Private Clients

There is a bewildering array of choice for the private individual seeking advice on everything from a single antique or work of art to an entire house contents or collection.


We are expertly able assess a situation and to independently recommend a course of action. Sometimes this may involve a single organisation or dealer, and at other times a blend of all the available avenues. We also have access to an unparalleled network of international dealers and collectors with whom sales can be negotiated discreetly.

If a local or international auction house is the best solution, then we can negotiate the very best deals with these organisations on sale or valuation fees; thus saving on costs from the outset.

We can assist private individuals with:

  • Buying and selling - via auction, private sale or direct to a dealer, gallery or collector
  • Valuations - insurance, probate, family division
  • Collections management - whether it is building, rationalising or selling a collection
  • Restoration and conservation - expert advice and solutions on these traditionally difficult areas

Buying and Selling

From single items to entire collections, from pictures, furniture and works of art to fine wine and motor cars, we have a unique range of contacts within all sectors of the Art and Antiques world for both buyers and sellers.

Building a collection or looking for a specific item

For clients unfamiliar with buying at auction total guidance is available, from initial viewing, securing condition reports and guidence on likely price. We are also able to bid on our clients' behalf.

We can also source specific items for our clients that are sometimes in private collections and not necessarily on the open market.

Selling items

When wishing to sell, Hockley Smith Fine Art Consulting can negotiate the best possible vendors' commission rates achieving huge saving for clients.

Items can be sold in different ways according to the work and your circumstances: either discreetly marketed to international private collectors, international art advisors, public institutions (sometimes in lieu of tax).

Alternatively they can be sold publicly via an international network of auction contacts (including Sotheby's and Christie's) or commercial art galleries and antique dealers

Collections Management

Managing a collection, whether it be of Old Master pictures, contemporary sculpture or classic cars can be very time consuming.

Staying up to date with insurance is essential and continually assessing and rationalising is a vital activity. A collection which remains static ceases to be an active collection, ceases to grow curatorially and develop commercially.

We work closely with busy collectors:

  • Sourcing new works
  • Negotiating new purchases
  • Identifying items for sale and upgrade
  • Managing conservation and restoration issues


Securing the best possible expertise for your valuations is not always easy, whether you have a single item, a whole house contents or an entire collection.

Auction houses, dealers and independent valuers will claim to have all the expertise you need. Sometimes this is not the case. Some organisations are stronger than others in certain areas and occasionally a blend of solutions is the most appropriate. Most 'free' valuations offered are with a view to potential sale and the advice offered is not always impartial.

In most cases we invite tenders on behalf of clients, assess these and then negotiate the best possible fee.

Valuations can be undertaken either

  • directly by us where we have the required expertise
  • or, more usually, via the very best international expertise

It is our ability to negotiate the lowest possible fees that is of most benefit to our private clients.