Still Life: Flowers and Fruit
Oil on canvas
Met Museum, New York
Testimonial Letter for Cliff Bailer
My wife and I decided to move from our home in Rydal, PA to a condominium in Center City, Philadelphia in the summer of 2016. Over the years, we had built of a collection of over 100 pieces of art and wanted/needed to cut the size of our collection approximately in half. We weren’t sure where to start. We contacted the Philadelphia Museum of Art and one of the assistance curators very nicely gave us contact names at two auction houses plus two appraisers who might be able to help us. We interviewed all four and decided to go with Cliff. It’s a decision we never regretted and we have never looked back.
Our collection consists mostly of post-World War II art. With that said, it was a rather eclectic grouping including painting, sculpture, photography, and glass. Some works were by known artists and were quite valuable. Some were from lesser or unknown artists and we knew we wouldn’t recover what we paid for them. Although contemporary art wasn’t Cliff’s strongest area of interest, he dove into the project with both enthusiasm and professionalism. Fortunately, we had almost all of our purchase documents and could provide good provenance. Cliff contacted primary dealers, secondary dealers, and auction houses specializing in everything from very fine art to household goods. He made extensive use of Internet resources. We consigned some works as far away as Atlanta, Georgia and as close as downtown Philadelphia. Some of the most important works that we ended up selling brought very strong prices. Some of our lesser works were lumped together for sale at a local auction house. We even made one donation to a museum via Cliff after the Philadelphia Museum of Art declined the same offer.
Very often Cliff would give us a range of options. We always valued his opinion both where to sell and what price to ask. Very often, owners of works of art have inflated ideas what their value might be, especially if their only source of information is either auction results or dealer asking prices. Cliff’s advice was invaluable. We found out very early on that an artist’s primary dealer isn’t very interested in buying works back. To succeed Cliff had to persevere and reach out to a wide variety of resources.
Finally, I can’t finish without acknowledging Cliff’s honesty and integrity. He gets an A+ in all regards. I would highly recommend him to anyone and would use him again should any opportunity arise.
Discovery and sale of a Hudson River masterpiece
"A few years ago I was struggling with how to research and find the right buyer for two paintings my brother and I had inherited from our parents. I talked with a local auction house and a local private dealer and their offers were confusing and seemed very low. I did not understand the art world, and certainly not the world of buying and selling 19th century oil paintings. Then a friend referred me to Cliff. He became my guide through this process, doing the research necessary to establish the authenticity of the paintings and to locate the artist in the hierarchy of 19th century American art. He further located both private dealers and auction houses that had an interest in working with us. Cliff arranged and accompanied us on visits to two private dealers and one auction house in New York City and was invaluable in helping me think through the sale of these paintings. We ended up with much more than I started out thinking they were worth. It was astonishing! I owe that good result to Cliff’s art research and his knowledge of auction and private dealers. We are very grateful to him for this result. We could not have done this without him!"
A prominent art conservator writes
“We hired Fine Art Concierge to research and appraise a painting possibly by Thomas Sulley. My business collaborates frequently with many appraisers and professional associates, and I was extremely surprised to see the amount of research, devotion, and cost savings that Mr. Bailer was able to provide in an extremely fast period of time over his competitors. Moreover, information on the subject became uncovered by their associates in time and was provided to us, which was a welcoming surprise. We cannot be more pleased with their service, personalized attention, and costs. I would highly recommend this company for your fine art research needs and appraisals. If not enough evidence, I welcome you to contact me personally with any further questions you may have regarding the exceptional quality Fine Art Concierge can bring to you and your collection.”
A venerable American museum writes
“We write to thank you again for the very fine job you did on your appraisal of one of our important paintings. It is remarkably thorough and shows every sign of your having done an immense amount of research. The appraisal will be most helpful as we prepare once again to lend the painting to an upcoming exhibition.”