Finding current auction sales information: databases
If you are looking for relatively current information on a work sold within the last fifteen to twenty years, the databases below are the best tools to use. All three include images of many works, often in color. Scroll down to find print resources that can also be used to find current auction sales information.
- Use ArtNet for fine arts IF you know the artist's name, and for high-end antiques and decorative arts.
- Use ArtFact for antiques and collectibles and for fine arts if you do not know the artist's name.
- Use Gordon's for prints.
The first and best source for recent auction sale results of fine arts and high-end antiques and collectables. Works of fine art are searchable only by the artist’s name. Click the Decorative Art tab to search for furniture, jewelry, tableware, textiles, etc. Covers sales results from the major auction houses worldwide (especially North American and European auction houses). Search Fine Art first by artist, then (if needed) by medium, title, auction house, and date. Search Decorative Art by category, description, maker, and size. Includes "bought-ins," ie.works that did not sell. Includes color images of many works. Coverage is from 1985 to the present.
On the Clark campus, click the orange "Log In" text link and then the blue "Use the database" link.
Clark/Williams electronic resource
Database of auction sale results for antiques and collectible objects; also includes some coverage of fine arts. Includes color images of many works. Unlike ArtNet, works of fine art in this database can be searched by keyword without knowing an artist's name. Information includes artist, name of work, medium/materials, estimated price and sale price, as well as any other descriptive information that appeared in the sale catalog. Coverage is the past 15 years.
Ask at the reference desk for logon help.
Clark electronic resource
The BASI lot search offers searches of art auction records and data from 1970 to the present (and for selected Christie's and Sotheby's catalogs from 1922 to the present), including records from 350 auction houses from North American, Europe, China, and India for paintings, sculpture, works on paper, prints, photographs, and miniatures. BASI allows for both "quick search" and "advanced search" options according to the artist's name, category, title, dimension, year of the artwork, sale price, year of sale, and auction house. If you are not able to search ArtNet, BASI is a good alternative that is freely available via the internet.
Annual record of prints sold at the most important European and American auction houses during the year. Includes sales of single prints, sets, pairs, portfolios, and “other groupings with cohesive sense to them.” Entries include title, medium, edition size, date, references, measurements, whether signed, edition number, margins, and general condition. Sale information includes auction house, sale date, lot number, price in local currency, and price in $U.S. The library also holds print volumes that cover 1978-91, 1993 - present (see below). Database coverage is from 1985 to the present.
Ask at the reference desk for logon help.
Clark electronic resource
Finding current auction sales information: print sources
The materials below are either indexes or yearly surveys. Indexes can be used to find when an artist's work was sold at auction and which auction catalog records the sale. (The next step would be to use the Clark library online catalog or union catalogs such as Scipio or WorldCat to find the catalog itself). Annual surveys can be used to find out about art market trends.
Any materials held in Offsite Storage can be recalled for use in the library. Clark staff, students, and scholars may use their circulation barcode to request materials through the online catalog. Researchers who do not have a circulation account should contact the library at least three days prior to a visit to use the material.
Art Sales Index. Phoenix, AZ : LTB Gordonart, Inc, 2010– .
Hislop’s Art Sales Index. Surrey, England: Art Sales Index LTD, 2003–2009.
Art Sales Index. Edited by Duncan Hislop. Virginia Water, England: Art Sales Index, 1984/85–2002.
The Annual Art Sales Index. Weybridge, Surrey: 1969–1983/84.
Title for this annual publication varies; most recently the spine title is Hislop’s Art Sales Index. An annual report on the results of public auction sales, mostly in Europe and North America, of paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints, miniatures, and sculpture. Includes annual compilations of record prices, turnover, and works sold for more than £1 million. Covers 450+ auction houses, including many smaller venues. Entries include artist’s name/birth and death dates/nationality, hammer price, title/description of work, dimensions, whether signed and dated, date of auction, auctioneer’s name and place of sale, lot number and whether reproduced in catalogue, low and high estimate, and currency of sale and local price. Use for those years not covered by ArtNet.
Compact Shelving N8640 A78 (Library has 1969–2001. Volumes after 1984 are in Offsite Storage.)
Gordon’s Print Price Annual. Phoenix: Gordon’s Art Reference, 1978-.
Annual record of prints sold at the most important European and American auction houses during the year. Includes sales of single prints, sets, pairs, portfolios, and “other groupings with cohesive sense to them.” In earlier years, decorative, sporting, and topographical prints received “cursory treatment” and were “lightly” represented; later years include historical, sporting, topographical, botanical, and Japanese prints, fine art and film posters, illustrated books, artists’ books, and periodicals with original graphics. Entries include title, medium, edition size, date, references, measurements, whether signed, edition number, margins, and general condition. Sale information includes auction house, sale date, lot number, price in local currency, and price in $U.S. SEE ONLINE RESOURCE covering 1985 to the present, above.
Offsite Storage, Compact Shelving N8645 G67 2004 (Library has 1978-1991, 1993- present. Volumes after 1984 are in Offsite Storage.)
International Auction Records. Enrique Mayer. Paris: Editions Mayer, 1967-1994.
MAYER. Lausanne: Ed. Acados, 1995-.
Title varies. French edition called Annuaire international des ventes: peinture-sculpture. Current title merged with Livre international des ventes. Sales results of auction houses around the world, with 800+ auction houses from 40 countries; this breadth includes lower and middle markets as well as major houses and is more international than other similar resources. Works are arranged by category (prints, drawings, watercolors, paintings, sculpture, and photographs) and then alphabetically by artist’s name. Entries include artist’s name/dates/nationality, title of work, description of medium/watermark/edition/special editions, dimensions, catalogue raissonee reference, auction house, sale location and date, auctioneer, and sale price in local currency as well as Pounds, Euros, and US Dollars.
Offsite Storage, Compact shelving N8640 I575 (Library has 1967-2000, 2004. Volumes after 1984 are in Offsite Storage.)
Art at Auction: the Year at Sotheby’s and Parke-Bernet. New York: Viking, 1956/57-.
Title varies: 1956/57-1961/62 Sotheby’s Annual Review of the Season; 1962/63-1964/65 Ivory Hammer; 1965/66- present Art at Auction. Annual review of the most important sales of the year at Sotheby Parke Bernet in London and New York. Includes essays on areas and trends (e.g. “The Year in Jewellery”). Includes fine arts, precious objects, decorative arts, books, and collectors’ sales (wine, instruments, guns, toys, coins, etc.). Lavishly illustrated.
Offsite Storage N8660 S61 (Library has 1956/57-present.)
Annual review of the most important sales of the year at the auction houses of Christie’s in London, Greece, Rome, Amsterdam, Sydney, and Montreal. Includes sales of paintings, sculpture, drawings, furniture, photographs, stamps, silver, objects of vertu, jewelry and timepieces, ceramics and glass, guns and arms and armor, coins and medals. An essay accompanies each category of material. Lavishly illustrated; no footnotes or bibliography.
Offsite Storage N8660 C71 (Library has 1927/28-1930/31, 1957-62 to 1971, 1972-1996, 1998-2000)