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Antiques in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Rainbow of cultures, cosmopolite city, Buenos Aires is a fantastic place to buy extraordinary antiques, vintage items and collectibles. There are several reasons why Buenos Aires has so interesting antiques. The first of them is quite simple. Back in the mid 1800s, when thousands of hundreds of immigrants came to this southern country seeing a better life and opportunities they brought some of their most precious possessions with them. The need of money or the lack of inheritances fed the flow of vintage and valuable items such as paintings, scholar items, furniture, and several other valuable objects. On the other hand, during Argentina's golden years, back in the late 1800s early 20th century, a solid social group involved in field related business got very wealthy thanks to great investments and financial turns. This upcoming class wanted to support their richness with a solid cultural background and social status. They then invested a good deal of their new profits in art, antiques, and collectibles of extremely high standards from all over the world, especially from Far East, Europe and Exotic lands such as India. This was the first inputs of great antiques that Argentina received early in the 20th century. The flow of outstanding objects never stopped. Argentina’s highest class, the wealthiest portion of society has always looked upon Europe as a role model in terms of living standards and style. An interesting fact is that a good part of their children were brought up in British bilingual schools, and in several cases, the refined language spoken at home was English. From the marble in their bathrooms to the sculptures in their gardens, to their clothing and books, most of this social group's belongings were exquisite foreign items. An other interesting antique market of Argentina, are countryside auction houses, where all sort of antique estancia/ ranch objects can be found. 

In historical terms also, we can point out two different moments within the antique market's situation. The first one can be dated in the early 80s, after the military dictatorship during Alfonsin's government the country went through a very complicated inflationary process. During this time many families who were no longer in so comfortable economic situations had to get rid of their most precious belongings. This was one of the highest points within the antique market in Buenos Aires, were some of the finest antiques could be acquired in BA for very reasonable prices. The second most important turn within this market took place recently. When Carlos Menem and Domingo Cavallo's economic policy one on one (1 peso- 1 dollar) collapsed, once again, the antiques market grew at an extraordinary rate, this time, with an additive, the exchange rate 3 pesos to 1 dollar has made this turn much more appealing to the international antiques' consumers. The intense growth within this field has not been merely in terms of quantity. In terms of quality, Argentinean Antiquarians have set a new tone to this market, for it's not just a matter of objects -very beautiful and antique objects- but a matter of cultural and social patrimony. Several antiquarian's fairs, auctions and gatherings are taking place at this very moment. 

Expo Anticuaria is an annual event held at the Buenos Aires Sheraton Hotel and Convention Center was the antique lover and specialist meet, exchange ideas and of course items. 

Expo Trastienda, is also an annual event and gathering point for all art specialists antiquarians and interested visitors. A mega art fair with the finest artists -well know and upcoming too- the best antique shops and art dealers participating, sharing their experiences and their knowledge. 

These two events are just an example of the growth in terms of quality that the antique's world has had in Argentina during recent years. 

Bob Frassinetti

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