What we do

Vault Research is an independent art advisory established by Phillippa Duncan to assist private, corporate and museum clients with their art. The art world is often complicated and our role is to open doors for collectors while assisting them to build and manage significant collections.

In brief

Bespoke collection strategies: our primary and secondary market expertise is the added value to your collection plan

Acquisitions: build, expand and diversify your collection

Sales: maximise the value of your collection

Research and Scientific analysis: history and science are an integral part to an artworks history

Valuations: assess the value of your collection

Collection Management: wall-to-wall, nail-to-nail service

Catalogues: hard copy or cloud-based, the choice is yours

Artists and Artist Estates: legacy management from easel to retrospectives

Vault Research

Irrespective of a client’s budget, our primary goal is to assist them in acquiring the best work possible within their means. By creating bespoke strategies and identifying curatorial themes within their collecting interests, we maximise the aesthetic and artistic value within their acquisition journey.

We facilitate acquisitions on all platforms whether they be primary gallery purchases or secondary market auction acquisitions. Given our knowledge of the mechanics of the art auction houses, we regularly register, view and bid on behalf of clients, providing independent assessments on items of potential interest.

When it comes to selling items, we advise regarding the correct channels and timing for individual artworks, based on current market factors and trends.

Our recommendations to collectors are based on research covering provenance, authenticity, and an artwork’s condition. If this is not available at the point of purchase, we are happy to discuss future research options for specific items. The history of an object does not exist only in libraries or archives, but also in the scientific laboratories of conservation specialists.

Placing a value on art is a contested subject. While rarity plays a role, aesthetic quality and an artists’ standing in the market determine market values. As with any acquisition, acquiring the best example within your budget and collection strategy will prove itself in the long term.

Our art management services include curatorial advice, installation, and documentation. There are numerous digital options regarding the recording and management of items including blockchain and geotagging. We advise and oversee framing, insurance cover, conservation, packing, storage, as well as shipping of artworks. I also undertake the facilitation of institutional loans and loan agreements. Part of our undertaking with clients is the wall-to-wall, nail-to-nail service (shipping, customs assistance, insurance assistance) understanding that the above takes time that collectors often do not have at their disposal.

We work with creative teams who specialise in the photography and layout of bespoke catalogues detailing all aspects of artworks in a client’s collection. Catalogues can be produced in digital and print formats, depending on the needs of the respective collector.

We provide advice and structures for artist’s and artist estates. From catalogue raisonné research to actioning and publication, we wish to encourage all involved to contribute to and benefit from correct legacy management.