INSIDE ‘COLLECTION AUCTIONS’

18 Nov

Morton Kuehnert Auctioneers continues to be on the leading edge of selling Houston families’ treasures during its weekly auctions. What once were deemed “Estate Auctions” have now been transformed into “Collection Auctions” to directly connect sellers and the buyers.

The Collection Auction process begins by discussing with the family the transition that has been the catalyst for selling their possessions. Morton Kuehnert is sensitive to the family’s affection for these items; often there are generations of family memories connected to these treasures. But sell they must. Once they understand the family’s expectations and decide on a timetable, Morton Kuehnert begins to quantify and qualify the items.

That’s when the niche of Collection Auctions emerges. Morton Kuehnert appraisers examine, research and categorize the items. They may include furniture, lighting, decorative arts, china, crystal, silver, jewelry, clothing, musical instruments or classic automobiles. At this point, a dollar estimate of what their items might bring at auction is discussed, along with identifying “collections” for auction. For example, if the client furnished his/her home with Americana cabinet makers from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, these pieces will be showcased as a “collection”, although they are normally sold individually.

By presenting the items as a collection, marketing efforts are more strategic. Morton Kuehnert develops an entire marketing plan for its Collection Auctions. It begins with a significant presence on the website and the production and distribution of a four-color photo catalog via direct mail to individual Houston neighborhoods, and at the auction house. Press releases are sent to the local media and the national trades. There is also local and national advertising and on-line bidding through ArtFact.com. This opens up the auction for an international audience.

Last, but not least, there is on-site merchandising at the auction house which will soon be located in the Galleria area at 4901 Richmond and Loop 610. There are many who don’t fancy themselves “collectors,” but once they survey their possessions, it may come as a surprise to see how many of our treasures have transformed into collections. When it’s time for a change, Morton Kuehnert will streamline the process. Morton Kuehnert’s first auction in the new location will be Thursday, January 7th, and every Thursday night thereafter. The official Grand Opening will in March 17th, followed by a Collection Auction on Thursday, March 18th. – Patricia Kuehnert Gillespy and Luis Lopez Morton

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