Old Masters (paintings from the 12th to the 18th centuries) represent a somewhat singular sector in the world of the art market, because their price index remains stable.
This is because the large majority of their buyers are particularly well-informed collectors: national museums, as would be expected, but also on occasion young investors whose portfolios are highly subject to the vagaries of the stock market.
The most interesting paintings are grouped together in our six major catalogued sales of 17th/18th paintings and drawings, which generally take place in March, June, and December at Neuilly-sur-Seine, Lyon or Drouot Richelieu. An informed public is targeted through the Internet, specialised advertising and widely distributed catalogues.
Since its creation, the Aguttes auction house has sold a large number of major paintings, including the “Autoportrait aux bésicles” by Chardin (pre-empted by the Musées Nationaux and now in Orléans), a pair of paintings featuring bouquets of flowers by Tomas Hiepes (€1,435,300, bought by private buyers in Neuilly), “The Church of Saint Bavo in Haarlem” by Gerrit Berckheyde, and a remarkable “Adoration of the Magi” by the Nuremberg school of c. 1410, sold for €1,093,000.
As regards more affordable paintings, which are often Old Masters as well but produced by artists’ studios or less famous artists, these are allocated to the sales most appropriate for them, which regularly offer handsome Old Masters at reasonable prices to audiences with a less specialist taste who appreciate beautiful things.
These paintings, which often come from the drawing rooms of private owners in Neuilly-sur-Seine, where they have hung for generations, sometimes simply “cross the road” to the next-door drawing room, thus remaining in the hands of private art lovers.
Lastly, minor sales are held every two months at 2.30 p.m. on Tuesdays in Neuilly and Thursdays in Lyon, featuring paintings considered more decorative, or whose condition does not permit their inclusion in a catalogued sale.
Valuations of Old Masters
Valuations of paintings and drawings can very well be made at a distance to begin with. It is thus highly recommended to send us an email or letter to this effect, giving your address and telephone number, and including a complete photo and a photo of the signature. We would also ask you to indicate the measurements and provenance of the work.
The next stage obviously involves us seeing the work itself in order to judge its quality, technique and condition.
Authentication may be required. We will call on external experts if necessary, and will also approach recognised specialists on your behalf, with your agreement.
Depending on the work, an appointment on-site or at our premises will be planned. We can advise you as regards transport if need be.
Pre-sale estimates will be communicated to you; we will suggest an inclusion in one of our upcoming sales, and the conditions for organising this. If we come to an agreement, a sale contract is then signed.
Valuation in view of a sale is free and entirely confidential.