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  • Writer's pictureVan Weyenbergh Fine Art

Where to buy fine art to make a good investment, part 2 : Auction houses

Updated: Jul 21, 2019

Buying art in auction is very exciting, and it might be too exciting and keep you going to bid on an artwork way above the high estimate. If you are on “Prozac” don’t buy in auction, your euphoric state may make you over-pay for an artwork. I know someone it happened, he was still laughing after the auction! Emotions need to be under control if you are in an auction You have many auctions in the USA ( I show some of them in California, New York, Texas, etc here Some auction houses like Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Doyle New

-York, Bonhams, Heritage are the major players. All the professionals are studying these auctions scrupulously item by item. In these auction houses you will have to pay usually a fair market price. But still, I happened to buy for example, French or Belgian artists in these auctions when the auction was in the USA. Americans are less interested in Belgian artist as they are interested in American artists. The same for European auction houses selling American art, usually Belgian people are less interested in American artists, and you may make a very profitable investments. Of course I don’t speak about the big masters, Picasso, Chagall etc . I consider artists in the range of $ 10,000 up to $ 100,000. When you buy in auction, please verify the auction premium, and if you buy in a foreign country check to see if there are export taxes to pay like in Argentina where you will pay a supplementary tax of 5% besides the premium in auction. If you buy an artwork in France, you receive automatically a warranty of authenticity valid for 30 years. French auctioneers are all lawyers, nominated by the French government; usually the premiums are from 20% up to 30 %, which are the same premiums as in Sotheby’s or Christie’s.

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