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Consultancy

We offer the following services to collectors and museums:
We advise on the appraisal and valuation of paintings within our specialized field for insurance, probate, family division, proposed purchase and sale. This service is charged on a time and expenses basis; no charge is made for these services if items are subsequently consigned to the company for sale.

We will undertake specialist research into authorship and authenticity of paintings within our specializations. This includes work to identify sitters in unknown portraits, the dating of a painting, and establishing the authorship of paintings of unknown origin. Apart from archival research, we can also organize the scientific analysis of pigments to help in dating, and more arcane research techniques such as dendrochronology, x-rays, infra-red photography etc..

We will sell on consignment paintings belonging to private collectors on an agreed fee or a percentage of the selling price. Our charges for this service are extremely competitive with the very prices charges presently charged by the major auction houses. This service offers a way of the owner's maximizing revenue and selling in a discrete and private way.

We offer a service of examining and valuing paintings which are due to be sold at auction in both the UK and the USA. Many collectors use this service to obtain an impartial and reasoned view of the quality and value of proposed purchases. For a small fee, it is thus possible to avoid the expensive pitfalls of bidding on items at auction and relying only on a catalog illustration or saleroom report.

We also bid for items coming up at auction on behalf of clients, having advised them of our view of reasonable value.

We can arrange for the cleaning and conservation of paintings by some of the best picture restorers in the UK, and have access to a very large collection of over 2000 exceptional antique carved and gilded frames with which to complement a fine antique painting. Our carver and gilder is available to repair, restore, alter or gild fine old frames, and we can advise on the suitability of such frames.

For British clients who own historically important or pre-eminent paintings, we advise on tax-efficient ways of exempting such items from Inheritance Tax (IHT), so that they can remain in family ownership without attracting capital taxes. We regularly advise clients on the tax-efficient system of Acceptance in Lieu of Tax of heritage items under which the chattels are acquired by the nation instead of a monetary settlement for tax due to the Inland Revenue. We have successfully been involved in millions of pounds worth of such transactions in recent years, and are experienced in working with clients' own professional legal and accountancy advisers.

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