Skip to Content

Selling an Art Collection to Help Start a New Chapter

Woman and man conversing in a art gallery

Client Profile

Over several decades, a collector had built a diverse collection of contemporary and 19th century European antiquities and decorative art. After a divorce, children going off to college and a home downsizing, she decided to simplify her life by streamlining her expansive collection. Having only purchased art, she didn’t know how to navigate the selling process.


The U.S. Trust Art Services group and a private client advisor met with the collector to discuss her art collection and her broader financial objectives. Impressed by the firm’s integrated approach to wealth management, she began an investment management relationship with U.S. Trust. The Art Services group then re-engaged with the client to develop a sales strategy for the art collection. They explained that approaching an auction house directly could result in significant seller fees.

Therefore, to help the client attract some of the best potential buyers and competitive auction prices, the Art Services group recommended that she take advantage of U.S. Trust’s Consignment Services.

  • The Art Services group created a collection inventory and helped the client identify a group of works that she wished to sell.
  • The team orchestrated conversations and site visits with three leading auction houses to establish the client’s selling objectives and to gauge interest.
  • After receiving competitive proposals from each auction house, the U.S. Trust team prepared a side-by-side comparison of their offers for the client.


After reviewing the offers from the three auction houses with her advisor, the client chose the one providing the most advantageous overall package.

  • Through its master consignment agreements, the Art Services group was able to eliminate the seller’s commission and fees on the lots sold.
  • The group then coordinated with the auction house to arrange for transporting the property to the sale room so the works could be photographed and catalogued before the auction deadlines.
  • The works were subsequently sold in a combination of New York and London auctions.


By working with her U.S. Trust® private client advisor and a team of art specialists, our client:

  • Took advantage of U.S. Trust’s relationships with auction houses to secure a favorable contract from an auction leader.
  • Saved significantly on fees compared with going directly to an auction house.
  • Connected with an audience of buyers who appreciated the collection, which may have led to overall higher bids and profits.

Bank of America Corporation’s Commitment to the Arts

Bank of America Corporation’s Arts & Culture program reflects its belief that the arts matter.

Bank of America Corporation supports nonprofit arts institutions globally that deliver visual and performing arts, educate and inspire, anchor communities, create jobs, and sustain local businesses.

Through its Art in Our Communities® program, Bank of America Corporation has lent more than 100 full exhibitions to nonprofit museums throughout the world at no cost. Museums in 28 countries have preserved nearly a hundred works of historic and cultural significance through our Art Conservation Project. For individual patrons, our Museums on Us® program has let millions of people enjoy no-cost admission to popular cultural institutions.

Learn more about our commitment to the arts at

Managing Your Worth with U.S. Trust

Your wealth is not measured by numbers alone, but by the extraordinary opportunities and complex challenges that define your life. At U.S. Trust, we apply our deep insight and broad expertise to help you make the most of the things that matter most to you.

We begin by listening to you, learning about your life, and we work with you to understand your priorities. Your advisor and your team of specialists then build a wealth plan that aligns with your personal values and family goals.

Whether we are managing your portfolio, serving as trustee or administering an estate, our focus is what best meets your objectives. Together, we develop personalized solutions that address the dimensions of your worth today and the legacy you’re building for future generations.


Related Insights

Back to Top