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Freeman’s And Hindman Merge To Become a Major US Auction Player

Two prominent mid-tier auction houses, Freeman’s and Hindman, have merged to become a major auction house in the United States.

The Chicago-based Hindman auction house reportedly generated $99.7 million in sales in 2023. However, appraisals – where they charge fees for evaluating artworks for their clients – form a major chunk of their income, having increased by 25 percent over the last year. On the other hand, Philadelphia-based Freeman’s is one of the oldest auction firms in the United States. Since it was founded in 1805, the firm was controlled by its founding family. However, in 2016, the family passed control to a management board. Last year, Freeman’s brought a revenue of $32 million in sales. Combined, the two auction houses held 176 sales last year, with some works going up to $2 million.

Freeman’s, Philadelphia

The new auction house will be called Freeman’s | Hindman. As a first step, a new website would be launched to act as their consolidated digital platform. The new firm will share the combined six salesrooms – in Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Philadelphia, and Palm Beach – and 18 offices spread across the country. With the merger, Freeman’s | Hindman has become the largest mid-tier auction house in the United States. Within the American art category, they are now a bigger player than even international names like Sotheby’s, Philips, and Christie’s.

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Jay F. Krehbiel, who was named the executive chair of the new firm, called the merger a strategic move. On the other hand, Fraser Niven – the president of the new auction house – hoped to see more international clients via this merger.