Collecting guide

How to buy

Why buy art from Nicholas Hall?

With over 40 years of experience in sourcing and selling some of the finest Old Master paintings, sculpture and drawings on the market, Nicholas Hall has one of the best reputations among art dealers in our field for expertise and fairness.

The works we select for sale are vetted for their authenticity and quality. Moreover, we can help you source specific types of works upon request. Our commission structure is competitive with industry peers and leading auction houses such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s, as we have learnt from being on that side of the podium for almost two decades combined. At Nicholas Hall, we are selective about what we take on for sale, and embrace the freedom and flexibility in ways that we are able to make deals happen. It is worth noting that we are one of the few art dealers to specialize in European Old Master paintings in the United States which has an active exhibition and education program that is exciting to be part of.

Most importantly, we care about making your collecting experience an enjoyable one from beginning to end. Over the years we have had the privilege to work with some of the most distinguished public and private collections worldwide. In our experience, today’s collectors approach art collecting with vastly different mindsets and we listen to their point of view carefully. As a team we dedicate our efforts to what really matters: bringing the right artwork to the right people for the optimum price.

Carlo Maratti, Portrait of Francesca Gommi, ca. 1701, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio by Nicholas Hall
How to buy from Nicholas Hall

A step-by-step guide to buying privately

Step 01

Identify the type of artwork which interests you

We show on our website a small selection of works currently available, some of which would be listed under the current exhibition. The majority of available works, however, tend not to be shown online, as we respect the request for discretion from our consignors. That said, you may find the Discover section a good starting point for finding artists, periods, regions or topics which interest you. Our Notable Sales section also gives you an idea of our past handling of artists as well as a glimpse into current market availability. 

Step 02

Get in touch with us

In our experience, direct communication has proved extremely fruitful for our clients. If you have a specific artwork or collecting criteria in mind, you may discuss your interest with us in person or over the phone. Keep in mind that many of the artworks can be sourced even if they are not currently in stock. Let us know should you have a particular interest. Please call +1 212-772-9100 or email us at to speak and arrange for an appointment. Typically, after a preliminary conversation, we would send you information and images of works of potential interest. 

A visitor examines a Portrait of an African Woman by Annibale Carracci during an exhibition opening at Nicholas Hall, 2017 © Nicholas Hall Gallery

See the artwork in person, if possible

At this point you would typically request an appointment to see one or more artwork in person or ask your trusted advisor to see it on your behalf. Although we provide condition reports by outside restorers upon request, it is always helpful to see the works in person to fully experience the spirit of the work. Viewing locations depend on the specific situation for the artwork – Usually it will be at our gallery space on East 76th Street in New York, but also it can be at UOVO in Long Island City, other freeports and storage facilities worldwide, or even a public institution where the work is on loan.


Make an offer

With the asking price in mind, you are encouraged to make your best offer.



Nicholas Hall and a client at an exhibition opening, 2018 © Christian Nyampeta

Reach an agreed price and finalize deal

Upon receiving your offer, we weigh various factors before deciding whether we accept the offer in the case of our own inventory, or in the case of a consignment, to pass on your offer to the consigner. For consigned works, we usually take a 5-20% commission, depending on the value of the work. We try our best to agree on a price that makes everyone happy.

Step 06

Payment and shipment

We issue a sales invoice to you which is payable upon receipt, unless your accepted offer includes pre-agreed payment terms. There may be additional tax or duty, depending on your shipping destination. Working with our global network of art transport experts, we can give you the best recommendation that suits your needs. You will receive a separate shipping quote based on your shipping destination; once we reach an agreement, the work will be shipped and you will typically be billed upon receipt. You may also request to use your own shipper. In terms of insurance, you have the option of getting coverage with our general policy or your own.

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Receive the artwork

Celebrate your new acquisition!

Claude Lorraine, Sunset in an Italianate Harbour, Private Collection acquired at auction through Nicholas Hall