and China’s more aggressive building and road development policy. This has created an extraordinary buying opportunity caused by a “supply bubble”. Select Chinese antiques are particularly attractive acquisitions at current price levels, as fine quality Chinese antiques are available in greater numbers and at lower price levels than almost any other time in the past. However, this temporary window of opportunity may not last long as fine works of art continue to rapidly disappear from the market.