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The Art Loss Register

ALR's work with Regional Auction Houses

The Art Loss Register’s (ALR) annual subscription for auction houses provides a routine catalogue search service and checks on individual items, which allows you to determine prior to sale whether an item has been registered on the ALR database as stolen, missing, looted or a possible fake. This will enable you to demonstrate due diligence, minimise financial loss, protect against reputational risks, and help to ensure that your clients can buy with good title.
  • Services included in the annual subscription


    1. Catalogue searching

    The ALR will routinely search all lots over the threshold of £1000, €1500 and $2000 in your online catalogues against the ALR database. We will begin checking your catalogues around two weeks prior to sale. If you wish, you may send us catalogues for searching in advance of going online or to print. Following each catalogue search we will send you an email confirming the results of our checks.


    1. ALR certificates

    You can obtain up to 50 ALR certificates for individual items each year free of charge (total value £1,200 + VAT, €1,400 + VAT, $1,600). The exact number of free certificates will depend on the size of the subscription. Auction houses may provide ALR certificates to their clients as proof of the due diligence checks that have been carried out on specific lots. Note that the ALR will also carry out in-depth provenance research for high-risk items, such as antiquities and pre-1945 artworks, when issuing a certificate.


    1. Searches for suspicious items

    As a subscriber you will have unlimited access to our search services for items that have been consigned in suspicious circumstances, which you may wish to check against our database before entering them into a catalogue.


    1. Promotion

    You will be listed on the ALR website alongside over 120 other subscribing auction houses. You may also display the ALR logo in your catalogues and on your website to promote your due diligence standards, and as a deterrent to thieves and fences.


    1. Resolution of title disputes

    The ALR will offer its expertise in the resolution of any title disputes following a match and provide assistance at any time on issues involving possible claims or items with problematic provenance.


    1. Annual report

    At the end of the year we will provide a search report detailing the number of items searched and additional research carried out, as well as any matches identified.



    In the event that an item that we search for you is a match for one on our database, we will inform you immediately. We will request for you to withdraw the item from sale and hold it securely at your auction rooms until we confirm the matter is resolved. We will notify the police where relevant (i.e. if there is a crime reference number), and if there is an active criminal investigation the police will handle the matter. In those cases where a good-faith vendor has offered the item, the ALR will work towards an amicable settlement between the current holder and the original owner or their insurer.


    Fakes and forgeries

    The ALR database currently lists over 18,000 fakes and forgeries, including artworks, coins, watches and furniture among other items. These have been reported to us by police forces, artists’ foundations and the foremost experts. In the event that an item we check for you appears to match a fake or forgery registered on our database we will, in all confidentiality, share with you the information we hold on that item and refer you to the relevant expert. The ALR will not pass any judgment on the authenticity of an item, but will highlight areas of concern that may require further research. If you have reason to doubt the authenticity of any item, please contact us.



    The annual subscription fee for each auction house is based on the number of lots, the type of items, and the amount of further research required for items of higher risk. Please contact the office to request a quote.

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