Choice European antiques as investments

  • This 1790 Russian desk from Guy Regal Antiques can be had for half what it cost in 1995.

    This 1790 Russian desk from Guy Regal Antiques can be had for half what it cost in 1995.

    Kate Burnley/Newel LLC via Wall Street Journal

"There are bargains to be had in most areas of antique European furniture," New York antiques dealer James Sansum says in the Wall Street Journal, "with English Georgian and German Biedermeier offering style and quality for the buck. Both were synonymous with the much maligned aesthetic of the 1980s. Yet their architectural forms and beautiful materials make them especially poised for a resurgence."

With the recent spike in prices for midcentury modern design, period pieces, such as 18th-century Louis, authentic English Regency and Irish Chippendale, are a good deal today.

"There's a glut of important, dowager furniture out there and not a lot of demand, thus, a pricing free fall," says Manhattan dealer Guy Regal. One example: A pair of Louis XVI fauteuils that were $35,000 15 years ago just went for $10,000 at auction.

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