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Auction, Sales and Provenance: Home

Auction, Sales and Provenance Information Online Sources


Though one must subscribe to buy, sell and research fine art via Artnet , it allows access to information on the 1,300 galleries, 36,000 works (limited image access) and 13,000 primarily contemporary artists it represents. It also provides a directory of U.S., International, and virtual museums, exhibition and book reviews, museum and art fair schedules, international auction results, artist biographies, and a free newsletter. For easiest navigation, use the Site Map, which can be located by placing the cursor on the "Home" icon.

Fee-based online resource with coverage of the fine arts 1700-present. With a subscription, you can search among 11,232,100 artworks listed by 6,300 auction houses since 1962.


askART provides access to artists' profiles, images, literature references, biographies, auction records, art for sale and art wanted, essays on important art movements, and statistics on the markets. Millions of auction records and results (from 1987+). 300,000+ worldwide artists.

Benezit Dictionary of Artists

Over 190,000 entries on artists from antiquity to the present. Searchable via Oxford Art Online along with Grove Art Online, The Concise Dictionary of Art Terms, etc. Benezit includes auction records, museum holdings, and bibliographies; it features entries on many obscure artists as well as artists' signatures, monograms and stamps of sale.

Blouin Art Sales Index

Subscription art price database with millions of auction records dating back to 1922 from over 1400 auction houses. Artist indices for sold paintings only, including sold price, volume, estimate and other attributes. 


Based in San Francisco, Butterfields offers free photo appraisals as well as formal appraisals and consignments. Founded in 1793, Bonhams is one of Britain's largest fine art and antique auction house operating across all sectors of the fine art, antiques and collectibles market, etc. Offers sales advice and valuation services.


Since 1766, Christie's auction house, with locations in London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles, covers the fine arts, antiquities, American Indian and tribal art, Asian and Islamic art, furniture and decorative arts, the collectibles market, books and manuscripts, photographs and prints, etc.; it also offers appraisals and evaluations.

Getty Provenance Index Databases

More than 2.3 million records taken from source material such as archival inventories (1550-1840), auction catalogs (1650-1945), and dealer stock books.

IFAR: International Foundation for Art Research

Includes information on art law and cultural property; database of published and in-progress catalogues raisonnés; provenance research guide; and news about the art market and with stolen art alerts.

Invaluable: The World’s Premier Auctions

Invaluable (formerly Artfact) is the world’s largest online auction marketplace of fine and decorative arts, antiques, collectibles, and estate sales. Search and buy from over 160,000 auctions annually. Includes more than 57 million complete auction results, plus information on more than 500,000 international artists.

Lugt's Repertoire Online

Online edition of Lugt's Repertoire des Catalogues de Ventes Publiques, fN8650.L8, v.1-4, (Art History/Classics Library), listing over 60,000 art sales catalogues dated 1600-1900 from libraries in Europe and the US. The catalogues provide information on the provenance of art objects, the history of collecting, and historical market trends. Numerous catalogues have been added to the original work and corrections made. Searchable by Lugt number, date, place, provenance, and auction house.

Montias Database of 17th Century Dutch Art Inventories

Compiled by late Yale University Professor John Michael Montias, contains information from 1,280 inventories of goods (paintings, prints, sculpture, furniture, etc.) owned by people living in 17th century Amsterdam. Provides detailed information on the 51,071 individual works of art listed. Search by artist, types of objects (painting, prints, drawings), subject matter etc. Extensive information on the owners, buyers and prices paid when the goods were actually in a sale.

Mutual Art

MutualArt offers access to auction prices, personalized updates, and data on over 500,000 artists

Oxford Art Online

Gateway to art research and access point for Oxford art reference resources, including Grove Art Online, Benezit Dictionary of Artists, The Oxford Companion to Western Art, Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, and The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms.


London based Sotheby's, founded in 1744, with offices throughout the world, covers all areas of the fine and decorative arts. Provides appraisals; auction estimates; restoration; and, repairs.

University of California, Santa Barbara, Arts Library

The UCSB Arts Library has a collection of over 95,000 exhibition, collection, and sales catalogs.

Auction, Sales and Provenance Information Print Sources

Lancour, Harold, (1908-1981) New York, New York Public Library, 1944.
Art History/Classics 308G N8650 .L3 
Catalogues of Sales: 1734-1945. (Microform resource)
Sotheby & Co. 1734-1945. ca. 10,000 catalogs on microfilm. Part I (Reels 1-71; 1734-1850); Part II (Reels 1-148; 1851-1900); Part III (Reels 1-155; 1901-1945). NEWS MICROFILM 16663.Z  (NRLF UCB)  
Covering catalogues from the British Museum collection, each catalogue is preceded by a contents card detailing the names of the owners, date of sale, number of pages, lots, illustrations, location of the copy filmed, and the contents of the sale. To facilitate use, the entries in the guides for each part are arranged in the same chronological order as the catalogues in the microfilm collection. Contents are categorized under the following headings: Autographed Letters, Art (Objects), Art (Pictorial), Books, Coins and Medals, Mss. (Western), Mss. (Oriental), and Other. A guide to the Catalogues of Sales microform collection can be found in the Newspapers & Microforms Library
Davenport's Art Reference & Price Guide. (Print resource only)
R.J. Davenport. Ventura, Calif.: Davenport's Art Reference, c1986-. Latest edition in Doe Reference. Doe Reference/Main N8670.D38 
Price data on over 275,000 international artists, listed alphabetically, for oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, sculptures, prints, posters and photographs. Provides auction house and sale date, subject matter for which artist is known, references cited, signature information, and brief biographical information.
Knoedler Library : the complete title index of 26,000 volumes of sales, exhibitions, and salons in the Knoedler Library on microfiche. Available on microfiche in News/Micro
Microfiche 30535