In 1986 Helen Kippax opened The Antiques Brokerage House, Ltd as a consulting business to offer private collectors and interior designers the option of buying art, furniture and other decorative objects with her guidance. Helen had worked for the Cooper Hewitt Museum, Philip Colleck of London Antiques, Sotheby’s and William Doyle Galleries and saw a niche business to act as a broker for collectors and designers using the wholesale market of auctions to form collections and furnish their homes.
By buying at auction, bidding side by side with top dealers she could bring her clients period pieces before they hit the Madison Avenue and 57th street galleries and the premium price tags. The business’ transparent service provides the client with the auction house invoice which is important provenance for the history of a purchase.
Connoisseurship and an eye for the best, partnered with online research capability enhances the guidance provided to her clients. When you work with an art advisor you have access to their expertise and connections which protects you from the glut of material on the market. If you are starting to collect a certain artist you want to know if the painting you identify in an auction has been offered in other auctions in the recent past with no interest from buyers. Is it old unsaleable inventory from a dealer? Conversely, the provenance of a respected dealer’s label on an estate item might be a great value to a new collector offering a great buying opportunity.
‘Caveat Emptor’ buyer beware is rarely advertised on auction sites as buying art has become a click away and we often agree to terms without really reading the agreement.