Saint John Gallery launches auction house

Caleb and Sarah Jones of Jones Auction House featured with a piece by Maud Lewis. (photo sent)

A new auction house has opened in Saint John.

Sibling gallerists Sarah and Caleb Jones, owners of Jones Gallery Contemporary Art + Projects, opened the Jones Auction House at their location on Prince William Street.

The auction house will specialize in contemporary and historic works of art from Atlantic Canada.

Curator Sarah Jones mentioned that the gallery is now accepting submissions for its inaugural auction coming up this fall.

“We haven’t announced the fall dates yet. We’re just waiting to make sure we have the right collection put together and then we’ll announce the dates,” Sarah said.

“We will then have a visit for about a week in our gallery, and then the auction will go live, and it will be available for about a week.”

However, later they might implement a combination of live and online auctions, Sarah said.

“Art is not an impulse buy of the moment, so we have nice software that we use that is clean. well presented and user-friendly,” said Sarah.

After announcing their new feature, Sarah mentioned hearing an overwhelming response from the audience.

“People have approached us and asked us to appraise interesting items they’ve had in their families or homes for generations, important works of art that haven’t been auctioned or for sale in decades.”

Caleb, director of the Jones Gallery and the Jones Auction House, is one of only three appraisers in Atlantic Canada to be qualified by the International Society of Appraisers (ISA).

He is also trained and tested in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).

With this in mind, and the auction house open, customers will now be able to keep and sell their works in the Maritimes, instead of leaving for another market.

“Often our clients ask us for advice on downsizing or selling parts of their collection. I usually have to recommend auction houses in Toronto or New York,” Caleb said in a statement.

“It’s hard to see important works of art from Atlantic Canada leaving the region. We therefore wanted to create a professional auction house here, a house that appropriately researches, documents and supports important works of art.

Sarah added that the first auction will feature rare works by Nova Scotian artist Maud Lewis.

In May, a Maud Lewis painting sold at auction in Ontario for a record $350,000.