William (Bill) Roland is one of New York's foremost appraisers and antique dealers and charity event auctioneers. He has been President of Roland Antiques since 1992 and is co-founder, along with brother Rob, of Roland Auctions in Greenwich Village.
Bill Roland takes a hands-on approach to valuing and selling the antiques, fine art and decorative arts that move through his gallery. The old school approach pays off, for consignors and buyers. Bill blogs about things he does every day, with an eye to making the auction process transparent for consignors and buyers.
Anatomy of an Auction
Detail of an oil painting by Kazuo Shiraga
Roland Auctions catalog
Family of Four with Fruit Basket by Jean Jansem
Roland Auctions catalog
As co-founders of Roland Auctions, Manhattan's newest auction house, my brother Rob and I face a recurring challenge. As soon as the property in the monthly auction is picked up, we have to start filling the gallery again.
It often takes weeks of intense appraisals and negotiations before we are able to offer high caliber fine art, antiques and decorations from Manhattan's premier apartments and estates. That's why I say we're in the business of building relationships.
For instance, it required strong relationship building and negotiation skills to bring three exceptional collections to our June 4 estates auction.
The first is a single-owner collection of modern art that took its owners more than forty years to acquire. When the oil paintings come to podium, our buyers will be bidding on works by Fernand Leger, Kazuo Shiraga, Sam Francis, Norman Bluhm, Saegh Tabrizi, Bryon Brown and Chiam Gross, to name a few. I should also mention the Picasso and Kandinsky we will sell that day.
There's also a single owner collection of American and Continental paintings that span the Seventeenth to Nineteenth Centuries. We removed the works of art from a Central Park South estate. Period furniture from the same estate certainly adds strength to the sale.
Finally, we have a whimsical collection of Fine Cigar and Smoking Memorabilia. It includes animal miniature boxes, walking sticks and decorative canes, writing instruments and - my favorite - a miniature champagne bottle.
All together, June 4 will see about 600 lots of extremely fine quality go to new owners. And then, for Rob and myself, the hunt for more fine properties will begin again.