Top 5 Reasons to Purchase Fine Art at Auction

The online revolution is affecting the way we all do business, and the art world is no exception. Collectors are finding increasing opportunities for buying art online as galleries and auction houses realize that their buyers want to have the option of purchasing without having to turn up in person. Here are the top five reasons to buy fine art from an online auction:

  • Accessibility – Going to a physical space such as a gallery to view art can be both time-consuming and limiting. Depending on your location, it may even be impossible to get to a dealer who stocks the type of artwork you’re interested in. Online auctions give you the ability to view and bid on artworks that may be located in another county, state, or time zone, rather than being confined to only what can be found in your area.
  • Transparency – Galleries have been known to restrict the number of works available from artists and to hide information about the value of those works, making it difficult for art collectors to accurately assess the market. Browsing online auctions gives you the chance to compare and research, ultimately allowing you to make better-informed decisions.
  • Variety – When art dealers have to maintain physical space to display the artworks they have for sale, they have to make choices about what they’ll offer. Some will concentrate on particular artists, styles, or time periods, which leads to a narrower selection. Online auctions don’t have that constraint, and thus can offer a wider range of pieces to choose from.
  • Excitement! – When you buy at auction, the process itself is part of the appeal, from determining the items you’ll pursue, deciding on your bidding strategy, and monitoring the action. The thrill is heightened in a live auction, where you are bidding in real time against other collectors, all intent on winning the same item. When you do win, you not only have an artwork to treasure, but you’ll also have a story to tell.
  • Savings – While the media likes to talk up stories of famous artworks fetching jaw-dropping prices at auction, the reality is that most of the time, buying fine art at auction can save you money. Depending on why or by whom the art is being sold, it may be offered with no reserve price (the minimum amount a seller will accept) because the seller is eager to get whatever price they can. In addition, online auctions do not have to support the expense of maintaining a gallery space or similar physical location, which can drive up the fees that a dealer adds to the cost of every artwork they sell. An auction can be a great opportunity to get a stunning piece of art at far less than you would have imagined.

Auction King stocks an array of authenticated originals, prints, lithographs, etchings, and more. We’re constantly on the lookout for new high-quality pieces for our customers. Our secure proprietary bidding platform gives you the convenience of online bidding with confidentiality and confidence. Register for a free online account today to get started.

Collector’s Guide to Buying Art at Auction

Whether you’re new to collecting art, new to buying at auction, or both, art auctions can seem intimidating. This is because we’ve often been shown a picture of art auctions as a format for selling astronomically priced famous works to the super wealthy. Of course, tales of how a recently rediscovered Old Master went for millions of dollars over asking price are exciting, but they obscure the fact that in reality, art auctions can be good opportunities for collectors to get bargains. To make the most of auction opportunities, here’s what you need to know:

Understand the mechanics of the auction you’re entering:

Not every art auction operates the same way. First, artworks may have a minimum bid amount specified—this is the smallest bid the auction house will accept to open bidding. However, this may not be the same thing as the minimum amount needed to win the item. If a reserve price has been set, then bidding has to reach at least this level before a bidder can win the item. This can happen, for example, when a consignor has put an artwork up for auction and wants to make at least a certain amount of money on the sale. Reserve prices may not be made public. Bid increments are the minimum amount by which you need to raise your offer to counter a previous bid. Generally speaking, the more expensive the item, the higher the bid increment.

Know what you’re buying:

While it’s always a good idea to let your personal preference guide you in terms of the general style of artwork you decide to buy, your gut feeling is less helpful in determining a reasonable sale price for an artwork you’re interested in. Do some research to both understand the general type of artwork you’re considering and the individual piece itself. For example, an original oil painting by a famous artist is very different than a limited-edition lithograph by someone up-and-coming and will command a different price.

Ask questions:

It’s perfectly reasonable to want to familiarize yourself with the details of the piece you are considering before you place a bid. The condition of an artwork can positively or negatively influence its value, and the time to find out about such factors is before you’ve bought it. For previously owned original artworks, the provenance (history of ownership) can help to establish the authenticity of the work, so you’ll want to know about that too.

Buy from reputable sources:

The art market, like any market for collectibles, unfortunately attracts unscrupulous dealers who pass off counterfeit pieces as genuine artwork. This is why it is important to find reputable dealers to work with. Trusted sources will not hesitate to provide proof of a piece’s authenticity and will welcome your inquiries about further details.

Auction King offers a constantly updated selection of lithographs, giclees, etchings, prints, and originals for auction without hidden reserve prices and with starting bids as low as $1. We triple check the authenticity of every piece we offer so you can bid on what you love with confidence. Register today for a free online account and start bidding.

Tips for Displaying Art in Your Home

Adding artwork to your home is a natural way to add your own personal touch to your décor, truly individualizing your space. Over time, most of us assemble a collection of prints, original artworks, and photographs that express what’s important to us and what we find beautiful. When it comes time to decide how best to display these treasures, though, we may be unsure of how to go about it. While there will always be personal taste involved in deciding what makes the most appealing arrangement, here are some general tips for how to display your art:

Protect your art

Direct sunlight can fade artworks, particularly works on paper, such as watercolors or prints. You can avoid damage to your favorite art by hanging it out of the sunlight, rotating your artwork so that none of your pieces are exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time, or having your art professionally framed with UV protective glass to combat the sun’s fading effects.

Hang artwork at the right height

One of the most common mistakes people make when hanging artwork is placing them too high or too low for comfortable viewing. Think in terms of eye level when you are deciding where to hang a piece—ideally, the center of a painting or print hung on a bare wall should be at about that height (about 57 to 60 inches off the floor for someone of average height).

If you’re hanging a piece of art above a piece of furniture, however, consider its relationship to what it is hanging near, as well as its overall height. When there is too big a gap between a framed artwork and the item it is hanging above, the excessive space can make it seem like the artwork is disconnected rather than part of a pleasing whole. This ideal distance can vary depending on the size of the artwork and the piece of furniture, so try having a friend hold the artwork in place while you stand back to gauge the effect before hanging it.

Display artwork in proportion

Correct proportions are a large part of getting that “just right” feel to an art display. If you have a large space above your couch, for example, putting a single small lithograph there will look out of balance. Instead, choose one large piece of art or a grouping of related pieces that will better fill the space. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a powder room or small hallway is likely to be overwhelmed by an outsized piece of art. A smaller artwork with delicate details is perfect for this type of space, where it can be viewed and appreciated at close range.

Don’t rush

Take your time and do some preplanning before you start pounding nails into the wall. Start by setting the artwork in the room you’re considering hanging it in. If it doesn’t feel right in the first spot, try setting it against a different wall to see if you like the light or overall effect better there. To get the exact right positioning for a gallery wall of mixed art pieces, cut out paper in the size of each artwork to be included and tape them up on the wall. That way you can move them around and get the exact right positioning before you begin.

When you’re looking for fine art to add to your home, Auction King’s collection of authenticated lithographs, giclées, prints, and originals is your source for stunning works at below-market values. Register for a free online account and start bidding today.

Where Interior Designers Go for Art

 

Interior designers face a multifaceted challenge every time they design a new space. At a bare minimum, they have to work within the constraints of the existing architecture of the house, apartment, or office in question to satisfy the client’s personal taste. They may also need to incorporate existing furnishings or artworks into the scheme of the new design while sourcing new elements to complete the overall look. And undoubtedly, they need to accomplish all of this within a budget. Given that art is the finishing touch that breathes life into any interior design, where do these experts go to find it?

Art presents a particular challenge, because clients’ tastes in paintings or sculpture can vary widely. An interior designer attempting to meet the diverse needs of various clients will need to have multiple sources for artworks that fit a variety of aesthetics. Therefore, they tend to cast a wide net in cultivating relationships and exploring opportunities for finding interesting art for their clients.

The key is to be able to quickly find artwork that is affordable for their clients. Interior designers do this by networking with art galleries, studios, art schools, and artists themselves. It’s not unusual for designers to spot promising talent when artists are still in school and follow their careers as they mature. Modern artists tend to use social media to promote their work, so savvy interior designers will also use this resource to spot potential finds. Interior designers may also work with art consultants or scouts who specialize in finding artworks based on criteria like size, style, and medium.

Interior designers also take advantage of the cost savings and opportunities available through buying art at auctions. From representational to abstract art, original paintings, lithographs, giclees, or sculptures, the artwork found at auction often represents a wide range of styles. Just as importantly, these pieces can be obtained at prices far below those you would find in a gallery, which helps an interior designer stretch their client’s budget further than it might otherwise go.

AuctionKing’s collection of fine art gives our clients the opportunity to buy art (and find deals!) like the professionals, all from the convenience of our secure online bidding platform. We stock an ever-changing selection of styles, types, and sizes of art to fit any taste, and our low starting bids put them within reach of even a modest budget. If you’re looking to give your home or office that perfect finishing touch, sign up for a free online account today to start bidding.

 

 

You Need Artwork for These 4 Rooms

Artwork is the soul of your décor—while the type of furnishings you own may establish the outlines of your style, it is the artwork you choose that defines the nuance and the individuality of your space. A home without art feels impersonal, so you shouldn’t skimp in selecting pictures, paintings, or prints that reflect your aesthetic. The four rooms you should start with are:

You Need Artwork for These 4 Rooms - auction king

  1. The living room: Whether you have a formal living room or you keep things more casual, your living room is often one of the larger rooms in your house and the place you are most likely to entertain guests. Thus, it is a great canvas for multiple pieces of art and for larger artworks. Over the sofa is a favorite spot for art, but you should be sure that it is in the correct proportion for the best effect. The overall display should be about two-thirds of the width of the sofa, whether you’re displaying one large painting or print or an arrangement of smaller artworks.
  1. The dining room: As another room where you’re most likely to spend time with guests, your dining room is another ideal spot for artwork. If you have detailed artwork that benefits from observation at a closer vantage point, a smaller dining room is a great place to put it. Keep in mind that art should be hung with its center point at about sixty inches off the ground, which is the average eye level for most people.
  1. The bedroom: When you think of pleasant ways to start your day, waking up to a view of a beautiful drawing or etching should easily make the list. Hang your favorites on the wall where you can easily see them from your bed for maximum enjoyment. Artwork is a fun way to personalize your children’s rooms as well. A framed sericel from their favorite animated movie or a lithograph of a beloved character makes a nice addition that’s appealing for very young children but doesn’t seem childish as they mature.
  1. The entry hall: Whether your home has a modest entrance or a sweeping hall, this room creates the first impression for anyone who enters. An abstract modern print can add a zingy pop of color, or a graphic art print of a well-known painting can invite the viewer in for a closer look.

Frankly, adding color and beauty to your surroundings is a plus for any room in your house. Don’t be afraid to mix types and styles of artwork—in fact, experts recommend doing just that for a uniquely appealing look (and to avoid the sensation that your art collection is hanging in a gallery instead of a home!).

If you’re looking to build an art collection, AuctionKing.com offers a wide selection of giclees, lithographs, sericels, mixed media artwork, and more, with new finds constantly added to their offerings. The deals you’ll find will stretch your budget further and beautify your environment faster. Sign up for a free online account and start bidding today.

What’s the Difference Between Cels and Sericels?

For fans of animation, collecting artwork from their favorite feature-length or short animated films is a way of bringing their passion for the medium into their homes. Knowing the history of how animation was produced can help you understand the difference between the two primary kinds of animation artwork you’re likely to find on the market—cels and sericels—and why their relative value can vary considerably.

Whats the difference between cels and sericels | Auction King

Prior to the advent of digital technology, animated movies were hand-drawn. The term cel is short for “celluloid,” and refers to the transparent sheets that characters were drawn on to create each frame of a movie. The outline of the character or characters in that frame would be hand-drawn on the front and then the colors painted on the back, and the entire cel shot against a static painted background for the scene. Each frame had to be painstakingly drawn and shot, one at a time. A single animated feature usually required around 100,000 cels.

This type of cel, which was used in the actual production of a movie, is known as a production cel. Studios often sold them off as collectibles after animated films were completed. However, the advent of digital technology eliminated the use of production cels—Disney has not used them since 1990, and other animation studios phased them out over the course of the following fifteen years. The worth of these one-of-a-kind items can vary considerably based on the rarity of the image, the popularity of the film or character it depicts, and the condition of the cel, but it’s not unusual to pay thousands of dollars for one piece.

Major studios recognized that demand for cels—a physical memento of favorite films or animated characters—did not diminish because the process that produced them had been left behind. Cels are still produced in limited editions for collectors. While these cels, created with the needs of aficionados in mind, tend to be more affordable than production cels, they can be quite pricey in their own right, depending on the size of the production run, the degree to which they are hand-drawn and -painted, and if they are signed.

Sericels are the most affordable option for collectors who enjoy the look of cels but do not have an unlimited budget. These images are mechanically produced with silk-screened color, which brings the cost for a collector down significantly. Some sericels are produced solely in limited editions, which can increase their price depending on how restricted the run is. Sericels may also be sold without the background that typically accompanies a limited edition cel.

The key to enjoying a collection of animation art is to know what you’re purchasing before you buy, and to prioritize your personal enjoyment of your collection. For savvy collectors, the lvie online auction at AuctionKing.com offers an opportunity to find animation art at a fraction of the prices you’ll see at commercial galleries. Sign up for a free account and check it out today.

Are Lithographs a Good Investment?

Collecting fine art is a pastime often associated with the fabulously wealthy. This isn’t just an indication that rich people appreciate culture—they have found throughout the centuries that art can be a good investment as well. It is possible for those with more limited resources to purchase artworks as an investment, and lithographs are a popular choice. Are they a good investment? The answer, as with so much in the world of fine art, is “it depends.”

Are Lithographs a Good Investment - Auction King

Lithographs are authorized copies of original works of art. Sometimes these copies are made by the artist; sometimes the copies are made by someone else. In general, print runs of lithographs are kept low to preserve the value of each individual print. While a lithograph will rarely bring as much as the original artwork, they can be quite valuable even while being relatively more affordable. If you are considering buying one, look for these factors to assess the lithograph’s worth and potential for appreciation:

Rarity: The more copies of the same lithograph there are on the market, the less any individual piece will bring. In some cases, the original plate will be destroyed after the print run, ensuring that no future copies of the piece will be made to dilute the value of existing lithographs.

Quality: The quality of the print itself can contribute or detract from the value of a lithograph. Learn what you can about the process used to produce the image, as some lithographs are printed using traditional artisanal methods, which can boost the value of individual prints.

Condition: As with any other kind of artwork, the condition of the piece itself can greatly influence its value. A well-preserved lithograph without marks, dirt, or tears will obviously be worth more than if it is damaged.

Artist: Paradoxically, a famous artist may not be your best choice for purchasing a lithograph for its investment potential. Lithographs by extremely famous artists tend to command top dollar from the outset, which means that there is less potential for growth. You may be better off looking for attractive lithographs from up-and-coming artists—the advantage here is that you’re likely to pay less at the outset.

Authenticity: You’ll want to be sure that the lithograph you purchase is in fact authorized. Many of the signs you’d expect to find on or with an authorized lithograph—a certificate of authenticity, hand numbering, and even an artist’s signature—can be faked, unfortunately, so it is best to purchase your artwork from reputable dealer or auction house you trust.

It’s worth remembering that you should be prepared to hold onto any artwork you purchase for investment potential for a long time. The value of art tends to appreciate slowly, and is subject to the whims of artistic fashion. Your best bet is to choose a high-quality lithograph that appeals to your own taste, so you can enjoy it until you decide to sell. If you’re ready to consider purchasing a lithograph, check out the live online auction at Auction King. We offer below-market prices on fine art every day. Sign up for a free account to get started.