Kimballs weekly estate auctions attract a solid customer base of dealers, collectors and locals from all over New England who are eager to buy your consigned items. Kimballs is unique in that we are the only auction business in the area to utilize online bidding platforms (Live Auctioneers and Invaluable), providing comprehensive international coverage to maximize returns on your antiques and collectibles.

Kimballs is equipped to accept a variety of consignments- whether it is one special piece, the contents of a modest home, entire estates, or large personal and institutional collections. No matter what the situation, Kimballs is able to tailor the consignment process to fit your needs.

The first step in consigning with Kimballs is to contact us with information about what you are interested in consigning. This can be done by sending us photographs below or via email or giving us a call to schedule a free on-site consultation. Kimballs is also able to take on long-distance consigners from all over the world and accept items through the post. Consultation appointments are available Monday through Friday, 10 AM – 4 PM, though special arrangements can be made and availability may vary. Kimballs offers both out-right buying of items and estates, as well as item-by-item consignments.

If you would like to know more about consigning your items at Kimballs,  please complete a form below or give us a call at 413.549.8300.

Single Items

Before you make the decision to sell antiques or fine art, we want you to understand exactly what you have, what it is worth, and whether it is suitable for sale at auction. As a full-service auction house, we are here to answer all of these questions.

What is it worth?

Send us Photos and a Description

When it comes to determining value, a picture is worth a thousand words. Before we accept an item on consignment, we have to see it.

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Make an Appointment

Sending photographs allows our Appraisal Services team to match your property with the most qualified specialty appraiser. Find out the value of your items from the comfort of your own home by taking pictures, gathering information, and sending it all in for an auction evaluation, or verbal opinion of the amount your item may bring at auction. Typically, you need a written appraisal only for estate planning, tax, or insurance purposes.

Kimball’s provides auction evaluations free of charge and with no obligation to consign, though we take it on good faith that you are considering selling your items at auction.

Major Collections

As a full-service auction house with world-wide reach, Kimballs has extensive experience handling major collections and commands record-breaking prices in the domestic, specialty, and international marketplaces. We provide thoughtful, targeted marketing including dedicated auctions and full-color print and online catalogs.

Our marketing outreach includes custom website landing pages optimized for search, and email and social media campaigns for featured collections. Whether you are a collector or someone handling a large estate, we want to work with you to realize the maximum value for the collection.

Fill Out a Form
Make an Appointment

Sending photographs allows our Appraisal Services team to match your property with the most qualified specialty appraiser. Find out the value of your items from the comfort of your own home by taking pictures, gathering information, and sending it all in for an auction evaluation, or verbal opinion of the amount your item may bring at auction. Typically, you need a written appraisal only for estate planning, tax, or insurance purposes.

Kimball’s provides auction evaluations free of charge and with no obligation to consign, though we take it on good faith that you are considering selling your items at auction.

Institutional Collections

Kimballs collaborates with museums, historical societies, corporations, educational and non-profit institutions to assist with collecting and organizational goals. With expertise in numerous specialty areas, Kimballs provides Museum & Institutional Services for fine objects of value.

Deaccessioning and Consignment

Kimballs works directly with museum curators and directors, offering confidential and personal assistance with deaccession and collections management. We take an individual approach to every organization we serve, tailoring our services to meet your needs.

We understand the goals and concerns of non-profit institutions, and offer favorable pricing structures and terms along with the assurance that your transactions will be handled with discretion. The Kimballs name and reputation adds value to your consignments.

 

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The Consignment Process

Kimballs brings the very best fine art and objects of value to market in curated specialty auctions. If we feel your material is not a good fit for one of our specialties, or if the value falls below our minimum lot levels, we will be unable to offer it at auction.

If your property has been accepted on consignment, congratulations! You are in the company of experts who will guide you through the consignment and auction process in a warm, approachable environment.

1. Send in Material to be Consigned

When you are invited to consign, you will receive instructions on how to ship the material to Kimballs or arrange for an appointment. If you choose to ship your items, please mark the name of the Kimballs appraiser or specialty department who requested your material on the outside of the package, and include a detailed packing list inside along with copies of any email correspondence.

Please keep in mind that any auction estimates you received based on photographs may be revised once an appraiser assesses the item in person.

2. Sign a Consignment Contract

Review your contract carefully before signing. It contains important information on how the auction process works and also outlines the commission rate and fees that you will be charged.

The high and low auction estimates listed in your contract provide an expected range of value for your property, and give the buyer guidelines for potential purchase. The estimate is not a guarantee; your item may sell below or far above the estimate.

For objects of high value, your contract may contain a reserve, or a minimum price at which the item can sell. Most property at Kimballs is offered without a reserve, which can work to your advantage since starting the bidding at a low price will often inspire more bidders to join in. Bidder competition is essential to earning a higher final hammer price.

3. Photography, Catalogs, and Marketing

Working with Kimballs means worldwide exposure and thoughtful, targeted marketing. This level of commitment and dedication to earning you the maximum value for your consignments takes time. Allow at least 2-3 months from the time you sign a consignment contract to auction.

During this time, our specialists will research and catalog your material, photographers will take high quality pictures, our in-house production team will publish an auction catalog, and our marketing team will plan advertisements, events, and outreach around the auction. This outreach includes email and social media campaigns, a press release, and a dedicated landing page on our website for each auction. A high quality photograph and description of your item will appear in the online auction catalog on a page optimized for web searches.

Kimballs takes special care to place your property in the most appropriate specialty auctions. Placing similar material together means attracting a higher number of passionate, motivated buyers.

4. Watch for your Pre-Sale Notice

Two weeks before the auction in which your property is scheduled to sell, you will receive a pre-sale notice in the mail. This notice contains the auction name, number, and date along with the lot numbers of your property. For example, your oil painting may be Lot 408 scheduled to sell in American & European Works of Art Auction #2950B.

You may wish to visit our auction schedule and view the online catalog.

5. Attend the Auction

An auction is a fast-paced, thrilling experience for bidders and consignors alike. You can watch the auction online from your computer.

6. Sold!

If you’re not watching from the audience or your computer when the hammer falls, you can check the prices realized on our website. We update the results continuously during the sale. We report two different results: a hammer price and the price realized, which equals the hammer price plus buyer’s premium. A consignor’s payment is calculated from the hammer price.

In the event that your property fails to sell, we understand your disappointment. We’re disappointed too! Markets are unpredictable, and the auctioneer sometimes has to make the strategic decision to pass a lot rather than sell it for less than its value.

In this situation, you have two choices. You may choose to offer the lot again in a future auction, or you may wish to have your property returned to you. Charges may apply for returned property. The Kimballs specialty department handling your consignment can make arrangements for either of these options after the auction.

If your property sold, congratulations! Expect to receive your payment from the Kimball’s Accounting team 35 days after the auction.