Keyyes Insider: How To Invest In Fine Furniture

You could be sitting on a fortune, says Affluency Maison's Cyrille Delval


Keyyes Insider: How To Invest In Fine Furniture
By Appointment January 11th, 2019

In 1947, French designer Jean Royère made a sofa that was to sit in his mother’s apartment in Paris. Today, the sofa of the same design is in Los Angeles, and is the pride of Kayne West’s living room. The rapper tweeted about the piece, saying that “the Polar Bear couch is my favourite piece of furniture we own”.

The Polar Bear is a Royère classic and a prime example of an investment piece, says Cyrille Delval. “Only 150 pieces of the sofa were made,” says Delval, co-founder of the fine furniture retailer, Affluency. “If you want the sofa and two chairs today, it can cost over a million.”

As you see, a well-crafted piece can be a valuable asset. It can become a family heirloom, or can be traded for a higher price in the future.

Affluency Maison is designed so that customers can see, feel and touch furniture curated by Affluency’s home decor specialists. Photo Courtesy of Affluency Maison 

Form, Function and Financial Investments

If you ever need advice on finances or fine furniture, Delval is the man to turn to.

He spent a good part of his student life at Carré Rive Gauche, a Parisian enclave of antique dealers and galleries. It’s where museum curators and vintage collectors hunt for gems. As an investment banker, Delval visited art museums and design fairs worldwide. He also found time to pursue a fine arts degree at the University of London in 2003.

He combined his personal and professional interests after moving to Singapore and a chance encounter with like-minded individuals led to the launch of Affluency in 2018.

Delval’s partners are Italian furniture designer Tommaso Bistacchi; and seasoned buyer Elsa Lemarignier. Together, the trio seeks out premium furnishings from designers worldwide. What they find, they showcase at Affluency Maison, which is an “experiential residence” in the heart of Singapore’s Orchard Road.

Delval shares insights into picking the right piece for your furniture collection.

What does one consider as an investment piece? 

Is it high quality? Is it well-designed? Will it still have the same appeal in a few years? Spending money on high-quality furniture is an investment because the designs stay relevant for years to come.

Ultimately, buy something that you are truly happy with and you can live with.

Are investment pieces the same as heirloom pieces? 

Investment pieces are bought to be traded. Heirloom pieces are bought with a view to be passed on. An investment piece respects the key principles — high quality and craftsmanship, and provenance. Unless one sells the piece, it will become an heirloom in time.

Nathalie Ziegler Pasqua crafts hand-blown glass into dreamy lamps inspired by flora and fauna. Photo Courtesy of Affluency Maison

Which designers’ pieces are worth considering as investments? 

Ballerina-turned sculptor Nathalie Ziegler Pasqua lamps are a work of art. The lamps are made out of blown glass from Verrerie de Saint-Just, a historical glass factory in France.

Her works can be found in a Qatar princess’ Paris apartment, and at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris. They’re used by renowned interior architects like Peter Marino and Tristan Auer.

She will be flying to Singapore to install a chandelier for one of our customers. When you buy a piece, you get to meet the designer. It’s a service we have for our customers.

Prices of her lamps have been increasing steadily over the years. A 9-branch chandelier goes from SGD $35,000.

Limited-edition pieces make good investments. There are only 12 Ron Arad’s Off-Spring Chairs in the world. Photo Couresty of Affluency Maison

You’d want to get your hands on Ron Arad’s Off-Spring Chair. There are only 12 pieces in the world. We have one displayed at Affluency Maison, numbered as the 11th piece, and which has been sold. The 12th piece is still available and retails at SGD $47,500.

Hotel de Crillon Paris’ Les Ambassadeurs bar was revamped by Chahan Minassian. Photo Courtesy of Affluency Maison

Take this name down : Chahan Minassian. He is responsible for the facelift of the bar of the iconic Hotel de Crillon. You can recreate the luxurious look with a bronze Gueridon table by Minassian, which goes for about SGD $26,500.  

Affluency Maison 

21 Anguilla Park#11-03 Singapore 239974

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