Consignment Auction

PAAM's annual Consignment Auction is a spectacular live event that features the work of late regional artists.

Held annually in September, PAAM’s Consignment Auction features artwork by deceased artists who lived, studied, or worked on Cape Cod. Auctioneer and Provincetown art expert James R. Bakker (MA Lic.#154) officiates these events. In the weeks prior to the Auction, all lots are displayed for public viewing at the Museum in the Auction Preview exhibition and online.

2016 Auction: Saturday, September 17, 7pm

2016 Auction Preview: September 2-17, opening Friday, September 2 at 8pm


Highlighting works by the following artists:

Peter Busa, Willem de Kooning, Marsden Hartley, Tod Lindenmuth, Bruce McKain, George McNeil, Ross Moffett, Robert Motherwell, Caleb Arnold Slade, Nancy Whorf and Edith Lake Wilkinson, amongst many others.



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.

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 2pm 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 20%, 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.

Submission deadline: Friday, July 15, 2016

We are seeking a total of 102 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, Grace 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
  • 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.