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How One Auction House is Putting its Clients First


Founded 217 years ago in Philadelphia, Freeman’s may be America’s oldest auction house, but its adaptability and contemporary strategies for customized service create success stories for its global network of clientele.

The auction house, known for its sales of fine and decorative art, design, jewelry, and historic books and manuscripts—including a record-breaking $4.4M sale of a rare copy of the Declaration of Independence in 2021—recently inaugurated its Client Advisory Services department, dedicated to providing bespoke service throughout the buying and selling process for Freeman’s international client base.

Headed by Thomas McCabe, Freeman’s Chief Client Officer, and Grace Fitts, Director of Client Advisory Services and Private and Corporate Collections, the newly minted department helps clients articulate, map out, and ultimately realize their vision—whether that involves the sale of a single-owner collection, the liquidation of an estate, or simply making sure an object being consigned gets the care and attention it deserves.

“Freeman’s has had its clients at the core of its focus for generations,” says Fraser Niven, Freeman’s Chief Executive Officer. “Our Client Advisory Services team brings significant experience and care for our clients to bear, and we have ambitions to expand the team in the future to ensure exemplary service for our many consignors.”

In what can seem a closed or niche industry—particularly within the art market, whose trends in valuation fluctuate frequently—it’s important for Freeman’s valued clients to have a trusted point of contact to navigate the processes of consigning and/or buying at auction. Freeman’s understands that both buying and selling at auction is deeply personal, and matches consignors’ trust in its services with tailored, specific strategies to meet individual goals and maximize results.

These results speak volumes: Freeman’s team boasts extensive experience in bringing single-owner collections to auction across multiple categories, from minimalist sculpture and Impressionist painting to rare books and manuscripts and significant Americana objects. Most recently, the white-glove sale of the Collection of Virginia and Stuart Peltz—an important grouping of Pennsylvania Impressionist paintings—achieved $1.4M; a selection of sculpture by François-Xavier Lalanne from a prominent Washington, D.C. family sold for $2.1M; and the 2019 sale of the Collection of Robert J. Morrison achieved $1.5M.

Freeman’s accomplished team works closely with its clients every step of the way, from object valuation to auction day. Whether you’re an individual or working on behalf of an institution, with one object to consign or a lifetime’s worth of collecting, Freeman’s offers specialized services to realize clients’ goals and produce excellent results.

To learn more about Freeman’s range of client services, visit https://www.freemansauction.com/services/, or email Thomas McCabe or Grace Fitts.