8 Ways The Fine Art Group Can Assist Clients Selling Luxury Wearables


  1. What do you have and where is it?

    All families have jewelry and watches, whether we realize it or not. Typically, a family has jewelry in the family vault, and the age-old adage applies: ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ My own family is guilty of this.

    Your grandmother’s natural saltwater pearl necklace likely resides in the vault with grandfather’s Patek Philippe pocket watch and perhaps a colored gemstone of important origin or even a few gold coins. Ask questions about the family legacy and better understand the collective priorities.

  2. Are you sure you want to sell?

    The first question should be whether the piece(es) will continue to be worn. If the family members feel they will be wearing and enjoying the articles, please let us know, and The Fine Art Group will be happy to discuss the process of a retail replacement valuation (otherwise known as an insurance valuation).

    However, if family members are not interested in keeping and wearing the pieces, we highly recommend discussing the works with our teams and obtaining a better market overview. We can discuss which ends of the market have the most traction with buyers on the secondary market (for example, auction market or private sale through The Fine Art Group).

  3. How do you know what auction house is appropriate for your assets?

    I genuinely enjoy counseling our clients through the sale process. We begin by finding the right auction house. Not all auction houses are created equal, and, most importantly, the big two (Sotheby’s and Christie’s) might not always be the most appropriate fit for the piece or collection.

    Our team will explore the options with you, finding the most robust buyer pool available, and determining which firm has proven to hold a market share for these exact pieces. We want your pieces to shine and be as unique to those bidding as they are to you!

  4. Your sales venue is picked, but what other details need to be explored?

    Negotiating sale terms for these highly emotional assets that our families possess can be a delicate dance.

    I like to explore not simply sale commissions but which end of a sale season might be best for the jewelry or watches (holiday season vs. early fall or late spring can make a difference).

    For example, does the Van Cleef and Arpels Alhambra necklace come with the original boxes and are in good condition? If the answer is yes, let us consider taking it to an auction before the holiday season, when bidders may be more keen on bidding an extra increment (or two or three) on this piece to have it available for the gifting season.

  5. How does the sales venue intend to advertise your assets?

    We have found that this needs to be addressed when reviewing results of clients who decided to go through the sale process alone. If the consignor agrees it is essential, we can make requests before the sale. Even placement within the order of an auction can make a difference in the price realized on the day of sale.

    I like to use the example of the full jewelry ‘suite.’ Assume that your mother purchased her jewelry in full parures (suites or sets) from Cartier in the early 1990s. Today’s collectors do not typically buy a complete matching set of ear clips, bracelets, or necklaces with brooches or rings, even though they once did so. Most bidders want one, two, or three pieces out of a parure (traditionally, there are as many as five) but likely do not need all of them. Personally, I adore earrings and bracelets but would probably not wear the necklace or brooch. Ideally, if the suite is broken up, it often requires the bidders keen to keep the suite together to spend a little more to keep the parure together. At the same time, this requires the bidders who only want a single piece (or two or three) to bid higher on the exact items they will cherish and appreciate daily.

  6. The Fine Art Group’s Pre-Sale Concierge Services

    It can be hugely disappointing, but not unusual, to hear from a client after the sale, “I would have sold it for that…” after the piece goes unsold.

    The Fine Art Group team checks in and offers updates leading up to and during the sale exhibition and on auction eve. Consignors should always have a market check before the auction to determine what ‘pre-auction’ interest might look like.

    I have often had clients who would have benefitted from understanding who has seen their pieces and how the reception may have been. If there is concern that the jewelry or watch may fail to find a happy home, the client should know and be offered the opportunity to amend the reserve price appropriately if needed.

    Conversely, if you are happy to have a piece come home, we also want to negotiate that.

  7. What are extended payment terms?

    Many auction houses have a special list of highly vetted clients who have been offered the opportunity to pay on ‘extended payment terms’ (EPTs). This means the payment may occur in increments rather than a single lump sum approximately 40 days from the date of sale.

    I want to say again: this exceptional group of bidders may review the sale and request payment terms ahead of the day of the auction that falls outside the typical period of ‘full payment.’

    This request is typically an excellent sign for the consignor. It means that the potential bidder(s) know that they may need to ‘reach’ financially on the day of sale and has the means to do so if offered the flexibility to pay in three partial payments.

    More often than not, I counsel the consignor to take these terms since I know the vetting process well, and it is highly stringent. Most importantly, successful bidders with these terms are only allowed access to the pieces once they pay in full. It remains in the care of the auction firm until payment has been settled.

  8. Delivering the happy news.

    I love sale days, either at auction or in private sale. It is always a victory, even in the most modest of consignments.

    It is an honor to be included in this experience. Our team members understand the delicate emotions surrounding selling family heirlooms and prized possessions for collectors and family members. Shepherding your most cherished assets through the sale process is crucial to you as the seller, and I promise I am there with you every step.


The Fine Art Group’s dedicated Agency team can add significant value through seamless sales management, financial reporting and marketing optimization.

We take care of every detail of the sale process, from initial valuation all the way through to post-sale reporting and analysis, ensuring that the client communication and involvement is tailored throughout.

See our Sales Agency Case Studies to learn more about our services.