Job descriptions and industry overviews

Fine arts auctioneer/valuer

25 Jan 2023, 13:37

A fine art auctioneer/valuer deals in the valuation, management, purchase and sale of fine art and antiques.

Blurred image of an auctioneer's hand holding a gavel at an art auction.

The role of a fine art auctioneer involves giving valuations of antiques, art and valuable items by assessing quality, condition, age and origin. They advise clients on the purchasing and selling of fine art.

Work activities

  • Examining pieces and assessing their condition, quality and age.
  • Tracing origins of objects by collecting proof of ownership, such as receipts and other documents.
  • Preparing catalogues for customers.
  • Running auctions.
  • Providing valuations.
  • Working with other experts and historians.

Work conditions

Travel: work is based in an office. Travel to visit clients is generally necessary; some locations overseas may feature.
Working hours: can be irregular and include evenings and weekends.
Location: auction rooms and firms are located in large cities across the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Entry requirements

A related art degree is necessary as expertise in art and art history is vital. Knowledge in property is also advantageous. Work experience in museums, auction houses and antiques firms is crucial to gain knowledge of the industry and begin a network of contacts.

The Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers runs Diploma and Certificate courses in the Fine & Decorative Arts and Property in Dublin. Entry for these courses requires no formal educational background.

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