6 expert predictions for the 2018 collectibles market



2018-01-03 15:44:05

What can we expect to happen in 2018? Predicting the wacky world of collectibles is notoriously difficult, but these six brave experts have put their heads above the parapet and given it a go. 


Laurie Black

Whisky specialist and auctioneer | McTear’s 

"It's a good time to be an auctioneer of whisky!"

The rise in value of rare whisky continues to make headlines around the world, and previous predictions of the bubble bursting have yet to materialise. The most sought after bottles continue to reach new heights, with the likes of Black Bowmore occasionally experiencing dramatic surges in value as part of a steady increase over the last two decades. 

2017 saw the announcement that three iconic closed distilleries (Port Ellen, Brora and Rosebank) are to restart production in the next few years. My prediction is that demand for the original liquid from these distilleries will reach unprecedented levels, as buyers continue to demonstrate indifference towards modern, elaborately-packaged and overpriced modern releases.

Finally, if well-heeled individuals continue to actually drink the stuff too, prices at auction for the most desirable bottles will continue to rise. It’s a good time to be an auctioneer of whisky! 

Titanic memorabilia

Andrew Aldridge

Consultant | Henry Aldridge & Son 

"Demand for high quality iconic collectibles will remain buoyant in 2018"

2017 has been a great year for Henry Aldridge and Son. More records were broken including the sale of the beaver lamb coat worn by Titanic stewardess Mabel Bennett for £181,000 ($244,000), and the most expensive Titanic letter ever sold - written on April 13th 1912, the day before the world’s most famous ship hit the iceberg - selling for £126,000 ($170,000). 

Posters and artwork performed above expectations, with the Clifford and Rosemary Ellis collection selling for over £100,000 and the photographic market again showing how buoyant it is with a collection of images of the Tibet from 1904-1912 selling for £26000 ($35,000). 

Looking ahead to 2018, the collectables market faces some interesting challenges including how the thorny question of Brexit will be dealt with. But in my opinion I feel that demand for high quality iconic collectables will remain buoyant in 2018. 

The Titanic market attracted a number of new high net worth buyers in 2017 who are looking at their purchases not only in terms of investment but also the link that owning them gives them to the Titanic. Prices in certain areas have increased by as much as a quarter in the past year, something I can see continuing due to the limited supply of material at the very highest end of the market. 


John Bly

Owner | John Bly Antiques Dealers

John Bly is expecting to see the rise of the

John Bly is expecting to see the rise of the "younger connoisseur collector"

I think we will see a gradual increase in the younger connoisseur collector element so depleted in recent years, an increase in sales via the internet, both through individual and commercial selling sites and I’m sure a new generation of UK interior decorators and designers will come to the fore. Hopefully they will take an academic approach and imbue their clients with taste like their American counterparts still do.  


Jo McDonald

Vectis Auctions

"Specialist diecast continues to be a popular seller"

TV & film collectables and memorabilia continue to be strong auction favourites, with a number selling into the tens of thousands of pounds in 2017. Mint condition carded figures are the draw for the serious collector, with the condition of the card, bubble and figure key to achieving these prices.

Specialist diecast continues to remain a popular seller at Vectis and we have seen some fantastic private owner collections come through our doors during 2017. As with any collectables, the condition of the model and the box is the biggest factor buyers are concerned with. Pre-production and trial models are also commanding high prices.

As we move into 2018 we will continue to see more of the same prices realised as buyers compete to add the best of the best to their collections.


Nate D Sanders

Founder | Nate D Sanders 

Interest is strong for Apollo 11 memorabilia, with the 50th anniversary just a year away

Interest is strong for Apollo 11 memorabilia, with the 50th anniversary just a year away

With the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 approaching, we've seen even more interest in space collecting, which is already a strong genre.

Collectors are especially drawn to space flown items with personal significance to the astronauts. In 2017 we auctioned Jack Swigert's gold Robbins medal from Apollo 13, for example, which was the first gold Robbins medal from an Apollo mission ever to be auctioned. These types of rare, special items are particularly in demand. 

The broad view

Paul Fraser 

Founder | Paul Fraser Collectibles

"I'm expecting to see further growth for Kurt Cobain and Nirvana memorabilia"

The record-breaking sale of Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi in 2017 could prompt more owners of Old Master works to test the waters, and reinvigorate this sector of the art market that for so long has played second fiddle to contemporary pieces. Christie’s bold and ultimately successful decision to place the work in a contemporary auction could spark further examples of “stunt lots” appearing in 2018. Sotheby’s was also at it in 2017, placing Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari in a contemporary art auction.

I’m also expecting to see further growth for Kurt Cobain and Nirvana memorabilia this year. The conditions are ripe. The teenagers who grew up with the band are now in their late 30s and early 40s. They’re getting nostalgic, and have the steady jobs that enable them to buy memorabilia. Give it 20 or 30 years and Cobain artefacts will be held in the same regard as Jim Morrison’s or Jimi Hendrix’s.

Could this also be the year the collecting world wakes up and realises the Rolling Stones are incredible? And that they aren’t going to be here forever? I’m anticipating a surge of nostalgic purchases of Stones memorabilia when the band either decides to stop touring, or its members begin to fall off their respective perches. 

Also look out for the continued rise of memorabilia from classic 70s rock bands. Fully signed classic LPs from both Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd are now comfortably surpassing £10,000 ($13,000) - that's double from just 10 years ago.

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