General Question

Caravanfan's avatar

Anybody know anything about selling art?

Asked by Caravanfan (9534points) 1 month ago

My mom died a few years ago, and her partner just moved out of my house. I’m clearing it out. They took a lot of cruises and liked going to the art auctions and buying art. They didn’t go crazy—they spent anywhere between $200 to $1500 a piece. They’re pleasant to look at and nicely framed but I have zero room in my house.

Do you know of a place that will do accurate appraisals and somewhere to sell? I’d rather not dive down the ebay hole if I don’t have to, but I will. Some of these have certificates and some do not.

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11 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

Do the pieces have any coherency as a set? or is it more mis-matched? do they seem like the kinds of pieces that have wide appeal and would work in an office setting as a collection or is it more appropriate for a private residence? Ideally you could link up with a buyer that would purchase the entire collection in one go for a discount. I think there are art dealers that furnish offices and such. I can’t imagine a gallery is going to want to sell those on consignment and take up valuable wall real-estate for works in the price range you’re describing.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Consider getting an auction house to come and give you an estimate of value and they may sell them for you. I had a friend that bought entire estates for furniture and jewelry but turned art work over to an auction house.

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Caravanfan's avatar

@Tropical_Willie I had an estate sale person come yesterday and they said they weren’t interesteed.

@gorillapaws No coherency as a set. Most are random pieces, although there are a couple of matched sets. They’re all just nicely framed original art or prints that were bought on cruise ships. I have all the original bills of sale.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It depends on what you think you have in terms of value.

When my grandfather died, my parents inherit a houseful of art from him. Like you, they didn’t have room. But they knew there were a couple of originals by a couple of mid-20th century European painters that they thought had value.

So they contacted an auction house in New York, and they arranged that the next time he (the auction curator) was coming through their area (Midwest) that he could see the collection and give advice.

As it happened, most of the art was sold for a low price, but one painting did go to action and brought in something like $40K.

Bottom line – depends on what sort of collection you’re talking about.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Caravanfan That was the reason my friend would some times “buy by the pound” so that is where the auction house comes in. Most estate buyers are selling furniture not art.

YARNLADY's avatar

Sometimes you can get more by donating art.

Caravanfan's avatar

@YARNLADY Oh, that will be another option.

jca2's avatar

Maybe you can take photos of the art, front and back along with the certificates, and send them to a few auction houses to see if it’s something they would take on. They are probably not doing home visits now with the Covid, and it saves you from having to lug them somewhere. With email, you can send the photos anywhere in the country with very little effort. Then, if the auction house is not interested, not a lot of effort was expended.

Caravanfan's avatar

@jca2 Well, I started off by emailing a couple of galleries and they’re ghosting me. But yes, I could do that. Thanks for the idea. I hadn’t thought of auction houses.

The issue is shipping. I’d have to ship the whole thing to whatever auction house, and that’s going to cost a fortune.

jca2's avatar

@Caravanfan: Google local auction houses in your area. You will probably find some that auction off a variety of items. In better times, they do in-person auctions. I used to go to one at a church where this auction house would come in and auction off donated items. The proceeds went to the church. Items auctioned were anything and everything from china, household goods, restaurant gift certificates, vacation gift certificates, handmade quilts, furniture. It was really a fun time. That was before the Covid. This same auction house does online auctions now where you bid online.

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