Hindman and Freeman’s Merge to Create a Formidable New Auction House

The merger sets up a company with a larger domestic presence than giants like Sotheby's and Christie's.

The Freeman’s | Hindman auction house will celebrate the merger with the opening of a new permanent salesroom on the Upper East Side of New York City. Photo courtesy of Freeman’s | Hindman.

Hindman and Freeman’s auction houses announced that they have merged to create a new heavyweight player at the top of the middle-tier market.

The new house, dubbed Freeman’s | Hindman, is poised to have the largest coast-to-coast presence of any auction house in the United States, bridging the assets of the 200-year-old Freeman’s to Hindman in Chicago and beyond, Hindman announced in a news release.

Altogether, the two auction houses have six salesrooms and 18 regional offices across the country. For comparison, Sotheby’s and Christie’s—two of the Big Three dominant players for upper tier auction’s globally—each have nine salesrooms around the world.

Christie’s lists a total of five offices and salesrooms in the United States: Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and San Francisco. Sotheby’s appears to add just a few more, with additional offices and salesrooms in Aspen, Palm Beach, Houston, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.

Freeman’s | Hindman boasts locations in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, the city of Naples in Florida, Milwaukee, Richmond, San Diego, Scottsdale, and St. Louis.

The auction house will celebrate the merger with the opening of a new permanent salesroom on the Upper East Side of New York City. The new 5,000-square-foot location is located on 67th Street, a mere stone’s throw from Sotheby’s New York.

The New York location of Freeman’s | Hindman marks a return to the Big Apple for Freeman’s, and the first such location for Hindman in the city. This partnership is yet another in the list of smaller regional auction houses joining forces; in 2019, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers merged with Cincinnati-based Cowan’s Auctions; that same year Chicago’s Wright Auctions merged with New Jersey-based Rago Arts & Auction to form Rago Wright.

“I’m truly excited to bring together these two esteemed auction houses under one roof,” executive chairman Jay Frederick Krehbiel said in a statement.

“The merger strengthens our advantage in an increasingly competitive auction market and sets us up for continued growth across the United States and globally, especially with Freeman’s existing international relationship with Lyon & Turnbull.”

Alyssa D. Quinlan, who has served as Hindman’s chief executive since January, will lead the new auction house and said she plans to build on the previous company’s successes in 2022 and 2023.

Freeman’s | Hindman president Fraser Niven emphasized the company’s new goals of expanding overseas, noting that Freeman’s particularly had experience promoting locally consigned property to an international marketplace in the past.

The company has already begun the process of changing and merging its digital assets, with the respective websites for each of its former halves already changing the company’s logos and branding.

As reported by ArtNews, Hindman brought in $99.7 million in sales in 2023 while Freeman’s brought in an estimated $32 million in sales. Combined, the two companies had facilitated 176 sales last year.

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