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Page updated June 10, 2019
I have given each site a very subjective rating of one * to three *s, with three *s being the highest personal recommendation as to the site's quality and depth.
* - Alderfer Auction - A large number of past auctions listed, but awkward to use and of limited research value as descriptions and photos are short or non-existent. If you have time to spare, check it out as it is a very good auction company.
** - Antique Advertising.com - Over 10,000 photos of items sold at auction. Well organized, thorough descriptions and clear photos, This would rate *** except for the fact that each page is very slow loading. You have to have patience.
** - ArtPrice.com - A very thorough listing of fine art prices realized with a directory of over 600,000 named artists. The directory is free to use, but access to the database of prices starts at $32.50 (for one day!). This is a very specialized site, but highly useful with good descriptions for the fine arts professional. Their pricing database goes back to 1962.
** - Artvalue.com is the best free source of sold prices. They list about 5 million auction results recorded globally since 1987. Its price database is very useful to get an idea about the current value of an item to be sold at auction.
*** - Bertoia Auctions - One of the world's top auctioneers for antique and collectible toys. The site is free to use and the catalogs and descriptions are excellent. Don't click on the "prices realized" button as that just gives a spread sheet. Click on "View Catalog" for complete information.
*** - Blouinartinfo.com is a good source to stay up to date with the current trends and events in the global art scene. Art prices realized database goes back to 1922! It costs $39 / month, $30 / day or $400 / yr., but is a huge repository of artists and prices their works have earned. Sale date, venue, description (somewhat brief), and sale price.
*** - Christies, one of the world's top auction houses has an extensive prices realized database going back to 2006. An excellent resource for researching a broad spectrum of art and antiques. Descriptions are adequate and photos are excellent. Access is free as well.
** - Fontaines Auction Gallery - Located in Pittsfield MA, The prices realized section of their site is well organized and presented. Each auction can be searched. Most lot descriptions are thorough. The single drawback or rather, limitation is that the results only go back to 2014, but they are in the process of rebuilding their prices realized pages. Access is free.
*** - Invaluable Although an auction house aggregator, Invaluable has an extensive price realized database, identifying also the auction house having sold each item. There are 3 categories of paid membership - Basic, $20 / month (search 1,000,000 auctions over the past year), Premium, $40 / month (search 20,000,000 auctions over the past 5 years), and finally, Professional, $ 199.95 / month (search 50,000,000 auctions from the past 15+ years). This site gives access to both Sotheby's and Christie's databases. If you are serious, the subscription is worth the price.
*** - James D. Julia Inc. / Morphy Auctions is one of America's top 10 auction houses. It features auctions of fine firearms, glass and lamps, Asian art and toys and dolls. Where they excel is in their extensive and accurate descriptions. A great deal of time is devoted to producing their catalogs and those catalogs with prices realized are available to anyone wishing to do research. Each catalog is independently searchable as well. Clicking the link above will take you directly to the catalog library.
* 1/2 - Kovels.com is probably the best known of the identification websites and is especially useful for researching marks for ceramics, glass and metals. Its' price guide, both on line and print, has limitations. Very few items are represented with photos or descriptions. The prices posted are not tied to the particular venue where sold, and to get the most out of the site's research usefulness, you should have the Premium+ subscription at $59.88/yr. As with any general price guide, the usefulness is in getting a ballpark idea of an item's value; is it worth $10 or closer to $100 or more? I can't recommend this for serious pricing research however.
*** - LiveAuctioneers.com -An extensive price realized database free to use. Prices go back to<2004. It covers 21 million antiques, collectibles and fine art from thousands of global auction houses. Search by keyword and refine by auction house, location, origin, style & period, creator, materials, techniques, and more to research and determine the value of items in your existing or future collection. Auction results are updated daily with new hammer prices so you can always access recently sold to historical results dating back to 1999.
*** - Lot-Art.com is currently the most advanced auction browsing portal, developed by collectors on collectors’ needs. Presenting the most comprehensive and up to date list of auction sales worldwide, Lot-Art allows saving precious time to any eclectic art buyer interested in a wide range of artists, brands and collection items. One can search for current items, after sale items open for offers, and past sales. It is entirely free.
** - PCGS Prices Realized - This site represents an outstanding repository of recent prices realized for coins and medals. Information on grading and much useful descriptive information dealing with coins and medals.
** - Price Realized - Specializing in collectible sports cards. Listing the last 18 months of prices realized. A more extensive listing is available with free registration.
As an Amazon affiliate, I have included links to products I recommend, but there are many other brands and prices available at Amazon and other retailers. (We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.) We are also affiliates of many of the other sites we link to. Sites that we recommend that we have no affiliation with are indicated with an asterisk (*). However, we have either purchased or at least tested any recommended affiliate or non-affiliated sites before adding their link to our site.
We are affiliated with Catawiki, an auction aggregator based in Belgium and organized under a novel concept. Click on the banner below to find out more. It is a good international source for ongoing auctions, but has no prices realized database.
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