Sell your early California Paintings to California Art Company. California Art Company purchases and consigns: Early California Impressionism and Plein-Air Paintings, San Francisco Bay Area Abstract Expressionism, and Bay Area Figurative, Postwar, and Mid-Century Modern paintings by well-listed artists with a secondary market auction history.
We also provide consultation to sellers who wish to sell their paintings at a public auction.
California Art Company offers:
- Cash purchases by check or wire transfer payment complemented with a thoroughly written purchase agreement for early California Impressionism and Plein-Air paintings, San Francisco Bay Area Abstract Expressionism, and Bay Area Figurative, Postwar, and Mid-Century Modern Fine Art.
- Private or dealer sale consignment selling to one of our clients or another art dealer with whom we have a relationship.
- Public sale consignment. We market your painting to our established clients on our website, social media, and email marketing campaign.
- Auction consultation for sale at public auction.
For a list of artists we are interested in acquiring, please visit our “Artists Page.”
How to Sell Your Early California Impressionism and Plein-Air Paintings, San Francisco Bay Area Abstract Expressionism, and Bay Area Figurative, Postwar, and Mid-Century Paintings to California Art Company:
To offer to sell your early California Painting to California Art Company, please email the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Photos of the front and back and close-ups of anything significant to the painting, such as back labels, areas needing restoration, etc.
2. Please state where you acquired the painting and if you are the owner.
3. The condition of the painting.
4. Your asking price (we refrain from making offers to private parties).
5. Your location so we can calculate the shipping costs (if any).
We cannot determine if we are interested in purchasing a painting without the following:
1. Seeing good size quality photos or the painting in person.
2. Knowing what price you would like to sell the painting for.
3. Knowing your location so we can calculate the shipping costs.
Frequently asked questions:
Q: Can you tell me the value of our painting or “make us an offer.”
A: California Art Company does not provide complete narrative appraisals. We can provide “Estimates of Value” for paintings within our focus specialty for a nominal fee.
Requesting a dealer who is also advertising that they purchase paintings or “provides free appraisals” to appraise your artwork can be a slippery slope. Many dealers are ethical and honest, but what if you contact one (or more) that are not? Do you want to trust a potential dealer/buyer in a mostly unregulated industry to also provide you with their appraisal of what your painting is worth and then make you an offer for that same value? Unfortunately, there is a bit of a conflict of interest with the dealer/buyer appraiser scenario. Dealers often get put into this scenario when potential sellers shop a painting around to several dealers stating they do not know what the painting is worth and requesting the dealers to “make an offer.” California Art Company refrains from making verbal or email offers to private sellers of artwork or paintings.
When California Art Company provides an “Estimate of Value” for a fee, we recuse ourselves from purchasing the painting to avoid any potential purchase conflict of interest. If, after an analysis of the painting’s quality and value, we know a bona fide collector, dealer, or auction company that may wish to purchase the painting, California Art Company may solicit a fee or commission for a referral from either the seller or purchaser.
Q: How can I determine what my painting is worth?
A: To determine what your painting might be worth and what your “net” proceeds will be if you decide to immediately sell your painting (as opposed to researching your “insurance value” or “retail value”), California Art Company recommends hiring a professional appraiser.
A good appraiser will be knowledgeable and familiar with your artist and their style of artwork and will also be unbiased, thus gaining no benefit from whether you sell or not. Ensure your appraiser realizes that you want to estimate your “net” value or your “net” proceeds from a sale through an auction company or to a dealer. Also, ensure the appraiser educates you on the pros and cons of selling through an auction company versus a dealer.
Many qualified appraisers are certified by appraiser organizations such as the Appraisers Association of America (AAA) and designated “certified” members. To find a certified appraiser, please visit the Appraisers Association of America website at www.appraiserassociation.org.
Problems with Defining Value or Worth
Determining the value of a “one-of-a-kind” artwork is challenging for everyone. The word “value” can have several definitions or meanings, such as “wholesale value,” “retail value,” “reported auction hammer price,” “reported auction price realized,” or “auction sales price,” and you also have appraisal value for insurance purposes.
Often, appraisers’ and auctioneer’s estimates do not define or identify the terminology or types of values they provide, which vary widely from source to source. Most values or estimates also do not consider the difference between “value” and the actual “net” proceeds from an immediate sale. An auction company’s “estimated” value is typically an educated guess; however, a reputable auction company’s verified and publicly reported sales price result is a real value. One-of-a-kind fine art is not identical to other artworks, and collectors’ demands can be unpredictable at any point in time. Therefore the real value can come down to what one or more people will pay for the artwork at a specific time minus the selling costs.
If you think the value of your painting does not justify paying for an appraisal or do not want to pay for a professional unbiased appraisal or estimate of value, you have some additional options. You can self-appraise your painting, or you can submit your painting to a public auction company for their estimated auction “selling” price (different from the “net” value you will receive).
Q: How can I self-appraise my Early California Painting?
A: California Art Company does not always advise everyone to self-appraise their painting, but if you are going to self-appraise, here is our best recommendation.
Search the internet for the website www.askART.com and search for your artist’s most recent auction sales prices. In addition to viewing the reported sales prices on www.askART.com, you will have to educate yourself with some auction terminology to understand what the various reported prices mean for you as a seller.
After locating your artist’s name on www.askART.com, you can find some introductory information for free, but to obtain the artist’s auction sale records, you must subscribe for (at least) the minimum term of one day for $19.95.
Once you have subscribed to www.askART.com you will need to pay particular attention to viewing the most recent sale dates and only consider the sales similar in size and composition quality to your painting. Please note that price variables such as the artwork’s quality, condition, provenance, and framing may not be recognizable in the photos. These variables can have a price effect on the comparables you are viewing. Without specific industry expertise or first-hand auction research, you may not be able to ascertain an accurate valuation by only looking at comparable sales on www.askART.com. Still, hopefully, you can get a general idea. In addition, auction prices can be skewed higher or lower for a particular painting sold at auction due to the auction house’s customer base, market share, experience with the artist, and geographic location.
Understanding the price a painting sold for at auction and the seller’s “net” proceeds or how much the seller received can be confusing. However, understanding some auction terminology such as “Hammer Price” vs. “Price Realized” and the “Consignment Fee,” “Buyer’s Premium,” and “Seller’s Net Proceeds” are all terms a seller considering selling at auction or researching auction sales prices needs to understand. Listed below is a summary of the terms mentioned.
Early California Painting Sales Auction Value Terminology
“Hammer Price” is the price the auctioneer announces the artwork sold for; however, this does not include the “Buyer’s Premium” (typically around 25 percent).
“Buyer’s Premium” is an amount the auction house charges the buyer. This amount is added to the announced “Hammer Price” when the buyer pays for the artwork.
“Price Realized” is the “Hammer Price” plus the “Buyer’s Premium.”
“Consignment Fee” is the fee the auction house charges the seller to sell the artwork. These fees can have a wide range and usually depend on the value of the artwork and can typically range from ten percent to thirty percent. Additional fees added to the “Consignment Fee” are fees for photography and insurance.
“Seller’s Net Proceeds” is the amount the seller receives from selling artwork at auction. This is the sum left over after the buyer pays the “Buyer’s Premium,” and the seller pays the “Consignment Fee(s).”
Seller Net Proceeds = Price Realized – Buyer’s Premium – Consignment Fee(s)
Once you review and select paintings most similar to yours sold for at a public auction, you will then need to subtract the auction house’s fees (buyer’s premium – which you do not get) and fees (seller’s consignment fees) to arrive at the “Seller’s Net Proceeds.”
On the www.askART.com website, the two asterisks following the words “Sale Price**” refer to the “Price Realized,” which does include the “Buyer’s Premium.” If you do not see the double asterisks ** and see the words “Hammer Price*,” this is the price before the “Buyer’s Premium.” Assuming you are viewing a reported value defined as “Sales Price**,” you can arrive at the “Seller’s Net Proceeds” by deducting the “Buyer’s Premium” (typically around 25 percent) and the “Consignment Fee” (generally between 10 to 30 percent). Most sellers receive approximately 50 to 60 percent of the “Sales Price**” from a sale at a public auction.
If you would like to sell your early California painting and attempt to receive a free estimate of value for what your painting may sell for at a public auction, you can email photos and information about your painting to a public auction company. If the auction company is interested in the painting, they will provide you with an estimated value range.