Frequently Asked Questions

Can you evaluate my antique, art or collectible object?

The League, being a trade association, does not perform appraisals, nor can the office answer questions about specific items or artists.

However, some of our individual members do offer appraisal services, usually for a fee. You may perform a search among our members on the Membership Directory page for dealers who handle the category of art or antiques to which your item belongs. Some dealer listings specify whether a member offers appraisal services. In other cases, you may contact the dealers directly and ask them whether they do. Apprasial fees vary from one dealer to another. Please ask individual members for details.

Alternatively, if you cannot find an appraiser for your item among our members, we recommend you contact the Appraisers Association of America, Inc., and ask them to recommend someone in your area.

How does one become an art and/or antique dealer?

Unfortunately, there is no simple formula, course or book that can teach one how to develop all of the necessary skills of an art or antique dealer. Most people learn from experience, either in a family business or through a functional apprenticeship under an established dealer, often as an employee. One can take classes in art history, gallery management, small business administration, etc., and read books on antiques and collecting, but these can only take one so far.

If you are looking to get into the field by working for a gallery, a great deal of what you will need depends on the particular area of specialization of the company you would work for. Often, a strong Liberal Arts background, combined with excellent organizational, office-related and interpersonal skills will be enough to get one in the door if a gallery is looking to hire at the entry level.

All of the above applies to seeking employment. If you were inquiring about getting into business for yourself, that requires a lot more: knowledge, yes, but most importantly a certain amount of starting capital and/or inventory. By all accounts, it is extremely difficult to break into this business from scratch.

Does the League offer employment opportunities?

Presently, the League does not have any employment opportunities to offer. However, from time to time, some of our members may look to hire an employee. If you are interested in working for an art or antique gallery and feel that you possess the necessary qualifications (see Question #2 above), please contact the League office (you may use the online form on our Inquiries page), and we may post your information for our members who are looking for help.

How does one become a member of the League?

The League is strict in its standards for accepting members. Each applicant must be an established dealer whose art objects are of high quality, and whose reputation for fair-dealing and integrity is unimpeached.

The basic requirements for membership in the Art and Antique Dealers League of America are:

  1. That you have had an open business in North America for at least 5 years;
  2. That your application is sponsored by two current members (and then passes through a vote of our Executive Committee and General Membership);
  3. That your inventory passes an inspection, if deemed necessary;
  4. That you have not committed any act that would violate our Code of Ethics, and that you agree to abide by that code if you are granted membership.

If you meet these requirements, and wish to receive an application and further details about the process, please contact the League office (or use the online form on our Inquiries page).

How can I sell my art or antique object(s)?

As an association, the Art and Antique Dealers League of America, Inc., does not buy or sell art or antiques. The League is a trade association that represents the member dealers listed on this site. It is our members who both buy and sell objects. Our dealers handle a wide range of materials in different fields. Our members include top specialists in their fields, as well as dealers handling more “general” merchandise, but all are held to the highest standards of quality and integrity by our strict Code of Ethics. To search among our membership, you may use the Membership Directory page to find a dealer specializing in the category of item you wish to sell (or, of course, buy).

One advantage of dealing with a private dealer, such as one of our members, as opposed to an auction house or online internet sales site, is that you are dealing with a person and his or her merchandise face to face, rather than with a representative of a large corporate entity or a faceless, often anonymous, seller. The specific advantage of dealing with any of our members is that they are sworn to uphold the League’s Code of Ethics, which is intended to assure fair dealing between buyers and sellers of art and antiques.

What is CINOA?

C.I.N.O.A., (La Confédération Internationale des Négociants en Oeuvres d’Art), founded under Belgian law in 1935, is an International Confederation of Art and Antiques dealer Associations. Today it consists of over 30 art and antique dealer associations in over 20 countries, representing about five thousand members dealers in a wide array of specialties. The Art and Antique Dealers League of America, Inc. is one of the founding member associations of this distinguished international body. For more details about the organization’s mission and membership, please visit the C.I.N.O.A. web site.

Does the League publish statistics about the art and antiques trade?

No, we do not. Each member dealer of the Art and Antique Dealers League of America, Inc., is a privately-owned company and keeps its own business records.

The art and antique industry in the United States and worldwide is much larger than anyone can conceivably measure, with dealers operating privately and publicly. To the best of our knowledge, there are no reliable statistics compiled by any organization that could accurately reflect the volume of this trade.

What is the League’s Code of Ethics?

The League is strict in its standards for accepting members. Each applicant must be an established dealer whose art objects are of the highest quality. Each member subscribes to and strictly observes the Code of Ethics. This code determines the manner in which the dealer conducts his business so as to command the respect and confidence of his clients. All invoices or memoranda of sales must contain a fair description of the articles sold, the date or origin, the maker, if known, and the condition or repairs. Any member who does not adhere strictly to the Code of Ethics may be expelled from the League. Members shall, in all their dealings with the public and with their fellow members, adhere to moral and ethical standards of conduct.

I am a dealer in the League, and would like to be featured in the Dealer Spotlight.

Please send an email with your request. Once approved, please email 2-3 high-resolution landscape-oriented photos, with a width of at least 1200 pixels at 72 dpi.

I am a dealer in the League, and would like to edit my profile.

Please send an email with your request.