What Are The Most Valuable Antiques?

The 4 Most Valuable Antiques

Antiques have long captivated collectors, investors, and history enthusiasts alike with their rich stories and unique craftsmanship. While the value of antiques can vary significantly, certain categories consistently fetch high prices due to their rarity, historical significance, and demand. 

1. Chinese Porcelain and Ceramics

Chinese porcelain and ceramics have a timeless appeal, and their value has soared in recent years. Pieces from the Ming and Qing dynasties, such as delicate blue-and-white porcelain or vibrant famille-rose wares, command high prices at auctions. The rarity, age, and quality of these pieces contribute to their immense value. According to Christie’s, a Qing Dynasty vase sold for a staggering $69.2 million in 2010, setting a record for Chinese ceramics.

Below: Pair of Antique Chinese Famille Rose Lidded Vases – Sold At Auction $1,300 – Lion and Unicorn


2. Fine Art

Fine art has always been a lucrative area for collectors, and masterpieces from renowned artists can reach astronomical prices. Works by iconic artists like Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Leonardo da Vinci are among the most sought-after. For instance, in 2017, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” was sold at Christie’s for a staggering $450.3 million, making it the most expensive artwork ever sold. However, it’s worth noting that the value of fine art is highly subjective and can fluctuate based on market trends and individual preferences.

Below: Wifredo Lam, Fine Art Print Untitled 1973 – Sold At Auction $225 – Lion and Unicorn


3. Antique Furniture

Exquisite antique furniture pieces often command considerable value due to their craftsmanship, historical significance, and scarcity. Period furniture, such as Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Chippendale pieces, are highly coveted by collectors and enthusiasts. The age, condition, and provenance of the furniture significantly impact its value. Exceptional examples can fetch millions at prestigious auctions. Sotheby’s reports that an 18th-century Chippendale commode sold for over $5 million in 2016, highlighting the enduring appeal of antique furniture.

Below: Pair of Adam Style Carved Wood Armchairs + 2 Pillows – Lion and Unicorn


4. Rare Books and Manuscripts

Books and manuscripts with historical significance or rarity are highly valued by collectors. First editions of iconic literary works, early printed books, and illuminated manuscripts are particularly sought-after. For example, in 2019, Sotheby’s sold a first edition of William Shakespeare’s “Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies” (known as the First Folio) for $9.98 million, emphasizing the enduring allure of rare books.

Below: 5pc Hardcover Book, Aero Digest – Sold at Auction $170 – Lion and Unicorn


The world of valuable antiques is as diverse as it is fascinating. From Chinese porcelain and ceramics to fine art, antique furniture, and rare books, these categories consistently draw attention from collectors and investors around the globe. The value of antiques can fluctuate based on various factors such as rarity, historical significance, and market demand. As always, it’s essential to conduct thorough research, consult experts, and rely on reputable auction houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s to navigate the world of valuable antiques.

Find out more about selling your Chinese Ceramics, Fine Art, and other collectibles!