Private Clients

We offer guidance on buying and selling, insurance, conservation, restoration and curatorial advice on everything from a single work of art, to an entire collection.


There is a bewildering array of choice for the private individual seeking advice on everything from a single work of art to an entire house contents or collection. Hockley Smith Fine Art Consulting is able to expertly 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 swiftly and discreetly.

We can assist private clients 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 paintings, installations and photographs, Hockley Smith Fine Art Consulting has 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 guidance on likely price. We are also able to bid on clients' behalf.

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

Collections Management

Managing a collection, 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.

Working losely with busy collectors, we can:

  • Source new works
  • Negotiate new purchases
  • Identify items for sale and upgrade
  • Manage conservation and restoration issues


We can ensure that the best possible expertise for your valuation is chosen, whether it is for a single item, a whole house contents or an entire collection. Some organisations are stronger than others in certain areas and occasionally a blend of solutions (auction houses, dealers and independent valuers) is the most appropriate.

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