Understanding your consignment options is paramount. Believe it or not, an auction of your prized possession may not be the best way to realize maximum potential. Whether a fine painting or fine jewelry, if it’s not the right fit for the item, it’s not the right fit for you.
That’s where we come in; the auction specialist. It’s our job to guide you through the auction process and recommend the best course of action for you. Not everything is in our wheelhouse and if we don’t have the right audience for your item or collection, we’ll refer you to another firm who might. Typically, auction is the best choice to sell because competitive bidding drives up the price. However, other more creative measures may be suggested. For example, a retail consignment might be better for a larger piece of furniture that might otherwise fall through the cracks in an auction.
In certain cases we may believe we’ll get a better result by offering your item privately to a collector, museum or corporate collection who may be seeking to fill a void in an existing collection. Big collectors are often willing to pay higher prices in a private sale scenario rather through auction. Many busy dealers don’t have the time to comb through lot offerings to bid or don’t want clients knowing the purchase price of an item for resell. There’s nothing wrong with making a profit and a living, but many dealers simply enjoy being private about it and that’s ok. Some folks prefer staying anonymous and don’t want anyone to know they are parting with family treasures which may be seen at auction and might be linked to them-think Rockefeller or Carnegie.
I’ve had the fortune of selling a few important lamps via Private Treaty over the years. I’ve enjoyed seeing several of them together on loan for an exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Of course I would have loved to sell these via auction and it would have been quite the feather in my auction cap, but the bottom line was a private sale was better for all the parties involved.
The point is to try and select an auction house who’ll meet your needs. Whether buying or selling, contact one of our specialists to discuss your unique situation so we may provide you a bespoke experience and make sure you understand your options.