Instant heirlooms: The hidden treasures in your home

New replica law means original mid century furniture set to rocket in value

Instant heirlooms: The hidden treasures buried in your home
(Eames Lounge Chairs)

Anyone who has ever watched the Antiques Roadshow has seen one of those items that looks worthless but turns out to be worth thousands of pounds. Unfortunately, most of us don't have an ancient heirloom just lying around waiting to make us serious money. However, changes to copyright protection laws mean that some of us may be in luck sooner than we think.

Up until now, registered designs were allowed to be copied 25 years after the designer's death. A roaring trade in replicas has built up, as style-conscious, but cash-strapped customers picked up almost perfect copies for a fraction of the price.

In turn, this also led to a fall in the price of the originals, meaning savvy bargain hunters could find themselves with a unique piece for a much lower price.

But there's good news for furniture collectors, because this is all about to change!

The new law makes it illegal to manufacture or sell copies of such designs until 70 years after the death of the designer.

This means that people who are in possession of originals will now own significant investment pieces

Online furniture retailer,, put James Nurse, a Contemporary Art and Design Specialist, to the test and asked him to judge how valuable these pieces could be in the future.

These are some of the items you'll be carting down to the Antiques Roadshow in a few years time:

Instant heirlooms: The hidden treasures in your home

So remember to keep an eye on your furniture in the future because you might be in with a chance of cashing in!

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