Prepare For Your First Auction
It is an exciting prospect, when you decide to start you collection or participate in an auction for the very first time. It is imperative to begin with a proper research and basic knowhow of the market and enter the field with preparation. It is wise to dedicate some time to research and figure out what it is that you want to buy and then to get to know about the artwork itself. It is also important to familiarize yourself with the entire process of auction.
One of the initial steps in this regard is to check various auction house websites regularly to get to know about the trends and upcoming auctions in the near future. An understanding of online and telephonic bidding goes a long way to make the process easier these days. The catalogues that are launched a considerable time before the actual auction are supposed to happen carry significant information about the artwork, its dimensions, its conditions, its provenance, estimates, and the artist’s name. It is prudent to go through them and gather as much information about the artworks as possible before setting your heart on one. There is a number of reputed auction houses that have a strong online presence with a provision to search within their site for the auctions they are organizing all over the world for any particular artwork or artist. The truly exclusive ones encourage you to register and keep you updated about the artworks or artists you show an interest in. The golden rule here is to never hesitate to ask for help from the more knowledgeable ones or the more experienced in the field. It is imperative that you attend art related events like exhibitions, showcases, launches, curtain-raisers, or even auctions to familiarize yourself with the whole arena. There is also a lot of free advice available to those who seek as it is quite an open field.
The experts of the field are more than happy to disseminate their learning and are happy to share information with someone who shares their enthusiasm for the artworks. In candid conversations these experts actually tend to give out a lot of information about the pieces being showcased or auctioned like their background, legacy, real condition, and even the estimated price.
Gather information about the work you are interested in, the artist who created it, patrons who might have commissioned it, and its relevance in the history through the catalogues and expertise offered by the auction house. In addition to the catalogue published by the auction houses, the internet is a rich resource of information, in particular the sites that are dedicated to this purpose like the artnet.
Art dealers, galleries and professionals of great repute in the field are quite forthcoming in sharing their knowledge that they have gathered through years of involvement and experience in the field. It is a good idea to absorb as much information as you can from whichever source or resources presents itself and process it later to your own benefit.
If the auction is in a place that is accessible to you, you must make arrangements to view the real piece that you intend to acquire to get an idea about its condition. Reputed auction houses open their doors for public viewing for a few days before the auction, especially for the pieces that are soon to be auctioned.
In case a physical viewing is not a possibility, condition reports are readily available for prospective buyers and can be obtained from the auction houses themselves for a detailed report of the artwork and its condition, so that there are no surprises when you finally get the piece in your own hands.