Where to Sell Or Consign Your High Valued Paintings

Art is a part of life and it means different things to different people. Equally, people value their art differently. An average art enthusiast will go the length when it comes to buying and viewing artworks.

Art can include a variety of activities or products that expresses creativity, beauty, imagination, ideas, technical gifts as well as emotions. It can therefore be expressed in a variety of forms. These can include drawings, paintings, sculptures, etc. It can also be expressed through literary works such as writing and poetry.

Furthermore, art may be expressed in the form of drama, music and many other forms. Generally, art is beautiful, evokes emotion and it is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. Art lovers typically like to collect physical pieces of art such as sculptures, antique items, drawings and paintings. You may read more about the various forms of art here.

Paintings remain one of the most popular art expressions you can find. They are an expression of emotions and ideas in a two-dimensional way to create specific visually appealing language. It involves applying paint, color, or pigment to a canvas with a brush and other implements like sponges, knives, airbrushes, etc.

The type or color of paint used can be oil, acrylic, fresco, tempera, watercolor, ink, casein, etc. All of these can be expressed as shapes, lines, tones, textures and colors. A painting can either tell a story or it can be abstract. A particular painting and what is used to create largely depends on the artist’s technique and how they express themselves.

Paintings are generally a collector’s item. They are often rare and can range in price from affordable to highly expensive. This all depends on who the artist is and the rarity of the piece.

Another characteristic of a painting is its desirability. Therefore, an artist or owner of a painting can choose to exhibit, consign or sell it.

What does it Mean to Consign A Painting?

What does it Mean to Consign A Painting

Artworks are generally desirable so they can always change hands through a sale. There are a variety of ways to sell an artwork but one of these is through consignment. Art consignment can be described as when the owner of a piece of artwork (the consignor) delivers it to a vendor. The vendor is called a consignee.

The purpose of doing this is to sell the artwork sometime in the future. Consignees can include auction houses and art dealers. While an artwork owner will prefer that the vendor outrightly buys the artwork, the consignment system offers the owner the vendor’s professional services.

The consignee will have a considerable list of potential customers, better publicity and a good distribution system than the consignor. Generally, consignees do not charge consignors for accepting to help them sell their pieces. They instead make money from getting a commission when the sale has been made.

Consignment provides a convenient way for artwork owners to have their pieces sold efficiently and effectively. On the other hand, it is a low-cost way to provide art vendors and dealers with an inventory.

How and Where to Consign Your Artwork

Selling a painting through consignment can be beneficial to both the owner and the vendor. However, several things can go wrong especially on the part of the consignee.

If you give your highly valued piece to an unscrupulous or inexperienced art dealer, they may sell without your knowledge. If you are fortunate, the vendor may eventually remit the proceeds after a while. Some may even sell the piece, spend the money and may not be able to pay the owner.

Even if you are able to arrest the vendor, it is of little comfort as you may not get back your money. Another issue could be the handling of the piece. If the consignee is not careful, the painting might be damaged, lost, or stolen.

Although the consignee may have insurance, it might be limited and may not cover the piece. More so, the consignment agreement might reveal that the vendor takes no responsibility for any damage to the painting. This is why it is important to use trusted consignees like Clars Auction Gallery to sell your valuable artwork. Below are some tips to know when looking to consign your highly valued painting:

Know The Worth of Your Painting

This is one of the most important things to know and you must have paperwork to back this up. You should know if it is highly desirable and if it is from an in-demand painter. Knowing the important details about the piece will help you to understand how much it can fetch at an auction.


Before giving your precious artwork to a consignee, you must do your homework. This is by researching various art dealers so you know which one to approach. You should also take time to learn and understand how an auction works as well as understand its language and technicalities.

Read Your Contract

You need to read and understand the consignment contract before appending your signature. If you are not clear about anything, ask questions and ensure you know what happens when your item is sold or not. Also, know what will happen if there is damage, theft, or loss of the piece.

Find Out When You Will Be Paid

Again, it is important to ask questions every step of the way. One of these is to ask how soon you will be paid after the piece has been sold. Usually, auction houses will wait for the buyer’s payment to be processed before paying the owner of the piece. This may take between 30-45 days.

Other things to factor in mind include:

  • Choose the right auction house.
  • Attending a few sales to understand how they work
  • Sell what is in demand in a good season for selling.
  • Avoid selling items in advance but rather, designate them for auction.
  • Follow the drop-off rules.

Finally, ask about reserve prices. This is the price below which you will not sell and ensure to get this in writing. You can learn more about cosigning your painting here https://www.artbusiness.com/consignart.html.


There are various ways to sell an artwork. Consignment offers a way to do so efficiently by dropping off with a vendor who does the job for you. However, it is important that you choose the right vendor so that the whole process can be smooth.