Aspire Art Auctions is a leading South African Fine Art auction house with offices in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Highly regarded for its innovative and intelligent approach, Aspire assists collectors in selling and buying the finest art produced on the African continent. One of the rising stars in the international art market, Aspire has a growing track record in achieving record-breaking results within its specialist fields of Modern and Contemporary South African Art and African Art.
Industry-leading art market experience
Our specialists have extensive experience in all levels of the art market and provide Art Advisory & Consulting services to our clients. We consistently achieve some of the best results for our sellers in our live and timed-online auctions.
Our exceptional specialist team will guide you through the entire auction process from consigning to selling and after-sales.
World-wide marketing and publicity
We handle all artworks with respect, while ensuring they are presented to a diverse range of prospective buyers globally. We produce far-reaching marketing and publicity strategies specific to your artworks. Our sales are advertised to the most appropriate groups of collectors of South African and African art locally and internationally, ensuring every endeavour is made to achieve the best possible results for your art.
Diverse selling platforms
We are conduct live auctions, timed-online auctions and private sales, giving you the flexibility to sell your art on a platform that suits your needs.
How to sell with Aspire?
Aspire provides complimentary valuations in the form of auction estimates for artworks which are suitable for sale with us. Getting a complimentary auction estimate from one of our specialists is the first step in the sale process.
- Submit clear colour photographs of your artwork(s) through our online request form
- Provide additional information such as dimensions, materials and history
- An Aspire specialist will contact you to discuss your artwork(s), estimate(s), advise on sale dates and details, and explain your Seller’s Agreement and commission structure
Please kindly note:
- All estimates are provisional and subject to revision based on physical inspection
- Please allow 2–3 weeks for a response
- Regrettably, we do not provide auction estimates or sale information for artworks that are of a type or value that are typically not sold in Aspire auctions
- Once we have determined that your artwork is appropriate for auction, our specialists will discuss the location, sale date and details with you to ensure maximum interest and competitive bidding
When & Where To Sell
Aspire conducts live and timed-online auctions and exhibitions in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Paris throughout the year. A specialist will discuss with you the most appropriate timing and location to ensure the successful sale of your property.
If you prefer not to sell your property at auction, we can also sell your property privately.
Consigning Your Property
Our consignment agreement sets out the terms and conditions by which your property will be offered for sale. Our specialists will recommend an estimate range and a reserve (minimum) price for your property.
We can advise on how to transport your property to us using your own shipper or one of our recommended shippers.
Once you have signed your Seller’s Agreement, you should arrange for your artwork(s) to be delivered to us. Aspire can assist with this, or we can put you in contact with trusted local shippers.
Our specialists will coordinate every detail, from cataloguing, research and photography of your property, to presentation and marketing to prospective buyers worldwide.
Consignments for auctions close approximately 6–8 weeks prior to the auction date.
Your Seller’s Agreement
Before you sell your property with Aspire, you will need to sign a Seller’s Agreement. This is the contract that confirms the consignment details, our services, outlines the fee structure and the terms and conditions of sale between you and Aspire.
Aspire charges a single Seller’s Commission rate for the services we provide, and VAT is charged on the commission only. The commission is calculated on each item as a fixed percentage based on the eventual hammer price at auction. This rate includes research, cataloguing, photography, marketing costs and insurance cover. The full amount due to a seller is the price of the work at the fall of the hammer (hammer price), less the commission rate and VAT.
External services such as shipping, restoration and framing, will be for your account, but these will be discussed and agreed with you beforehand. VAT (value-added tax) or applicable duties or taxes may be due on such fees based on the service provider and jurisdiction of the auction.
Estimates and Reserves
Aspire will propose a low and high estimate range for each artwork, to be agreed with you. Pre-sale estimates are based on precedent and previous sale records for comparable works by the same artist. Auction estimates are in-line with prices previously achieved on the secondary (auction) market for similar and comparable artworks. Auction estimate are not based on primary (gallery) market or retail pricing.
The auction estimate is published in the auction catalogue and will be publicly available to potential buyers.
Aspire will also agree a reserve price with you for each item. The reserve is the minimum amount for which Aspire is permitted to sell a consigned lot – this is a confidential figure agreed between Aspire and the seller, and guarantees you of a minimum amount. This will be an amount, agreed by both parties – the seller and Aspire – below which we will not sell your item during the auction. This amount must be equal to, or lower than the low estimate, and will not be published. The reserve cannot be higher than the low estimate.
Your Shipping Arrangements
Aspire can assist you with your logistics arrangements – packing, crating and shipping, as required – to get your artwork(s) to our saleroom. Alternatively, you may use your own shipper.
For every artwork consigned, Aspire charges a Seller’s Commission and sale-related expenses which typically include insurance, transport (when using our shipping partners), any restoration costs and framing. Our specialists will discuss these charges with you at the time of consignment.
After the auction, Aspire will notify the seller as to the status of each item offered for sale. Provided payment has been received from the buyer, we will pay net sale proceeds (the hammer price less the Seller’s Commission and sale-related expenses) to the seller approximately 30 calendar days after the auction. In the unlikely event that your property does not sell, we will be in touch to discuss next steps.
Alternatively, Aspire can help broker a private sale, avoiding the restrictions of the auction calendar. Our specialists will work discreetly and one-on-one with you to offer advice on private sale strategies to help you shape your collection.
After The Sale
You will receive a notification in the form of a Post-Sale Advice informing you of the price that your artwork(s) achieved at auction. We will confirm your net proceeds of sale based on the hammer price, with any agreed-upon expenses and commission deducted. Please note that prices listed on our website display the hammer price inclusive of the Buyer’s Premium.
Aspire will act on your behalf to secure payment from the buyer. Provided we have received payment in full, approximately 30 days after the auction, your payment will be sent to your nominated account, and you will receive a settlement statement for the sale.
If a buyer was not found for your artwork(s), Aspire will contact you to discuss your options – either re-offering at a reduced estimate, or collecting your property. In some circumstances, we can recommend an alternative auction house.