Collectables and alternative investments

All’s fair in love and war

Pablo Picasso’s Femme au béret gets the auction season underway at Sotheby's, says Chris Carter. But what's more interesting than its sale price is what is says about its painter.

Souvenirs of an empire

As a new year of auctions get under way, a treasure trove of memorabilia linked to Britain's colonial past goes under the hammer.

Investors are taking expensive risks for little or no return

Investors are paying through the nose for risky assets that offer little in the way of returns. But there are some bargains about, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

A warning from Jesus

Salvator Mundi, a supposed work by Leonardo da Vinci, smashed auction records, says Chris Carter. That says more about the market than it does about the art.

The most expensive painting in the world

The sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi for $450m may represent the pinnacle of the global misallocation of capital, says John Stepek.

A new hoard of tribal art

African and Oceanic art is in vogue this autumn with many fine examples going under the hammer, says Chris Carter.

Diamonds with pedigree

Next month in Geneva, two outstanding pieces of diamond jewellery with aristocratic backgrounds will be going under the hammer. Chris Carter reports.

The dotcom frenzy is far from over

Spot the next big trend, nab the “.com” first and you could make millions for just $10, says Dominic Frisby.

Start a collection of curios

Curiosity cabinets are back in fashion among collectors, says Chris Carter – and for good reason.

Classic-car sales stall

Chris Carter looks at what has gone wrong as the classic-car market hits the skids.

Hail the New Messiah

There’s serious money to be made in antique violins with rare musical instruments topping the Coutts Passion Index for last year.

Snuff bottles: A skill not to be sniffed at

Intricately decorated Chinese snuff bottles made from glass, stone, jade, agate, wood, ivory and lacquer are highly collectable, says Chris Carter.

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