Selling art

I’ve been learning about art.

I got my big drill (ooer missus) and I stuck a hole in the white wall I’ve been using for self tapes. I stuck in a rawl plug and a screw. Now I’ve got a photo studio for pictures.

In my living room, propped casually against a radiator blocking the heat lies hundreds of pounds worth of unwanted art. Not good enough for auction houses, who charge to photograph and to list. Not bad enough for the charity shop, especially in lean times such as this. Hard to sell well on eBay without knowledge. And if you sell without knowledge on eBay you just sell to the dealers who then apply knowledge and get a better price.

Today was about accruing enough knowledge to try and bypass the dealers.

I have scheduled lots of very different pieces of art to pop up on my eBay between noon and 6pm Sunday. All of them listed for a week, minimum bids between £6.99 and £99 depending on how good I think they might be. There are some doozies. And there’s some tut.

Three of them – the three I set the cheapest – I know to be the work of my dear departed uncle Peter. Peter dabbled in painting as a youth but then decided he preferred to be an estate agent. Two are of the same church in Jersey and the other is The French Riviera. They’re very ambitiously framed and I worry I don’t like them because I know them to be his. But that’s the advantage of Ebay – things find their price. One of his has a racy unfinished little nude on the reverse that gives me an idea of where his true interest and talent lay. I bet he turned it round when his mum wasn’t home. I’m still selling it. I have plenty to remember him by, including most of my formal clothing.

“Shall I lie like this?” Peter de Las Casas

There are Victorian lithographs and prints, there’s a huge modern limited edition etching of Brisbane.

Treasury Building – John Hockings

There’s a great big oil painting from an American woman in Venice in the ’50’s called Maud. All are listing tomorrow. A Lunette Chromolithograph of the Crucifixion after Fra Angelico.

There’s a life painting by the teacher of an 1870’s life class, drawing the participants with great character and depth that’s almost impossible to photograph being monochrome black and framed in reflective glass.

There are plenty of boats and Corbière lighthouse was ever popular.

There’s an oil painting of a horse where I kept drawing blanks on an artist called Chichester before just giving up and listing it as “Antique Oil painting of a horse”.

B. Chichester. 1890? Your guess is as good as mine.

Some of the pieces I like enough to keep. I’ve already put one of them up on the wall. More will follow, while others I’m hoping will get a good enough price that I’m gonna let them go. Seventeen of them scheduled so far and tomorrow morning I’ll keep going and get it into the twenties, with some old prints like this one of Jersey Races – one in slightly better nick sold at Christie’s for 1k in 2014.

I ran out of battery twice over the course of my research and photography. I’m not very good at photographing glass frames. I took lots of charging breaks as I’m doing it all on my phone. Such incredibly versatile devices now, despite the horrendous pillaging of minerals to feed our addiction with being up to date.

Photographing. Researching. Writing up. Recording measurements. Working out a decent starting price. Scheduling. I keep falling in love with them as I’m researching them and deciding not to sell them.

Hopefully the ones I’ve scheduled will all sell next Sunday and some might sell very well. Then I have a plan with a potentially huge gaping flaw. I’ve put them down for £12.50 each on postage. That’ll cover Hermes, but Hermes plays football with your parcels…

Essentially my plan is to courier as many as possible to their new homes myself.

I bet they all get bought by Channel Islanders and people from Aberdeen and Cornwall. I’m going to order a roll of bubble wrap online.

So long as they are no longer blocking my radiator, no matter what happens I’m going to call it a win.

“Venice” Oil on Canvas. Maud Maraspin C1960

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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