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"Working with Fine Art Brokers, they have helped me move from 'wallpaper art' into significant, investment-quality pieces. Ray and his team are responsive, proactive, and have never made me feel as if (even with my more limited budget) I wasn't worthy of their time or attention. I've gotten access to art that I would have never gotten on my own, and they helped me refine my tastes. They have been excellent in arranging all the logistics regarding delivery and installation. Most importantly, Ray and his colleagues are trustworthy and dependable. I've had them to dinner in my home, and consider them part of my extended family."
This client contacted us after seeing our post on instagram. He had the means to develop his interest in modern and contemporary art into collecting, but needed advice about which artists suited his home and tastes. He had a series of phone calls with Fine Art Brokers during which we established goals, and we have subsequently found three pieces which have started him on the road from a being a buyer of merely decorative art into something more serious. We make sure not only to inform him of all aspects of a prospective purchase but also to make the process enjoyable.
"I had approached Fine Art Brokers in October 2021 with a desire to collect fine art in a few particular areas, but very little knowledge beyond that. Ray and his team have been wonderful helping me to build a beautiful, cost-effective and largely museum-quality collection, with active loans of works out to several well-known institutions to boot.
Ray has a tremendous amount of accumulated knowledge and acts as a mentor on both specific artworks and art market trends in general. I appreciate the straightforward and transparent manner in which he conducts business, and value his honest opinion on pieces I am considering, which has saved me numerous times from a poor acquisition.
I would recommend Ray and his firm without hesitation to anyone looking to begin collecting fine art, especially if your interests are with Impressionist, Modern and/or Contemporary works."
After receiving an email from an aspiring collector expressing interest in a wide variety of art, I was interviewed on the phone for 90 minutes. He had research on art advisors and contacted us because the breadth of our knowledge and experience, and we are glad to say he decided to appoint us as his exclusive art advisors. Since then it has been a joy to work with him, sourcing, researching and acquiring art from 4th century Buddhas to Renaissance panels to major Impressionist to 20th century photographs: As he writes above, we have been able to arrange loans to prestigious museums, including the National Gallery in London and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, while his home is being completed.
“Ray Waterhouse has been advising and working very closely with me in the acquisition of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art for the past four years. I have found him to be extremely diligent, knowledgeable and hard working. In that time, we have worked with the very top people at the major auction houses, many of the biggest art dealers in the world and a few of the foremost historians on Impressionism. I have found that they have all come to respect Ray.
Leaving no stone unturned, Ray once travelled to Japan for me when we had learned of a wonderful Degas that might be for sale. Ray did the legwork and studied the picture, and I trusted his judgement sufficiently that I bought it without having seen the actual picture itself. It turned out to be an excellent choice and that work will soon be loaned to a major Degas exhibition that will tour some prominent museums. With his advice I have also bought paintings by Manet, Renoir, Cezanne, Caillebotte, Matisse and Bonnard, and sculpture by Degas, Renoir and Rodin.”
Marty liked buying both great, important art, and also art he just liked, as long as the artist had some connection to significant figures. We sourced this excellent Georges Alfed Chaudet still life, Nature morte aux pommes, in a small antique shop in Vienna for less than $30,000. Chaudet was a friend of Gauguin and used to supply him with paint in Brittany.
“I selected Ray Waterhouse to assist me in managing the sale of an estate art collection over which I was trustee. Not only did he prove to be an advisor possessed of extraordinary expertise, but a person of the highest integrity. In addition to helping negotiate highly favorable auction house terms for much of the collection, he provided private sale optionality through his gallery that enabled the successful sale of two of the more difficult pieces. Ray’s commitment to the collection led directly to achieving the highest and best results for the estate. I can, without reservation, recommend Ray to anyone requiring similar advisory services. He was a delight to work with.”
Ray Waterhouse was approached by the executor of a Californian estate with an important art collection of Post-War art. Ray assessed the collection and gave estimates for private sale. He arranged photography, condition reports and shipping and then arranged estimates and proposals from three leading auction houses during Covid-19 conditions. The executor and beneficiaries were very happy with the combination of private and auction sale.
“When I needed to buy paintings for my new homes I realized that I needed expert help. I studied the Fine Art Brokers website and invited Ray to visit me in Cairo and London. I was impressed by his willingness to educate and guide me, and yet leave me free to make my own decisions. He has bought many works of art for me and is a man of integrity with good buying sources and with a good team around him.”
Before visiting Dr. Ghabbour's home in Cairo for the first time, we were able to source this beautiful and rare work by John Singer Sargent, Sunset at Cairo, a subject very relevant to him. While there, Ray spent many hours with the client discussing a collecting strategy and also advised his architect and designers and on lighting for his existing collection. We subsequently helped Dr. Ghabbour buy many Orientalist and Impressionist paintings as well as outdoor sculptures.
“Not being a professional in art markets, I found myself uncertain about several important aspects of artwork I was interested in acquiring, including reasonable values, price negotiations, the extent to which specific pieces were representative of artists' work, comparable transactions and value trajectories. I chose Fine Art Brokers to be my advisor and representative in negotiations in four recent acquisitions and have been delighted with the results. They have done excellent research, advised me clearly and carefully of their opinions, negotiated prices that I felt were quite reasonable and completed the transactions successfully. I would recommend Fine Art Brokers without reservation.”
Kenneth was looking for an artwork by a significant Post-War artist for a hallway in his home; he needed a piece that was not too expensive and which wouldn't protrude from the wall too much. We sourced a beautiful steel work by Tom Wesselmann, Compote with Fruits (Color Variation #2), which was a perfect fit for his space, budget and interests.
Ian had been interested in starting a collection of British paintings for some years but was restricted by a lack of both knowledge and time. “I have found the work of Fine Art Brokers invaluable. In fact, without them I’d either not collect at all or probably buy something in a rush and regret it. I don’t really trust my own taste or knowledge of prices to buy on my own,” says Ian.
He is often able to see a painting before making a bid but trusts Fine Art Brokers to offer an expert opinion. He says “recently I was interested in a Duncan Grant picture which I decided against on the morning of the sale as I hadn’t seen it. Ray Waterhouse urged me to reconsider, telling me it was far better than the catalogue photo. We did buy it and I have to say it’s now my favorite painting. Ray knows the direction I want to go and makes suggestions, but I always feel in control.”
A private dealer known to Ray Waterhouse had bought a great collection of artworks direct from the artist Sir Terry Frost in the 1980s and, when he decided to sell select pieces, we were able to offer first choice to a new client, who is a friend of Ray’s. Acquired in 2001 by this client, the value of Study in Green, 2 Chevrons has increased fourfold. We were able to negotiate a favorable transaction for both the buyer and the seller.
“Ray Waterhouse was recommended to me in 2001. Until then, I had used a decorator to help me buy art, but Ray introduced me to a whole new set of criteria, such as condition, quality and price negotiation, and has built an amazing collection of Hudson River School paintings for me. He has managed to source works from private collectors and even from museums, which I never would have been able to find on my own. He also does all the hard work and travelling. He knows what I like and presents me with opportunities, and I just say ‘yes’ or ‘no.’”
We saw this exceptional Hudson River School work by Sanford Robinson Gifford at auction and brought it to our client’s attention. As we had recently sold a painting for him, there was an empty space to fill in his collection and this suited it perfectly. We viewed, advised on, bid for and installed the artwork. As an extremely busy business man, this client makes the decision of what to purchase but relies on our advice on quality and value; the client trusts our expertise and honest feedback to the extent that he didn’t even see the painting in person until it was hanging in his home.
“I have asked Ray to provide his opinion on a number of important paintings I was interested in buying, from a Renoir portrait of a girl to Italian paintings of the 1960’s. He has put me off most of them due to their bad condition or inflated asking price, giving me well-researched reports which I like because they combine an independent viewpoint along with his personal opinion.”
This client first called us after he saw a painting by Paul Chabas for $15,000 on the Waterhouse & Dodd gallery website. Although disappointed with purchases made from auction catalogues in the past, the client agreed to buy the Chabas painting, comfortable with the guarantees given by Ray Waterhouse. He then sought advice from Ray for future acquisitions at a higher level, including a Renoir valued at over $1 million and this painting by Marino Marini, which we viewed at a London auction house and acquired on the client’s behalf.
“I have worked with Fine Art Brokers for several years and have come to rely heavily on their advice for improving my collection of Modern British painting. I have worked in particular with Jamie Anderson; he is not only very knowledgeable, but commercially savvy with it, and as well as steering me towards some great works, he has also stopped me from making a few costly mistakes. He is honest, straightforward and mercifully lacking in artistic pretension and a pleasure to deal with. Through him and the team at Fine Art Brokers my knowledge and appreciation of Modern British work has grown exponentially, and with it my collection.”
We began working with this client in 2009 and since that time have helped him acquire over 30 artworks for his collection. Throughout our long-term relationship we have also advised on and sold several of his works to both help fund new purchases and make room in the collection. This client started collecting at a modest level but with our guidance and advice has grown in confidence, he now buys fewer but more significant artworks. Fine Art Brokers continues to source works as well as advise on pieces he has found himself.