HLK Reviews 7 Leading Auction Houses
Looking to sell a work of fine or decorative art at auction? HLK reviewed 7 auction houses to see just how well they compare to or contrast with each other. Keep reading to find out the differences between the big-name houses and smaller ones to find out which one might be the best venue to sell your valuable property. Bear in mind that even though all of the auction houses listed below offer complimentary preliminary auction estimates, they charge additional fees for for consignments so your end cost can be much higher than expected.
Christie’s and Sotheby’s are the world’s premier auction houses. Sotheby’s focuses only on high-end fine and decorative art, jewelry, and wine, while Christie’s also sells objects priced in the mid-range. Each handles sales in over 50 categories, including Impressionism and Modern, Post-War and Contemporary, fine jewels, and Chinese ceramics. Recent notable sales include the collection of Elizabeth Taylor at Christie’s, which totaled about $157m and Yves Saint Laurent’s sale totaling about $484m. Salesrooms and offices are located all over the world, with most of the major sales taking place in New York and London. Sotheby’s has a lot threshold of $5,000.
Bonhams is a privately-owned British auction houses and one of the oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques, with locations in Europe, the Americas, Australia, and Asia. Bonhams has over 40 specialty categories and dominates the antiquities, arms and armor, ceramics, clocks, and several other areas in the United Kingdom. In October 2011, Bonhams held its inaugural contemporary art sale, which included works by Glenn Brown, Alice Neel, and Roni Horn.
4.) Phillips de Pury
Like Christie’s and Sotheby’s, Phillips de Pury was founded in the eighteenth century in London, and also specializes in contemporary objects, selling design, art, jewelry, photography, and editions. Phillips is an excellent choice for selling contemporary design in particular. The reopening of their 57th Street location in New York commenced with their Carte Blanche sale auctioned by Philippe Ségalot, featuring works by Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Takashi Murakami. The majority of sales are held in London or the headquarters in New York.
Heritage is the largest collectibles auction house and the third largest auction house in the world. Its headquarters are in Dallas, but sales also take place in New York, Beverly Hills, and online. In 2010, a 1939 comic in which Batman makes his debut was sold for $1,075,500. Heritage is the perfect channel through which to sell coins, vintage comics, movie poster, manuscripts, and other collectibles and memorabilia.
Skinner, located in Boston and with a gallery in Marlborough, is New England’s leading auction house for antiques and fine art, but buyers come from all over the world. They have over 20 specialty departments, ranging from American and European paintings and prints and folk art to Oriental rugs and silver.
Roland Auctioneers & Valuers, a family-owned operation founded in 1975, specializes in period antiques and fine furnishings, art, instruments, and rugs. Auctions are generally held once a month, but antiques are regularly sold to clients throughout the US and internationally. Roland also handles estate liquidation, including advising on where or by what means to sell items.
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