Sometimes collecting and auction values can take a strange turn. While I can understand the potential value of hair and nail clippings from the likes of Elvis Presley and Neil Armstrong – modern day equivalents of holy relics – neither is the sort of thing I would want to buy; but each to their own.
Now we have the extraordinary market in trainers. That’s right, limited edition footwear that has become a billion-dollar-plus collecting market over the past few years. It still follows the same rules as other collectable markets, with values being determined by creator, rarity and association, as well as condition. Strangely, it has close parallels to the limited issue collectable whisky market, with ranges being deliberately engineered to create demand via highly publicised timed releases. Perhaps more importantly, the trainer market is largely populated by young people who have become almost instantly adept at trading in their purchases via specialist apps and platforms.
This is good news because it shows the timeless appeal of collecting and dealing; only the commodities and collectables themselves change, while technology simply adds to the variety of ways in which they can be traded, including online auctions.
Anyone who thinks the antiques market is out fashion is wrong; it’s just that it moves with the times. Hurrah for that.