Fine Art Consignment

Fine art is a diverse category that encompasses many eras. People love fine art for the culture, history and beauty it evokes. Whether you have your own collection of fine art for sale or you want to learn how to sell inherited paintings, consignment for your fine art is an excellent option that will maximize your potential earnings.

At Fontaine's Auction Gallery, our goal is to make selling your fine art as simple and straightforward as possible. Unlike other auction houses that charge fees for insurance, transportation and photography, Fontaine’s offers one flat rate with no hidden charges, making selling art on consignment more affordable than ever.

Antique painting of children

How To Consign Art

If you've decided to consign your fine art, the next step is to perform due diligence to find reputable consignees who specialize in fine art. Any business you consign your fine art to should have expert knowledge of fine art and a successful sales history. It's a good idea to browse their website to see if they have sold similar art as your piece.

At Fontaine's, we have a long history of selling fine art at auction, which we receive on consignment. We serve thousands of people worldwide, and we are experts in the world of fine art auctions and managing art consignments.

Once you find a business you want to work with, the next step is to assess the condition of your art and collect all documentation before you present your valuables to the potential consignee. Selling art on consignment requires some careful work, but after developing years of on-the-job experience, we have it down to a science.

The value of your paintings is based on several criteria, including their condition. Taking steps such as removing dust from frames can help enhance how your paintings look both in photos and in person. If more substantial work is needed to improve the condition, such as relining the canvas due to a tear, make sure you receive a record of the repair.

You should also have documentation of when and where your paintings were acquired as well as their sizing specifications. Anything that details the origin of the painting is especially important, as provenance is another criteria that enhances the value of the art.

Once you have your paintings and documents ready, contact the business to either send them the photos and information or meet with a specialist in person. Any photos you submit should be as clear as possible and be taken from multiple angles. Make sure to take close-up photos of any artist's signature.

After your paintings have been inspected, you will receive an estimate. If you are happy with the estimate and agree to move forward, you will sign a formal, legal agreement, and the consignee takes possession of your paintings.

Antique oil painting of young girl fishing with net

How Do I Spot a Painting by a Famous Artist?

To correctly identify the artist of a painting, look for signatures and markings. In addition to their actual signature, artists may include the date and place of creation as well as the medium to keep a complete record of the work.

An artist's signature may not always be the same. For example, early in Picasso's career, he signed his paintings as "P.R. Picasso," but he later dropped the initials. He also varied his signature based on the type of work he was creating. During his Cubist period, he would only sign on the back of the canvas so as not to distract from the work. Later, he chose to sign with more flair on the front of the canvas.

Artists also sometimes hide their signature, whether in an inconspicuous location on the painting or even only visible under certain kinds of light.

Finding a signature can reveal important information about your fine art paintings and increase their value. However, it's essential to do your research and have the signatures reviewed by professionals, as fake signatures are an unfortunate problem in the industry. One indicator of a fake signature is a lack of fluidity, especially compared to other signatures by the same artist. Putting the signature under a UV light will also reveal if the signature was added at a later date, as the difference in pigment will show.

It's also important to keep in mind that some artists never signed their work, so finding a signature could be an indication of a fake depending on the artist.

Conducting independent research and consulting with the professionals is critical in order to correctly identify a famous artist's work. When you have a genuine article on your hands, your chances at success with fine art consignment improve astronomically. Our auction team will be happy to talk with you in-depth about spotting authentic art and how it may change the auction process.

Antique oil painting of city street

Fine Art Auction Process

Consignees are often auction houses that sell fine paintings and art at auctions. Auctions are fast-paced events in which anyone in the world can participate, whether in person, online or over the phone. Several weeks leading up to the auction, your art will be on display in the business's auction catalog to advertise the event and your pieces.

At the auction, an auctioneer will start and guide the bidding, hitting the auctioneer podium with a hammer when a bid has won. The auction house will take a portion of the sale price, known as a seller's commission, and disburse the rest to the consignor. The older and more well-kept your art is, the more you can earn through artwork consignment. Our fine art consignment process will allow you to get the most from your paintings and appreciate the selling process.

Antique oil painting of girl

Get an Appraisal for Fine Art or Paintings From Fontaine's

We make it easy for fine art collectors to get their items sold at our auctions. Unlike other auction houses that charge multiple fees, we offer one flat rate with no hidden charges. We also start advertising our auctions weeks before other major auction houses to generate buzz early, ensuring you get the best return on your fine art consignment.

Get in touch with us today for a complimentary auction estimate. Whether you're interested in consignment for oil paintings, sculptures or other pieces of fine art, Fontaine's is at your service.

fine art antique oil painting of house and yard

Ready to Consign Your Art?

Follow the link to our request "auction estimate" if you have something to sell!

Auction Estimate