Photo by Rachel Helfand of the Montpellier Auction House

$35 USD per device. This program is 60 mins, including time to ask questions and exchange ideas. Suitable for all ages, no background required.

  • Sunday, May 9, 2021 at 10:00 am EST
  • Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 11:30 am EST
  • Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 9:00 am EST
  • Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 11:30 am EST

Live from the south of France, you and your instructor will enjoy a rare behind-the-scenes look at a large regional auction house (hôtel des ventes) in Montpellier. You’ll see first hand what the pros do. How are sales prepared? How are objects like art, furniture, jewelry, musical instruments and historical memorabilia valued? A delightful introduction to a very French world, designed to get you thinking about how you can bring a piece of history home.


You will:

  • Get a sense of how you can navigate this auction system, even online, to bring a piece of France home.
  • Virtually tour the stock rooms of a regional auction house in Montpellier, filled with treasures prepared for sale.
  • Meet a French auctioneer and hear what he looks for in his valuations.
  • Follow the life of an art object, from consignment to tagging to post-hammer block.

Your educator Rachel Helfand, is an avid photography and ceramics collector.  Currently based in Montpellier, France,  she has also lived and worked in London, Paris, Geneva and Aix-en-Provence.  She holds an MA in Art History from Richmond University London.  Rachel previously taught classes about the art market at the American University in Paris and worked as both guide and management team member for Paris Muse. She currently collaborates as an art consultant with her French husband at his Montpellier auction house.

You can also sign up for our series Collecting France.

Any questions? Check out our FAQs.

Image: © Rachel Helfand Giuseppi

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