Buying Works of Art at Auction

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Buying art at auction houses is a great way to find a bargain. However, it is important to do your research before you place your bid. Most auction houses publish an online catalog of available works, which includes images and information about artists and their works. Nevertheless, these catalogs are difficult to interpret, and it is a good idea to consult a professional art expert before purchasing a work of art.

During the nineteenth century, the art market grew exponentially. The growth of global trade and the development of colonialism led to a rise in African and Asian art. Meanwhile, early American industrialists joined the European collectors in the race to win the highest bid. World War II halted this era and changed the way art was purchased.

When purchasing works of art at auction, buyers should understand the difference between an edition and a limited edition. A limited edition print is one of only a small number of copies, whereas an open edition work has multiple copies. In addition, artists often duplicate an impression on different papers or color states. In addition to price, auction houses consider the seller’s commission, which is 5% of the hammer price.

Live bidding takes place on the day of the auction. The auction begins with a three-minute window of viewing for each lot, during which you can bid. In the case of a live auction, the works of art are offered sequentially, and the winner is the person with the highest bid.

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