Lockdown boosts demand for collectables and memorabilia at auction

Lockdown in the UK has led to a rise in demand for collectables, watches and memorabilia at auction, according to the latest figures.

Hornby LMS Princess Elizabeth, Wallis & Wallis.jpg

This Hornby LMS Princess Elizabeth model train sold at Wallis & Wallis for a hammer price of £1200 on April 6.

In the month since the UK was put into lockdown the number of searches for collectables, watches and memorabilia has risen 19%, 13% and 11% respectively.

The figures related to searches recorded on thesaleroom.com during the first three weeks of lockdown from March 24 - April 13, compared with the three weeks before lockdown (March 3 - March 23).

John-Paul Savant, CEO of Auction Technology Group which owns thesaleroom.com, said: “Traditionally during periods of economic uncertainty we would expect to see high demand for items seen as alternative investments – items perceived as a ‘safe haven’ because they hold or increase their value regardless of what is going on in the financial markets.

“That trend is playing out in the activity we’re seeing among bidders at auction. And of course, during a time such as this, others are simply using their time at home to start or continue on their journey of collecting as a hobby.”

thesaleroom.com saw a 12% month-on-month increase in new registrants at the end of March.

As well as an increase in searches for items, prices have also remained strong. For watches and vintage timepieces, an example of a strong price for a rare Rolex Cosmograph Daytona c.1970 was recorded at Watches of Knightsbridge. This example took a hammer price of £32,000 from a buyer on thesaleroom.com at a live online-only sale during the first week of lockdown.

ROLEX DAYTONA BRACELET WATCH C. 1970, Watches of Knightsbridge.jpg

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona c.1970 took £32,000 hammer from a buyer on thesaleroom.com at a live online-only sale by Watches of Knightsbridge.

Items that have seen the biggest increase in searches at auction on thesaleroom.com in the past month:

  • Hornby trains                up    96%  
  • Blancpain watches         up    37%  
  • Football programmes     up    30%  
  • Comics                         up    28%  
  • Heuer watches              up    19%  
  • Rolex watches               up    11%  
  • Gold coins                    up     6%  


For the latest catalogues of upcoming collectables auctions visit: https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/auction-catalogues

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