*Be-hold* has been selling important photographs for over 25 years. Our first specialty was early photographs that could be held in the hand rather than put on the wall. These included daguerreotypes (that would magically change as they were turned in the light) to stereo views that would become 3-dimensional images through the hand-held viewer, and cartes de visite and cabinet cards, often found in albums whose pages were turned by hand. This was one of the meanings of the “hold” part of our name. Over time our interests have broadened to include the whole range of photographic imagery, through the 20th century and even into some contemporary work. We offer important photographs by major photographers, but we are also adventurous in what we present, and our offerings include interesting historical material, including vintage press photographs. Our clients include major institutions and private collectors. We are careful in our descriptions and our attention to condition. Everything we sell is guaranteed to be as described—we strive to have all our customers be satisfied ones. We only sell original photographs, not copies, and we try to be accurate about the age of the print, and the photographic process. Our focus is on photography as an art, as well as a historical and social record, and the intersections between these various aspects of photography.
When you consign material to Be-hold we are working together to maximize the sale and to enjoy a mutually pleasant and personal arrangement. We take responsibility for your material while it is in our hands. We take care of all aspects of the presentation, often including research, appropriate care and preservation, illustration in our catalogs and website, advertising, and anything else that seems appropriate. Once we accept your material, there are no fees for these services. A reserve is established in consultation with you, and an estimate is presented with each lot. If the lot happens not to receive a bid at the level of the reserve, we can return it to you after a reasonable period without making you “buy back” your own material (other than paying the shipping and packing cost) or, as most consignors prefer, we can continue to offer your material for sale privately and at shows.
Our auctions have a large following that includes major institutions and private collectors, as well as numerous collectors looking for particular formats or subjects. The constant development of our web site and our new alliance with “ArtfactLive” and “InvaluableLive” will bring our material before a much large audience.
Our integrity and accuracy of presentation are highly regarded. Thus we don’t know the upper limit that our offerings can reach. As the quality and excitement of our offerings increases we will be able to test this. For now, we are benefiting from the policy of many of the “major” auction houses to offer only material that can be estimated at least at $5000. There is much outstanding material in the $1000 to $5000 range that will be appropriate, but we can certainly present higher-value lots with success. We are also willing to present some material that is exciting and interesting that will start at a much lower level, but we are very selective about this. Material that sells for low amounts represents a loss for us, so we can only offer such material that adds some interest to the presentation, and honors those collectors who do not have the means to purchase the high level material.
Our commission rate will depend on the quality and level of the material. Since we don’t charge the fees that are common with other auctions, this is very competitive. We welcome discussing your material with you. Please contact us.