Artfact and RFC Systems Merge -- Creating a Full Service Information Systems and Solutions Provider to Auction Houses

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RFC Systems, founded in 1987 and internationally recognized for its expertise in computer systems designed for traditional art and antiques auction houses, and Artfact, founded in 1989 and offering the largest and most complete online database of antiques and art auction sales results, have merged. Together the two companies form a business group offering a full range of information technology, database, and marketing services focused entirely on the fine art and antiques auction house industry.

RFC Systems, founded in 1987 and internationally recognized for its expertise in computer systems designed for traditional art and antiques auction houses, and Artfact, founded in 1989 and offering the largest and most complete online database of antiques and art auction sales results, have merged. Together the two companies form a business group offering a full range of information technology, database, and marketing services focused entirely on the fine art and antiques auction house industry. Rod Funston, founder of RFC Systems has been named President, and Adam W. Kirsch of Artfact remains Chairman of the combined company.

RFC Systems, which counts as clients more than 20 of the world's leading traditional auction houses in seven different countries, offers a comprehensive suite of enterprise software developed specifically for the fine art and antique auction house industry in use in four languages around the globe. RFC's software systems automate every aspect of running an auction house including inventory management, customer and consignor relationship management, auction accounting and reporting, catalogue publishing, custom website design and hosting, and fulfillment.

RFC clients are some of the most prestigious traditional art and antiques fine auction houses including Doyle-New York, Eldred's, Freeman Fine Arts, Leslie Hindman, Skinner, Swann, Sloan's and Kenyon, Weschler's, and Willis Henry in the U. S.; Cooper/Owen, Gorringes, Lyon & Turnbull, Martel Maides, and Spink in the U.K.; ArtCurial and Tajan in France; Galerie Koller in Switzerland; Louis C. Morton in Mexico; and Lawson-Menzies and Cromwell's in Australia.

" RFC has a long history in the auction house business. This merger with Artfact significantly increases our engineering, marketing, and financial resources allowing RFC to immediately enhance its products and services to meet the requests of our valued auction house clients," comments Funston. "Together, RFC’s enterprise software and Artfact’s online research and marketing services provide auction houses with a one-stop set of proven solutions, and the best support available to meet their most challenging information systems needs in a rapidly changing technology environment."

Kirsch added, " We couldn't be more excited about working with Rod and his team. As an executive of Phillips New York and Bonham’s London, Rod acquired an intimate understanding of how to design and build RFC’s computer systems tailored to the unique needs of the traditional auction house industry. We now have more than 200 years of combined computer engineering experience across our company. The bottom line is, the better we do our job, the more time and resources auction houses will have to focus on working with their consignors and clients."

Together Artfact and RFC Systems will introduce a wide range of new services to the fine auction industry. The first such product available soon will integrate the Artfact database with RFC Systems' cataloging software, creating a powerful and convenient tool for researching, valuing and cataloguing individual consignments or entire estates.

Since its re-launch in December 2003, Artfact has invested significantly to meet the technology and marketing needs of traditional fine art and antiques auction houses. The Artfact database of more than 10 million complete auction results contains the full range of fine art, decorative art, and other objects sold by more than 500 traditional fine auction houses. Its database assists auction houses to research, catalogue, and appraise objects prior to auction, and its website, http://www.artfact.com provides auction houses with a marketing channel to publicize upcoming auctions and completed auction results to more than 50,000 subscribers and one million visitors. In addition, Artfact is an Authorized eBay Live Developer, providing proprietary software and support for live internet auctions exclusively to more than 50 discerning auction houses.

In addition to auction houses, Artfact’s subscriber base is comprised of dealers, collectors, appraisers, museums, and other scholars that rely on its powerful search technology and leading database to conduct sophisticated market analysis of all facets of the art and antiques markets, and include the International Society of Appraisers, American Society of Appraisers, Appraisers Association of America, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library of Congress, Internal Revenue Service, DuPont Winterthur Museum, Chubb Corporation, Leigh Keno American Antiques, The Antiques Roadshow, Colonial Williamsburg, Smithsonian Institute, New York Public Library, The Frick Art Reference Library, and State Farm Group.

Editor’s Notes: Additional background information available. Interviews with Rod Funston and Adam Kirsch are encouraged and can be arranged.

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Sarah Brierley