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Art Sources for the Identification and Valuation of Fine and Decorative Art

A guide on Art Sources for the Identification and Valuation of Fine and Decorative Art for the art collector and seller.

Art Auction Records

Art Auction Records: Sales, Price, and Provenance


The auction and sales sources listed below cover almost exclusively painting and sculpture. Some prints, photographs and decorative works are included. For decorative arts sales, see those specific sections under the tab "by medium" in this guide.

Art Auction Records: Online


Art Sales Index
The best source for art auction records from 1972 to the present for national and international artists. Includes auction records from the auction houses of Christies, Sotheby's and many others. Search the name of your artist. You must subscribe to view auction records. If you find that there are records on your artist, then you might consider a 24 hour subscription for $30. This would be long enough to access the records you need on your artist.

AskArt.com
AskArt is an excellent source of auction records on regional and national artists of the United States. If you have a signature or monogram on the work of art, search the name in AskArt. If you find records, you can then compare the images of the works of art associated with the name to your work.

If you want to see the actual auction record price, you will need to subscribe to AskArt. Click the "subscribe" link on the main page or the "subscriber" link after the listing of the auction record to subscribe and see the auction price. Subscriptions begin at $14.95 for 24 hour access. 24 hours is usually enough time to find all the auction records you need to identify one or two works of art.

Art Cyclopedia
Art Cyclopedia is another excellent source for auction records. If you have a name on your work of art, search the name (last name, first), in the "Search Artists by Name" box. If you find and entry on your artist, click the link "Art Market" in their record. You can view FREE auction sales records from the auction houses of Christies (back to 1991), and Sothebys (back to 1998). There are many images of the works sold, so you can make a visual comparison between your work of art and the images of the sold works to help you in determining if you have made a correct match.

Gordon’s Print Price Annual
Gordon’s Print Price Annual is the best source for current print auction records. The UNT Libraries do not subscribe to this resource but you can purchase a short term subscription to use search the database of print auction records.

Art Auction Records: Books


The UNT Libraries have incomplete years of coverage on all of these paper art auction record reference books. Try searching the databases first. 

Mayer's International Auction Records
N8640 .I51

Art Sales from Early in the Eighteenth Century to Early in the Twentieth Century (Graves)
N8675 .G72

Economics of Taste
ND47 .RI5

International Auction Records, 1968-
N8640 .I5

Mayer's International Auction Records
N8640 .I51

World Collector's Annuary
1946- ND47 .W6

Leonard's Annual Price Index to Art Auctions, 1981-
N8670 .L46

Gordon's Print Price Annual
(Dallas & Fort Worth Public Libraries)

Leonard's Annual Price Index of Prints, Posters & Photographs
(Dallas Public Library)

Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon: die Bildenden Künstler aller Zeiten und Völker (General Artist-Lexicon),
N40 .A63 1992 47 vols. 
This source is in German, but it is the very comprehensive. Auction records for artworks are listed at the end of the artist entry.

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