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Selling an Art Collection to Help Start a New Chapter

Woman and man conversing in a art gallery

Client Profile

Over several decades, a collector had built a diverse collection of contemporary and 19th century European antiquities and decorative art. After a divorce, children going off to college and a home downsizing, she decided to simplify her life by streamlining her expansive collection. Having only purchased art, she didn’t know how to navigate the selling process.

Approach

The Bank of America Private Bank Art Services group and a private client advisor met with the collector to discuss her art collection and her broader financial objectives. Impressed by the firm’s integrated approach to wealth management, she began an investment management relationship with Bank of America Private Bank. The Art Services group then re-engaged with the client to develop a sales strategy for the art collection. They explained that approaching an auction house directly could result in significant seller fees.

Therefore, to help the client attract some of the best potential buyers and competitive auction prices, the Art Services group recommended that she take advantage of Bank of America Private Bank Consignment Services.

  • The Art Services group created a collection inventory and helped the client identify a group of works that she wished to sell.
  • The team orchestrated conversations and site visits with three leading auction houses to establish the client’s selling objectives and to gauge interest.
  • After receiving competitive proposals from each auction house, the Bank of America Private Bank team prepared a side-by-side comparison of their offers for the client.

Solutions

After reviewing the offers from the three auction houses with her advisor, the client chose the one providing the most advantageous overall package.

  • Through its master consignment agreements, the Art Services group was able to eliminate the seller’s commission and fees on the lots sold.
  • The group then coordinated with the auction house to arrange for transporting the property to the sale room so the works could be photographed and catalogued before the auction deadlines.
  • The works were subsequently sold in a combination of New York and London auctions.

Results

By working with her her private client advisor and a team of art specialists, our client:

  • Took advantage of Bank of America Private Bank’s relationships with auction houses to secure a favorable contract from an auction leader.
  • Saved significantly on fees compared with going directly to an auction house.
  • Connected with an audience of buyers who appreciated the collection, which may have led to overall higher bids and profits.

Bank of America Corporation’s Commitment to the Arts

Bank of America Corporation’s Arts & Culture program reflects its belief that the arts matter.

Bank of America Corporation supports nonprofit arts institutions globally that deliver visual and performing arts, educate and inspire, anchor communities, create jobs, and sustain local businesses.

Through its Art in Our Communities® program, Bank of America Corporation has lent more than 100 full exhibitions to nonprofit museums throughout the world at no cost. Museums in 28 countries have preserved nearly 100 works of historic and cultural significance through our Art Conservation Project. For individual patrons, our Museums on Us® program has let millions of people enjoy no-cost admission to popular cultural institutions.

Learn more about our commitment to the arts at bankofamerica.com/arts.

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