Sotheby's Trusts, Estates & Valuations

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Sotheby’s Trusts, Estates & Valuations team provides concierge-level service to fiduciaries, executors and beneficiaries throughout the United States seeking assistance with the valuation and disposition of tangible personal property. Operating as a single point of contact for our clients, Sotheby’s Trusts & Estates representatives are available to assist with matters such as: valuations for estate, gift and charitable contributions; insurance and collateral loan purposes; the development of sale and marketing plans for auction and private sale; and collection management. It is our single minded effort to provide a seamless client experience in accordance with the highest standards of expertise, discretion and accuracy.

Sotheby's Trusts, Estates & Valuations

  • Sotheby's Estate Services
    Initial Assessment



    Depending on the location of the property, Sotheby’s Trusts & Estates team will offer a complimentary walk-through of the collection or a preliminary review of available listings and photographs in order to assess the scope of the collection.

  • ©2014 THE ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION FOR THE VISUAL ARTS
    Sotheby's Estate Services
    Strategic Advice on Disposition



    Sotheby’s has 270 years of experience in assisting our clients in appraising, selling, moving, and storing collections of all sizes and categories. As such, we are uniquely qualified when it comes to devising the most effective sale strategies in order to maximize the value of each item in a collection and at all levels of the market. Whether items in the estate are best suited for auction, private sale or sale through a secondary venue, Sotheby’s will provide our best and most qualified advice and ensure a seamless client experience along the way.

  • Sotheby's Estate Services
    Collection Management



    Sotheby’s Trusts & Estates team can provide exceptional personalized service in instances when auction is not on the immediate horizon. For fiduciaries with planning needs, we are happy to facilitate the safeguarding and management of a collection, to explore the possible benefits of Sotheby’s financial services, and to assist in a variety of situations to inform estate and gift planning.

  • Sotheby's Valuation Services
    The world’s top private collectors, corporations, museums and institutions entrust the appraisal of their collections to Sotheby’s. We substantiate our valuations and stand behind our appraisals, which are accepted around the world by entities such as the Internal Revenue Service, her Majesty’s revenue and customs and regional and international insurance brokers. Our Trusts, Estates & Valuation team is trained to anticipate and accommodate the many specific needs of executors, attorneys and other professional advisors.

  • Valuations
    Members of our Valuations department are certified in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) and Sotheby’s valuations follow USPAP Guidelines to provide the most comprehensive, compliant appraisal documents. Working with our top specialists in over 70 different collecting categories, this team provides qualified appraisals for a variety of purposes including following:

    ·      Estate Tax
    ·      Charitable Donation
    ·      Gift Tax
    ·      Collateral Loan
    ·      Insurance
    ·      Auction Estimate

     A completed appraisal includes detailed property descriptions accompanied by color illustrations and itemised values in a bound document with an affidavit and summary page and is finalized only when the client is satisfied with the format and content.
  • ZENG FANZHI THE LAST SUPPER SOLD FOR $23,273,151 A RECORD FOR CHINESE CONTEMPORARY ART SOLD AT AUCTION AND A RECORD FOR THE ARTIST AT AUCTION SOTHEBY'S HONG KONG 40TH ANNIVERSARY EVENING SALE, HONG KONG OCTOBER 13.
    Sotheby's Auction Sales
    Sotheby’s reaches every point of the global art market, with 90 locations in 40 countries. We conduct approximately 250 auctions a year in nine salesrooms around the world and handle works in over 70 collecting categories. This remarkable breadth enables Sotheby’s to offer each work in the most advantageous sale to ensure the maximum financial return.

  • Auction Reserves and Estimates
    Every item offered for sale at auction through Sotheby’s is presented in our sale and online catalogues along with a pre-sale estimate. This estimate is determined by our specialists in advance of the sale and is based on such factors as the recent performance of comparable items at auction, the overall art market, condition, rarity and provenance. the estimate ranges from a low figure to a high figure and is meant to be a guide for prospective buyers. Prior to the sale, sellers also set a reserve on each item, which is a confidential minimum price below which the item will not be sold. By law, a reserve cannot exceed the published low-estimate of the pre-sale estimate range.

  • Global Reach
    More than ever, the key to success in the auction room is dependent on attracting the greatest number of bidders on the day of the sale. Sotheby’s first objective is to place objects for sale in the most appropriate international selling location, but we then extend that reach even further to ensure that we are presenting the works on offer to every possible bidder around the globe. Sotheby’s state-of-the-art iPad App ensures that every collector, regardless of location, can view works for sale by reading complete cataloguing and examining high-resolution images. Sotheby’s Bidnow program further allows clients to view all auctions live online and place bids in real-time from anywhere in the world.

  • Auction Fees
    The costs involved with offering property in a Sotheby’s auction generally include a seller’s commission, as well as sale-related expenses which cover property handling, property administration and liability for loss or damage while works are on our premises and through the time of sale (referred to as a Property Management Fee), the cost of catalogue photography and any charges associated with property transport. We approach each consignment opportunity with a consideration of the unique aspects of the property being consigned, as well as the competitive nature of the marketplace and are eager to work with you to tailor our terms to fit each individual consignment.

  • PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF DAVID WHITNEY SOLD TO BENEFIT THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION TO MAINTAIN THE GLASS HOUSE, ITS SITE AND ITS COLLECTION SOLD FOR $13.9 MILLION, NOVEMBER 2006.
    Sotheby's Historic Estates
    Sotheby’s excels at orchestrating single-owner sales that celebrate the creative vision of a private collector. For nearly a century, we have  been the premier auction house for the world’s most distinguished  collections. From our sale of Napoleon’s famed library in 1893, to the Estates of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Brooke Astor, Sotheby’s has held the most memorable auction events on behalf of the estates of renowned individuals, philanthropists, artists, statesman and royalty.  Through our elegant presentation of an individual’s lifestyle and taste, customized to each occasion, we attract international attention and  draw thousands of buyers into our salerooms.

    ·      The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, May, 1990 and April 1999. $128.3 Million / The Greentree Foundation Collection (established by Mrs. Whitney). May 2004. $212.6 Million
    ·      The Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, April, 1996. $34.5 Million
    ·      The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, February, 1998. $23.4 Million
    ·      Property from the Estate of Brooke Astor, September, 2012. $18.8 Million
    ·      Magnificent Jewels from the Collections of Estée Lauder and Evelyn H. Lauder, December, 2012. $22.8 Million
  • Property from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney
    Beginning in 1990, Sotheby’s was entrusted with selling property from the Estates of Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, which comprised Modern and impressionist Art, Decorative Arts and Jewellery. Presented in five separate sales over a fourteen year period, the collection included such highlights as Pierre-Auguste renoir’s  Au Moulin de la Galette which sold for $78.1 million in 1991 and set the auction record for Impressionist Art at the time. The 1999 sale featured a single-owner group of 50 paintings and set three new artist auction records, and in 2004, Pablo Picasso’s  Garçon à la pipe set a world auction record at $104.1 million, marking the first time in history that a work sold at auction exceeded $100 million. The entire Whitney collection realized over $440 million, but perhaps its greatest legacy remains the group of incredible paintings gifted by the estate to institutions such as the National Gallery of Art and the Yale University of Art Gallery.

  • PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF JACQUELINE KENNEDY ONASSISSOLD FOR $34.5 MILLION, APRIL 1996.
    The Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
    In April 1996, Sotheby’s offered over 5,000 items from the Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in one of the most widely publicized auctions in history. At the conclusion of the four-day sale not a single item from the former first lady’s vast estate was unsold. A 40-carat diamond engagement ring from Aristotle Onassis brought in the highest price of the sale at $2.5 million, followed by the desk upon which President Kennedy signed the 1963 nuclear test Ban treaty, which sold for $1.4 Million. The entire Estate achieved over $34.5 million, soaring high above the pre-sale estimate of $4.6 million.

  • Property from the Collection of Evelyn H. Lauder, Sold to Benefit The Breast Cancer Research Foundation
    In December 2012, Sotheby’s sold a selection of jewels from the Collection of Evelyn H. Lauder as a highlight of our winter Magnificent Jewels sale. All of the net proceeds from this distinguished offering benefited The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, founded by Evelyn Lauder in 1993. On the day of the sale, international bidders from 18 countries competed for jewels from the collection, including Mrs. lauder’s Fancy Intense Pink Diamond and Diamond Ring, which realized $8.6 million and was pursued by at least six individuals. Sotheby’s sold 92% of the jewels that were offered, achieving a total of $22.2 million.

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