New Jersey Couple Expands Free Art Appraisal Service To Bank Of America Customers

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Local Bank Of America "Art Discovery" Program Goes National. Art experts help people sell a valuable painting at auction.

How would you like to sell a valuable oil painting...twice? New Jersey art dealers Les and Sue Fox have just announced the expansion of their unique art appraisal service to all Bank Of America customers. This program has generated more than $3,000,000 in public auction sales in 2010. In the past 12 months, the Foxes have helped over 4,000 people discover what their art is worth, triple the volume of free appraisals done in 2005. If a painting is valuable, the Foxes will buy it for cash, then sell it at auction with one of the top auction houses in the world. When the painting is sold, West Highland Fine Art Brokers splits the profit with the original owner as 50-50 partners.

For example, a man in Ridgewood, New Jersey discovered a 1940's Vermont landscape by American Impressionist Emile Gruppe worth more than $10,000. Rather than take the risk of auctioning it himself, he sold the painting to West Highland as partners. Estimated to bring $15,000, the painting sold for $19,000 in April, 2010. In effect, the original owner sold his painting twice, and was very happy with the results. Among hundreds of American artists the Foxes evaluate frequently are: Hayley Lever, Robert Emmett Owen, Fern Coppedge, Anthony Thieme and Aldro Hibbard. Some paintings have been appraised for over $1,000,000.

"We only appraise original oil paintings, watercolors and sculpture by listed artists, mostly American. We do not appraise living artists, reproductions, limited editions prints, lithographs or giclees. Many people own extremely valuable art and it just sits on their wall at a time when a financial stimulus could be a life saver. We encourage people to contact us to find out what they have. We're kind of a combination of the Antiques Roadshow and Publishers Clearinghouse."

As explained on the West Highland website at, art owners can simply email clear digital images of a painting, along with the artist's name, the size of the painting, and any known history, and the Foxes will do the rest. The Foxes' email address is: lesfox(at)optonline(dot)net. "There is a comprehensive FAQ on our website," said Les, "which explains the reasons to use our art partnership service rather than to try to market a painting yourself. We are the only art dealers in the world who will buy a painting and split the profit with the owner."

"Trust is everything," Sue continued. "Les and I have been in the art and rare coin business for 30 years. We've published 10 books for collectors. We also made exclusive autograph agreements with former U.S. Presidents Gerald R. Ford and George H.W. Bush. In 2006, we started doing local art appraisals for Bank Of America. We've done business with Sotheby's and Christie's for many years."

"We keep our partners fully informed at every stage of the process. We provide all documentation, including the auction catalog, and we welcome questions and suggestions. In the end, of course, a painting is worth the highest price that serious collectors and dealers are willing to pay on a given day. The more competition we can generate in an auction, the better we do."

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