Auction houses: the selection of works for sale

    Auction houses: the selection of works for sale

    Often Collectors wishing to sell works of art at auction, wonder what the criteria for evaluating and selecting lots are.

    There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to organizing auctions, but parameters that are taken into account by the individual Departments of the Auction Houses.

    What are the parameters for organizing an auction?

    • Analysis of the current market
    • The study of the preferences of the client collectors of the auction house
    • The scheduled institutional exhibitions
    • The results of previous auctions

    How are the works selected?


    Auction houses such as Sotheby’s or Christie’s make available on their websites the possibility of submitting works for evaluation by e-mail or by filling out the appropriate online form, the experts of the individual departments will then make a first selection;


    Not just proposed works, the auction house is actively engaged in the collection of works to be included among the lots on sale by addressing its pool of collectors and drawing on its network of knowledge.


    Before reaching an agreement on the estimate of the work, the reserve price and the applicable auction commissions, the auction house asks the seller for the documentary kit of the individual works, which ideally must be composed of a Certificate of Authenticity, Condition Report, purchase invoice


    After reaching an agreement on estimate, reserve and auction commissions, the lots are delivered at the auction and, at that moment, the owner is given a deposit receipt, which certifies the delivery of the work and the acceptance loaded by the auction house.

    Subsequently, the signature of the sales mandate will be requested, a document presenting the contractual conditions, reserve prices, auction commissions, lot number and any extra expenses.

    Once the collection of works has been completed, the specialists of the respective departments carry out an even more detailed analysis to verify the authenticity of the works, their provenance and their state of conservation.

    Thanks to the new digital tools to support the Art and its Operators, it is now possible to significantly reduce the search and selection times of the works, together with the verification of their documentation.

    Among the professional Art Rights platforms, for the management and certification of works of art with Blockchain technology, which allows you to create the Art Rights Certificates, real Passports of works of art able to contain all the documentation required by the major houses auction for the evaluation and sale of the works.

    And you, are you ready to sell your works at auction?

    Photo Credits: Sotheby’s

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