“There is always competition for items that are desirable,” says William Hall, CAI, AARE, of Tom Hall Auctions Inc. in Schnecksville, Pa.
Hall’s company recently experienced this with the sale of three paintings that carried prominence and rarity. The paintings were from a family with strong ties to the former Sayre & Fisher Brick Co. of New Jersey.
The belief was that all three paintings were purchased directly from the artists between the 1970s and 1990s. Two paintings were by American landscape painter Thomas Hill, and the third was from John Tracy, an American painter known for his images of dogs, horses and sporting scenes.
The John Tracy, a hunting scene with three men and three dogs, sold for $50,000. A Nevada waterfall painting by Hill went for $22,000, and a Hill fisherman scene netted $16,000.
“Anything that has to do with the American West or sporting scenes is very desirable,” Hall says. “Whenever it has not been exposed to the marketplace before, like these paintings, it is nice and fresh, and that is always an added premium.”
The sale of the three paintings was on the higher end of his company’s work; however, he says good local art always draws strong interest.
Hall credits the reach of the Internet with expanding his market, and he says he believes the outlook for paintings and framed art will remain strong.
Darren Julien, of Julien’s Auctions in West Hollywood, Calif., specializes in fine and decorative art from high-profile collections. He says business for paintings and framed art is better than ever.
“We’ve had two record years,” Julien says, adding that most of the items he sells are related to celebrities.
He attributes the success to two main factors:
1) His company has expanded into the Asian market. He says Julien’s has been licensed by the Chinese government to do exhibitions and auctions in mainland China.
2) He has expanded his client base.
“It just takes two people around the world that want the same item,” he says. “We see items that in a general auction might sell for $2,000. But if you find those right people, you can get $30,000.”