It is certainly true that the marketplace is now and has been, for quite some time, the subject of control by awful speculators, including the fund managers you mention, it has had the knock on effect, from the top drawer down, as a result, the Anglo Boer War collector does have to pay rather more than he would have otherwise done, but, I don't feel any real collector is, or indeed, ever was in the same group as the former mentioned, there is a very profound difference between the two.
My own thoughts have always been whilst DNW is a good place to sell medals, it is not always the best place to buy them, but, Great Britain is, always has been and will remain, the centre of the medal world, there is a great deal of choice, with a huge market.
FSburgher wrote: Hi Rory and others
It is becoming more apparent that Boer war medals are still extremely popular and flavour of the season.
Out of 8 bids on Sept DNW items only 2 were close, and I considered my bids "high" in relation to the catalogue reserve prices listed.
UK and US bidders must be having a field day. What are the prices likely to do during the next 5 years??
Are medal collectors now becoming hedge fund managers and investors rather than history buffs and historians?
Global comments invited.
regards to all
I was struck by the following conversation with Joseph Hackmey about his collections which resonates. I find the psychology of collecting fascinating. What makes a collection a collection and not an accumulation.
"I point out that a lot of rich people want the kudos of collecting. For many of them, art is just way of parading their wealth. He thought about this for a moment. 'You can't generalise. Some people are very knowledgeable. Some people know nothing.' I mentioned a recent sale of Russian art at Sothebys, which drew a lot of very rich Russian buyers. I expressed the view that most of the material was poor. He was familiar with the sale. 'Yes, it was poor quality,' he said. Then he added: 'The point of collecting is to know the thing that you are collecting.' He said that when he bought a stamp he knew exactly how many copies were in existence and who they belonged to. It was a point of pride that he understood the market in which he was buying.
"I asked him how he chose which kind of paintings to collect. 'I don't know why I collect certain things. There's probably a psychological reason for it.' I pointed out that there must be things in his various collections that he hasn't seen for several years. 'That's undoubtedly true,' he said.
"Five years ago he sold his collections of New Zealand and Ceylon stamps. Each of these collection realised around two million pounds. 'I had them for so many years. I thought it was enough,' he explained.
"Some buyers get a thrill out of buying stuff at auction. I asked him if it was like a poker game. 'No it's not a poker game. In poker you have to hide your intentions. Here you are making it clear that you want to buy.'
"So is it like a chess game? 'No you make up your mind on what you want. You concentrate on one type of item, rather than just dabble.'
"I asked him what makes a good collection . I had expected him to say something about learning to appreciate things and bringing them together. But I was wrong: he didn't talk like a philosopher or an art historian. Instead he had more showy approach. 'You need a big item. At least one. Then people will take an interest. If you go to an art gallery, people want to see a Rembrandt – not the minor painters.' I pointed out that three days before seeing him, I'd visited the Wallace collection in London. I was more struck by the tiny detailed paintings by Pieter de Hooch, than I was by the Rembrandts. 'Yes,' he said, 'but de Hooch is not a minor painter. He's a great painter. You need to see the good things.'"
I would tend to agree - buy the best you can afford and hang the rest of the collection around it. May be that is where the serious money lies rather than the hedge funds. Is it an accumulations of VCs or Regimental Collection with a VC as a central focus?
I think the distinction is beginning to be made by very many buyers/collectors/investors and dealers between QSAs that are rare/scarce/have a great story/have research potential and those that are common/have no story/no or limited research potential. Therefore the quantity to buy/collect/invest is diminishing - certainly for me it is.
David's piece resonates with me, I have long thought that any idiot can buy medals, but to form a collection you need to understand what you are buying and if you do then generally you have a theme. I am not sure a great collection needs a "super star" like a VC as a centre piece - maybe because I don't have one . The Llewellyn Lord collection recently sold by DNW is a good example of a great collection, no VC instead an Field Officer's Gold Medal. But to me the key was the theme, which happens to be "Welsh Regiments" and he accumulated an excellent medallic history of those regiments. The two simple IGS 1936-37 to Indian servants of the, South Wales Borderers sitting very well alongside Waterloo medals to the 69th Foot, plenty of medals to ORs as well as officers. Lord was a teacher not a hedge fund manager.
Hi David, Managed to get 2 pieces myself - the DMT QSA and the Coldstream Guards casualty at Magersfontein. Was actually hoping for the MM, QSA to the 1st Day Battle of Somme casualty but thought it would go for silly money which of course it didn't, so I missed it. There were indeed some crazy prices though. Elandslaagte clasp QSA's always do well though.
I think I done well
Lott 229, BSAC Medal, Rhodesia to MRF, QSA, WW1 pair. E W Broackes.
A newspaper cutting says a Jameson Raider, but I can't confirm this but many of the MRF were. I found him leaving UK July 95 as a carpenter, (he was a mining Engineers) so the date is right.
He served 4th Coy 1st Imp Yeo SA 99-01, this is the unit I collect to.
any help would be appreciated.
If you go to Miscellaneous Information under the Main Menu you will see a reference to the Jameson raid - click on that and it throws up an alphabetical list of the participants with a bit of biographical detail. Your man is not listed there.
Nice group though and a bargain at the price (but then you have to add the 20% etc .)