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Auction Resources

Auction Catalogs at the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries


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Unless otherwise noted, these resources are available at the Art Institute of Chicago, the SAIC campus, or from other locations with an ARTIC username and password.

Digitized copies of selected art sales catalogues from 1600-1900. Art Sales Catalogues also includes the complete Lugt's Répertoire online database.

Types of material covered: PDFs of more than 27,000 art sales catalogues
Dates covered: 1600-1900

Allows one to see hand-copied signatures by artist name or do reverse look-ups by initials or monograms. Incorporates the contents of all 10 of John Castagno's signature books as well as additional corrections and unprinted research.

Types of material covered: Artists' signatures
Dates covered: Provides signatures for artists working from 1400 to the present. International in scope.

Contains over 2 million illustrated fine art auction records from more than 500 major auction houses. The database excludes works that fail to meet certain attribution and price criteria, i.e., single prints, photographs, posters, books, and ceramics with a low estimate below $300.00; artists with a qualified name. e.g. after, attributed to, circle of, school of, studio of, etc.

Types of material covered: Auction activity for houses covered.
Dates covered: Works meeting attribution and price criteria since 1987, with some entries dating back to 1985.
Access note: On-campus access only.

Contains over 4 million auction entries from over 2,900 auction houses worldwide. The database includes all auction listings regardless of attribution and price.

Types of material covered: Auction activity for houses covered.
Dates covered: Sales back to 1987.
Access note: Reference desk access only.

Provides biographical and professional data on over 120,000 American artists from the early 16th century through the present.

Types of material covered: Images, biographies, and auction records

Includes three databases to assist in provenance research, including Sale Catalogs, a database that indexes works of art from auction catalogs. It covers sales in Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Scandanavia.

Types of material covered: Sales catalogs
Dates covered: 1650-1840
Access note: Free access. Available to everyone.

Covers auction and dealer sales for photographs of all styles and periods, as well as books and periodicals with original photographs.

Types of material covered: Auction and dealer activity for houses and dealers covered.
Dates covered: 1970-current year, updated weekly.
Access note: Reference desk access only.

Gordon's & Lawrence's Combined Fine Print Database includes Gordon's Print Price Annual (1986-current year) and Lawrence's Dealer Print Prices (1992-current year). Provides auction activity and dealer catalog prices on old master, modern, and contemporary fine prints; decorative, sporting, botanical, etc. prints; posters; livres d'artiste, books and periodicals with original graphics.

Types of material covered: Auction and dealer activity for houses and dealers covered
Dates covered: Gordon's Print Price Annual (1986-current year), updated weekly. Lawrence's Dealer Print Prices (1992-current year), updated monthly.
Access note: Reference desk access only.

Provides unedited auction information on over 4 million items sold from more than 250 major auction houses worldwide. Many records are illustrated.

Types of material covered: Auction activity for houses covered.
Dates covered: 1993 to present.
Access note: Reference desk access only.

A freely-available database of collectors' marks, including stamped and written marks of private and public collections, marks used by dealers, mounters, printers, publishers, and engravers, as well as studio and estate stamps.

Types of material covered: Includes all marks as recorded in Lugt's 1921 reference source and his 1956 supplement plus approximately 4,500 previously unrecorded marks.

Lists more than 100,000 art sales catalogs. A libraries database component indicates libraries which hold these catalogs. The Répertoire online can be searched on Lugt number, date, place, provenance, auction house and existing copies, but the database does not indicate what individual works sold for.

Types of material covered: Sales catalogs
Dates covered: 1600 to 1900

The International Poster Center's index to sales prices from their auctions.

Types of material covered: Auction prices for posters

This union catalog of art and rare book sale catalogs provides access to holdings of specific sales catalogs in major research collections, but does not indicate what individual works sold for.

Types of material covered: Sales catalogs
Dates covered: Sixteenth century to the present