Friday, April 23, 2010

Deaccessioning Strategies

Deaccessioning is a term used by museums when they are getting rid of unwanted pieces. That might be a bit lofty a word for individuals like us, but it's a good place to start.

We have bought at auction for over 20 years. This means we have a fair amount of possessions! One's taste can evolve or even change over time, and that purchase you made when you were 35 may not be what you want at 55.

Also, if we continue to make purchases at some point there needs to be something to go to make room. I don't believe in clutter, and there can be a fine line. 

As an example, we started buying landscape paintings and moved on to portraits in emphasis. This has meant that some of the earlier acquisitions needed new homes. We're lucky to have daughters that are happy to take them off our hands.


Above a pair of landscape paintings found a new home. The one on the left sits over an auction find at Lots Road Auctions in London. The one on the right takes pride of place above a sitting room fire place.

Now my husband informs me that he's getting tired of figurative paintings! Not sure what that means for all our portraits! The last portrait purchase was mine alone.

Our taste in furniture is also evolving from a focus on traditional, to a greater interest in Deco, Nouveau, and mid-Century modern. Lucky for us we have a vacation home that will be furnished with a more modern emphasis.

Chinese and other Asian art and furniture has always been a love, and usually goes with everything!

We have never sold a piece, but for this blog I started to do a bit of research on the options at the auction houses we frequent. There's always Ebay or Craigs List I suppose, but I decided not to explore those options for now.

Doyle's will take items on consignment or purchase them out right. They have walk in days for a free appraisal, or they'll make an appointment if the item cannot be transported easily. You can bring them a photo as a start.

Christie's and Sotheby's also will put a notice on upcoming auctions accepting consignments and arrange for appraisals.

Stair Gallery in Hudson will give free appraisals and take consignments.

Clarke Auctions will take consignments for their monthly auctions.

So it seems pretty easy to sell this way from the web site descriptions. So if you need room for that new purchase or you modify your style, an auction is a great place to sell as to buy.

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