Paul Sullivan writes about the unique investment challenges associated with collecting fine art and rare objects in a recent New York Times article. The article begins as follows:

LOOKING back on some of the most popular antiques he has sold, Bill Rau, chief executive of M.S. Rau Antiques in New Orleans, said two truly stood out for both their value and scarcity.

The first was an Enigma machine, which was used by the British to decode German military messages during World War II.

“They’re exceptionally rare,” Mr. Rau, a third-generation antiques dealer, said. “Up to 1990 they didn’t exist outside of intelligence circles. Forty-five years after the war, they were declassified. As recently as two years ago, we sold them for $100,000.”

At a Bonhams auction in March, one sold for $269,000. The auction house sold another one in October for $365,000. Mr. Rau said he has bought and sold five Enigma machines over the years, and their rarity has translated into healthy appreciations in value. He had an Enigma machine for sale at the New York Art, Antique & Jewelry Show, which ended on Tuesday, priced at $198,500.

Read the full article  here.

Posted by Logan Davis, Associate Editor, Wealth Strategies Journal.