Imaginary Gallery of Ancient Roman Art, Giovani Paolo Panini, c. 1756
Curating the Showpiece Collection: What Makes the Cut?
At Showpiece we aim to make some of the world's rarest collectibles accessible to everyone.To do this we split an item's value into a fixed number of fractions - or Pieces, as we call them.
So how do we decide what to add to the collection? In short, every “showpiece” will meet the following criteria: Our collectors (by majority) have told us they would like to own it, the item has been authenticated by experts and finally Showpiece can acquire it at a price that offers a fair value to collectors.
What sets Showpiece apart from the rest?
Two things matter more than anything to us: we only add items to our collection that we, and our collectors, are passionate about. And, no matter what we do, we are always focused on creating an experience for collectors where physical ownership can be enjoyed.
We want to keep things simple and create an experience that builds a thriving collecting community. To help us understand our collectors’ needs, we regularly conduct polls, surveys, phone calls and face-to-face chats with people. No matter where you are, we’d love to hear from you!
Every showpiece has a story to tell
Establishing authenticity is an absolutely essential part of our decision-making when we purchase an item. It’s an issue that has been in the news recently too, as a T. Rex, estimated to auction for $25 million, was retracted by Christies because of doubts over where parts of the skeleton had come from. Rest assured we go through a rigorous process to ensure that every showpiece is genuine, long before an acquisition is made. To establish provenance, we obtain ownership records, supporting documents and accurate dating.
As you can imagine, rare and valuable items often require carefully managed conditions to continue their preservation. Not only do we safely store each item within a secure vault, we take extra care to ensure that the environment is optimal for storage.
No item is too big! Whatever the size, we will always find the safest place to store it. Did you know potential showpieces have included an Enigma machine, Aston Martin DB5 and a motorbike.
Above all else, you won’t find a single showpiece without a fascinating story to tell. Whether it's the only object of its kind in existence or the finest example of a revolutionary idea, when we say unobtainable, we mean so much more than an item's value. In numerous surveys, collectors have told us they want the most unique, exclusive collectibles, and we consistently deliver.
Expert advice is critical
In our quest to find unique items with provenance, we work with renowned experts who offer guidance and valuable advice on an item's desirability. In some cases we are fortunate enough to be presented with two examples of the same item, this is when we need a specialist to determine the superior example. We found ourselves in this position when we were comparing two examples of “On the Origin of Species”. Our partners include specialists from companies such as Gurr Johns, Baldwin’s and Stanley Gibbons.
Once an item is accurately valued, we assess whether that price will allow us to provide an accessible cost-per-Piece. For example, if we purchased an item at auction far above its initial valuation, it would mean we wouldn’t be able to offer Pieces at a fair price for collectors.
Fair market value can be determined, enabling our collectors an entry point at an accessible price. For example, if we purchased an item at auction far above its valuation, we wouldn’t be able to offer pieces at a fair price to our collectors. We use specialists like Gurr Johns, Baldwin’s and Stanley Gibbons to authenticate every item before any purchase.
What will the future of Showpiece look like?
At Showpiece, we are constantly looking to grow our collection and build a community of passionate collectors. We want Showpiece to become a platform for you to share your opinions and connect with others, no matter what you collect. This is about so much more than buying Pieces, it’s about the enjoyment of ownership.