Appraisals & Consignments
Consigning Heirlooms with Confidence
We are now accepting consignments for the following auctions:
September 19 Estate Coin Auction - Consignments due by July 30
November 9 & 10 Fine Art & Antiques Auction - Consignments due by September 24
Why consider consigning your items to Thomaston Place Auction Galleries?
Customer service…The team at Thomaston Place Auction Galleries is dedicated to delivering an outstanding experience for every customer. We are a full service auction company, meaning we guide consignors through the entire process -- from valuation and pick up, to the auction. And, our commission rate is all inclusive of our services.
Experience Matters…Our antiques and fine arts experts have over 50+ years experience in discovering fine art and antique treasures, we know what items are worth, and we are on top of the constant shifts in demand in the current volatile marketplace.
Persistence Pays…We leave no stone unturned in searching for important treasures that may have otherwise been overlooked. Many of our home appraisal visits have led to important and surprising discoveries.
Research Propels Price… Our thoroughness and attention to detail in researching each object helps us develop comprehensive and engaging catalog descriptions. This information helps us identify potential buyers who can rely on our identification of artists/makers, plus history and provenance.
Marketing Adds Value…We ensure that each item is presented to as broad a group of prospective bidders as possible so that it can achieve its highest possible sale price. Our marketing program includes extensive communications with potential buyers via direct mail, email, telephone, and advertising.
Our Worldwide Clientele…Our bidder database contains collectors, dealers, and museums around the world. And, we make it as easy as possible for people to place a bid, wherever they are – by phone, absentee, internet, or live in the auction gallery.
The Auction Advantage…Selling items by auction is a quick process that provides exposure to many potential buyers and generates competitive bidding to reach an ultimate selling price. The real time sense of urgency created by this competition can sometimes drive prices even higher that our pre-sale estimates.
We Care About Preservation…We love the business we’re in, and we are happy to advise clients about caring for art and antiques, regardless of whether these items are being consigned to auction. Additionally, we sell fine art and antiques to people who are concerned about conserving these items for future generations.
We Give Back to the Community…We support not-for-profit organizations that enrich the quality of life in local communities by assisting with fundraising programs, such as appraisal fairs, auctions, or selling donated items at a reduced commission rate.
Consignment to Auction.....A Step by Step Guide
At Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, we offer a full service approach to guide and support consignors throughout the auction process. From the moment an item is consigned to our gallery through payment of sale proceeds, it is methodically handled with a goal of generating the highest possible return to the consignor.
1. Evaluating Your Items
The first step in the consignment process is an assessment of your item(s) by our professional appraisers; Kaja Veilleux or John D. Bottero. These assessments can be obtained:
- By setting up a "house call" or walk through of your home if you have a large number of items and/or oversized furniture;
- By visiting our Gallery on any Free Appraisal Day (every Tuesday between 10:00 a.m. and noon, or between 1:30 and 4:00 p.m.);
- At appraisal events we periodically conduct for not-for-profit organizations.
The result of this evaluation "fair market value" or auction sales estimate for your item based on recent sales of comparable items. Based on this result, you and the appraiser may discuss whether it is suitable for auction and if our services are the right match for your specific needs.
2. The Consignment Agreement
Once you have decided to consign your item for auction, you will receive our consignment agreement to review and sign. This agreement provides a detailed description of the terms included in our handling of your treasured property.
In most cases, we can arrange to have your item brought or shipped to the Gallery. When we take possession, we will complete a Consignment Inventory Sheet. You will receive a copy of each of these documents for your records
Research: We draw upon the knowledge of our appraisers, staff researcher, plus our extensive reference library, expert contacts, and resources, to develop a detailed description of your item.
Timing: We will place your item in the auction that will provide the best sales potential for that type of merchandise.
Photography: Your item is professionally photographed in our state of the art studio. These photographs highlight details that will build interest and instill confidence among prospective bidders.
3. Preparation of Items for Auction
We meticulously handle each item to ensure it has maximum visibility and appeal in the auction catalog and on the Gallery floor.
Catalogs & Fliers: We produce high quality, color catalogs and fliers to build interest and provide information on the items that will be offered at the upcoming auction.
4. Marketing for Worldwide Visibility
To ensure that your item is viewed by the largest possible number of potential bidders, each upcoming auction receives extensive national and international marketing.
Mailing List: Auction fliers and catalogs are sent to private buyers, museums and dealers from our data base. Additionally, auction fliers are distributed to local shops and galleries.
Direct marketing: Our data base includes specific interests of tens of thousands of private collectors, museums, and dealers around the world. This gives us the ability to match items in upcoming auctions with likely bidders in order to increase sales results.
Advertising: We place advertising in national and international arts and antiques trade publications highlighting our upcoming sales.
Press Releases: A press release is sent to major trade press and newspapers in advance of each auction. Editorial coverage further supports awareness and excitement about each upcoming sale.
Internet Posting: All auction listings are uploaded to the internet at least two weeks before the sale to broaden exposure of your item to millions of people worldwide.
5. The Preview
Our Gallery is open for previews to the public 5 to 7 days prior to the auction. At this time, all items to be sold at the auction are available for in-depth examination by potential buyers. Our preview displays transform our Gallery into a museum of antique and fine art treasures. Your item will be carefully positioned within this display to maximize its visibility and appeal on the Gallery floor.
During the preview, people can also contact us by telephone or email to ask questions or request further information about auction items.
6. The Auction
Thomaston Place differs from other auction houses in that Kaja and John provide useful information about each item as it comes to the podium for sale. This adds interest to each auction and attracts many additional live spectators (who become bidders) to the Gallery. Bidders can participate in the auction by:
- Bidding live from the auction gallery floor;
- By placing absentee bids in advance of the auction;
- Bidding live on the telephone;
- Or, by bidding live on the internet.
This means that thousands of people around the world are viewing and able to bid in each of our sales. We also provide delicious catering and comfortable seating, and attendance at each sale is free and open to the public. You are welcome to view the auction live in the Gallery or on the internet at www.artfact.com.
Photo by Mark Sisco, Maine Antiques Digest
7. Post Auction Communication
All auction results are posted at our website (www.thomastonauction.com) within 24 hours after the sale ends.A report of items sold will be mailed to you within 2 weeks after the auction. A check for your auction proceeds (minus commission and any other pre-agreed costs) will be sent as per the terms of the agreement. If your item fails to sell, you will have the option of reclaiming it or allowing us to retain it for a future auction
The Thomaston Place Auction Advantage
Experience - Our team of appraisers and auction professionals share over 50 years of experience in handling antiques and fine art.
Persistence - We work hard to ensure your item is fully researched, described and represented to maximize its appeal to potential buyers.
Worldwide Exposure - Your item will be viewed by an international audience as a result of our extensive advertising, direct marketing, internet, and publicity.
Strategic Marketing - We communicate with our large base of specialized private collectors and dealers to ensure that potential buyers have information about your item.
Competitive Format - The auction format requires multiple bidders to compete, allowing your item to reach its top market value.
Flexibility - We make it easy for people to bid for your item - in person, absentee, on the telephone, or via the internet.
Frequently Asked Questions about Appraisals
"Should we get an appraisal?"
That all depends. Do you need it for insurance reasons? Are you thinking of selling the items? Do you want to know how much your things are worth so that your heirs are treated equally in your will? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then we suggest that you consider doing it.
"How much does it cost and what do you do?"
Our services are not cheap, but neither is the job you get. We're fast, efficient, and we know what we're doing, so in the long run, the knowledge you gain from us helps you make money. We believe we're the best and most informed professionals you can hire, and we do as much work in an hour as some do in three or four...so the old adage is, you get what you pay for and we'd be happy to discuss that with you.
"We're thinking about moving to a smaller place, but we don't know if our things are worth enough for you to bother with."
Let us be the judge of that. We can't tell you how often people think their things are worthless only to find out the opposite was true...too late. We're on the road almost every day and will gladly stop by, take a look and give you our opinion at no charge.
"My parents just passed away. What should we do with all this stuff?"
After the death of a loved one, the grieving process is so draining that often the very idea of dealing with the remaining house and contents can be overwhelming. We are very sensitive to this and, because of our experience in this area, can thoughtfully help you through these steps. After discussing which things you'd like to keep, and what your time frame is, you can turn the work and details over to us.
"What if we live out of state and have to do this right away?"
We'd be lying if we casually said, "No problem", because sometimes there is (like when several people want us to empty their houses all on the same day with no notice!). But we have an efficient and hard-working crew and we almost always get the job done when you need it done.
"Can I feel assured that I won't be pressured about this?"
We guarantee that you will never be pressured by anyone in our company! We dislike hearing stories from customers who have felt pressured by others to sell their things, and we won't do it. We don't have to; we have plenty of business without resorting to those tactics. These are your things and we respect your ability to make the wisest decisions concerning them.
Free Appraisal Days
Every Tuesday Kaja Veilleux welcomes people from near and far with one item or a car full, and at no charge, gives a verbal estimate of the fair market value of the art, antiques and collectibles brought for his inspection. Nothing is too insignificant, he assures everyone, because knowledge ensures good decisions.
Sometimes people are delightfully surprised by the value of their items and decide to sell immediately for a fixed offer, or take a gamble on its value by consigning it to an auction. Others are disappointed with the news that their items have more family value than monetary value. But most everyone leaves with the ability to make better decisions about what to do with their heirlooms either for estate planning purposes, insurance purposes, or simply to know how to price the item for that annual yard sale.
Tuesdays: 10 am to noon, and 1:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Thomaston Auction Gallery, Route 1, Thomaston (207-354-8141)