Annual Consignment Auction of Early Provincetown Art

Held annually in September, The Annual Consignment Auction of early Provincetown art is one of PAAM’s most significant yearly fundraisers, supporting our year-round educational offerings, exhibitions, and other cultural programming.

Purchasing a piece of artwork from this auction will make an extraordinary difference in PAAM’s ability to maintain its operations. Check back for information about the 34th Annual Consignment Auction in September 2021.

2020 Auction Results and Catalog

2019 Auction Results and Catalog

2018  Auction Results

2017 Auction Results

2016 Auction Results

We hope you’ll consider bringing home some of these stellar works of art. Works can be viewed in person or online if you’re not nearby. Bidding takes place live the night of the auction or via telephone or left absentee bid.

Anyone who’d like to bid needs to register for a paddle. There is no charge for a paddle. Registration can occur the day or night of the event or via phone for preregistration. Preregistration is not required but makes the process a bit quicker when checking in the night of the auction.

Conditions of Sale: All interested buyers, whether present or absentee, must register to participate in the auction. All property is sold “as is” and the auctioneer makes no warranty or representation of the correctness of the catalog or other description of the physical condition, size, quality, rarity, importance, provenance, exhibitions, literature or historical relevance of the property, and no statement anywhere, whether oral or written shall be deemed such a warranty or representation. The auctioneer reserves the right to reject any bid or raise not commensurate with the value of the lot, to withdraw the lot, or to reoffer the lot in the event of a disputed bid. In all cases, the auctioneer’s decision and record of final sale shall be conclusive. At the conclusion of the bidding, as the gavel falls, the highest bid shall record the final sale. At the call of “sold” by the auctioneer, title to and full risk and responsibility for the lot shall pass to the buyer. All lots are subject to a 6.25% Massachusetts Sales Tax unless buyer has a Massachusetts Sales Tax Exemption Number. All lots are subject to 25% Buyer’s Premium in addition to the purchase price.  All items must be paid in full and removed on the day or the sale or by 2pm on the following day unless shipping plans have been made. PAAM’s liability to the purchaser will not exceed the actual purchase price. Bidding on any article indicates your acceptance of these terms and any others which may be announced from the block at the time of the sale.

Those unable to attend the live auction are invited to download an Absentee Bid Form to register as an absentee bidder and indicate which lots interested them. PAAM accommodates written, sealed bids as well as telephone bidding for those who wish to participate “live”. Telephone & sealed bids are accepted until 3pm the day of the auction. Accepted forms of payment are cash, check or credit card. We prefer that buyers take pieces will them the night of the auction. If necessary, pick up is also available the following day. Please check in for specific timing.

Absentee/Left Bids

Bidder indicates the lots they want, and their maximum bid amount for each lot. The “plus one” options means the bidder authorizes us to go one increment higher than their maximum bid.


A prospective buyer’s indication or offer of a price he or she will pay to purchase property at auction. Bids are usually in standardized increments established by the auctioneer.

Bid Increments

The standardized amount an item increases in price after each new bid. The auction service sets the increment, which rises according to the present high bid value of an item. Accepted bidding increments for absentee bids are as follows: $500-1,000, $50; $1,000-3,000, $100; $3,000-5,000, $250; over $5,000, $500.


If a reserve is required by the consignor and that price is not met, the consignor is required to pay a fee of 15% of the unmet reserve. When a lot does not meet its reserve, a buy-back fee of 15% of the unmet Reserve will be charged before the unsold lot is released to the Consignor.


The minimum price that a seller is willing to accept for an item to be sold at auction. This amount is never formally disclosed. A Reserve is not required by PAAM but will be honored if specified by the Consignor. Reserves are not published nor will they be revealed to potential buyers.

Buyer’s Premium

An additional service charge of 25%, for which the buyer is responsible, which is added to the price of sold items.

Plus One

One bid above your final absentee bid. Please note that the bidding may fall against you in the audience when there is active competition for a lot. For instance, if you have left a bid of $1,000 and there is someone in the audience bidding for the same lot, the auctioneer may take a $950 bid from the person representing you. The next bid — $1,000 — will fall to the person in the audience. To ensure that you do not lose in this case, you may authorize us to increase your bid by one increment beyond your maximum bid to try to break this “tie” with the audience by checking the appropriate column on this bid form (PLUS ONE).

Re-Sale Number

If you plan on purchasing something for resale and you are not required to pay state sales tax, then you must complete and submit your MA sales tax number form to PAAM when registering for a paddle.

Telephone Bids

These are essentially live bids, the difference being that the bidder is not in the building but instead on the phone with someone at the auction. A PAAM volunteer calls the bidder as their lots come up, and the bidder communicates their bids to the volunteer. It is of course crucial when filling out the Absentee Bid form to clearly write down phone number. People who register for telephone bids or leave a silent bid MUST leave a valid credit card number on file. Information should include CC#, Exp Date, and Billing Zip Code. All Telephone Bids and Left (Silent) Bids are charged to those cards on Sunday.

We are seek works by deceased artists with a connection to the Provincetown Art Colony.

If you have a piece or pieces in mind, you can begin the process by emailing descriptions and images of the potential consignment(s) to Once your email has been received, Seth will either get in touch for additional information or forward it on to the Auction Committee for review. If the committee would like to further review the piece for consideration of inclusion, we ask that you ship or deliver the work(s) to PAAM, 460 Commercial Street, Provincetown, MA 02657.

The committee will make a final decision about inclusion in the auction a week prior to the auction preview (late August). As the lots are limited in number, inclusion in the auction cannot be guaranteed, however we will make our best effort. PAAM reserves the discretionary right to decline any consignment(s) offered.

Potential consignments that are not included in the auction must be picked up or return shipped at the cost of the consignor. PAAM is unable to store works for consideration at the next auction.

We cannot accept artworks that fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • previously sold at PAAM within the past 5 years
  • not estimated to reach $500
  • un-framed
  • created by a living artist
  • created by an artist with no local connection

Consignors receive 80% of the “hammer price” and PAAM (consignee) receives a commission of 20% or a minimum of $50. Payments will be mailed to consignors approximately 30 days after the sale, unless payment from the buyer has been delayed. PAAM cannot pay a consignor until the buyer has paid PAAM.

Auction lots are often sold without a reserve (minimum selling price). A reserve is not required by PAAM but will be honored if specified by the consignor. Reserves are not published nor will they be revealed to potential buyers. When a lot does not meet its reserve, a buyback fee of 15% of the unmet reserve will be charged before the unsold lot is released to the consignor. PAAM is not able to waive the buyback fee.

Since it is in the best interest of PAAM and the consignor to sell high, every effort is made to ensure the best possible price at auction for every consignment. If bidding is deemed insufficient by the auctioneer, a lot will be “passed” rather than be sold at an inappropriately low price. The auction is promoted and advertised in print and online to help establish respectable prices for the offered lots.

PAAM will make every effort to take good care of all consignments and to ensure their safety. However, PAAM will not be held responsible for loss due to buyer default or other factors beyond its control. It is the responsibility of the consignor to remove all of their unsold consignment(s) from PAAM within 30 days after the auction. Unless pre-arranged and agreed upon otherwise, unsold consignment(s) left beyond 30 days will be return shipped at the consignor’s expense.

PAAM has a partnership with the Mail Spot Express to pack and ship purchased lots solely as a courtesy to you, our buyers. PAAM will deliver the lot(s) and Mail Spot Express will be in contact with you regarding payment for their services which may include labor, materials and postage, or freighting and insurance.

Estimates for pricing and insurance can only be given by Mail Spot Express. They should be contacted directly if you have specific questions at 508.487.6650 or via email at

At the conclusion of the bidding, as the gavel falls, the highest bid shall record the final sale. At the call of “sold” by the auctioneer, title to and full risk and responsibility for the lot shall pass to the buyer. In no event will PAAM be liable for damage, regardless of cause.

PAAM will deliver artworks to Mail Spot Express for shipping within ten (10) business days of the receipt of your payment for the auction.

Download the shipping form for the Mail Spot and return it to Seth at PAAM so we can facilitate getting your artwork home to you.