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How to Buy

Our standard charges, VAT and other applicable duties and fees for buyers  

Buyer's Premium inclusive of VAT

30% of the hammer price on the first £100,000
24% of the hammer price between £100,001 and £1,000,000
14.4% of the hammer price above £1,000,000 
The Buyer's Premium is inclusive of VAT which cannot be reclaimed as input VAT

Some items, for example bound books and unframed maps, are VAT exempt in which case the Buyer’s Premium is reduced as follows:

25% of the hammer price on the first £100,000
20% of the hammer price between £100,001 and £1,000,000
12% of the hammer price above £1,000,000 

NB: Certain Timed Online-Only Sales are now offered WITHOUT Buyer’s Premium or additional charges.  The winning bid price is therefore the total amount payable inclusive of all fees, taxes, ARR and other duties.

VAT Symbols used in the catalogue      

(*) means VAT (currently 20%) will be added to the hammer price.  This can ordinarily be reclaimed if you are VAT registered or the item is exported outside the EU.
(**) means reduced Import VAT (currently 5%) will be added to the hammer price.  This can ordinarily be reclaimed as input tax if you are VAT registered or the item is exported outside the EU. 

Artist's Resale Right or Droit de Suite royalties

Works by certain artists sold in the EU are subject to royalty fees accruing to the artist or their estate.  The fees are levied in Euros on a sliding scale relative to hammer price and capped at €12,500 per item. We will collect these fees from you on behalf of the artist and add the £ equivalent amount to your invoice. 

Lots that may be subject to ARR are marked in the catalogue with ARR or δ and the additional charges are currently:

4% of the hammer price up to €50,000
3% of the hammer price from €50,001 to €200,000                        
1% of the hammer price from €200,001 to €350,000
0.5% of the hammer price from €350,001 to €500,000
0.25% of the hammer price above €500,000

Payment, Insurance and Storage

Insurance risk passes to the buyer of every lot on the fall of the hammer.  We encourage buyers to pay for and collect their purchases promptly and, in any event, within ten days of the auction.  After this we reserve the right to charge storage fees at no less than £1.50 per lot per day. If you would like us to maintain insurance cover for your purchased lots following the sale you must agree this in writing and may be charged an administration fee.

How To Register 

All of our sales are available to view on our website in the Auction Calendar. Prior to bidding you will be required to create an account with us. This will only need to be done once, and the easiest way to do so is over our website. You will be asked to provide copies of photographic ID and another proof of address evidencing your full name, address and contact details including telephone and email.  We recommend that you open your account with us well in advance of the first sale in which you intend to bid as we may not have time to verify your identity on the day of sale. 

Choose A Bidding Method

We offer a number of different ways in which you can bid at a sale. All are straightforward and we will assist you in answering any question you might have:

In person

Once you have opened your account with us you are able to bid in any of our sales, though we ask that you register your intention to bid in individual sales. When you arrive at the saleroom you will be provided with a bidding number (also called a paddle number) with which you will need to identify yourself to the auctioneer whenever you are the successful bidder on any lot. Please note that your paddle number may change between sales. 

By online live bidding through our website using BidFORUM

Once you are logged into your account on our website, BidFORUM enables you to participate online live bidding for any lot in any sale through our website. You will be issued with a bidding number (also called a paddle number), which will automatically register your winning bids with the auctioneer. Once the auction has started, you will be able to follow the auctioneer lot-by-lot with real-time video and audio, as though you were in the saleroom. Bidding on those lots you wish to buy is intuitive and straightforward and executed by clicking the easily identifiable Bid Now button on your computer or other device screen. 

By absentee bid (also called a commission bid)

If you are unable to attend an auction and would prefer not to use our BidFORUM facility you can leave your bids with us in advance of the sale for the auctioneer to execute on your behalf. You may leave absentee bids through your account on our website by clicking on the Bid Now button associated with every available lot. You will have the choice of either submitting your bid immediately or saving it within your account dashboard for later submission. You may leave absentee bids online up until the lot comes up for sale.

Alternatively you may leave written absentee bids using the form in the back of every catalogue and also in the saleroom. It would be preferable for you to provide us with any written bids 24 hours before the sale, and in any event at least 2 hours before the sale to be assured that we will be able to bid on the item for you. Your absentee bids will be known only to the auctioneer, who will bid on your behalf up to the maximum bid you have submitted. You are assured that the auctioneer will commence bidding on your behalf at the lowest price possible with reference only to other competing bidders or the vendor's reserve price (the minimum price at which a lot can be sold). For lots being offered without reserve and competing buyers the bidding would normally commence at 50% of the low estimate.

By telephone

If you would like to bid by phone, we will call you from the saleroom and bid on your instructions. You should register your phone bidding requests well in advance of the sale and note that we may already be at full capacity for phone bidding on any particular lot. When accepting a phone bidding request we may request a covering absentee bid in the event that we are unable to contact you at the time the lot comes up for sale.

Online-Only Auctions

We also conduct sales with all bidding exclusively online. These Online-Only sales are timed events with bidding open for a specified period of time and bids submitted throughout the duration of the bidding period. In the event of a maximum bid in excess of the current bid then your bid will be automatically increased up to your maximum bid only in response to other competing bids. 

Irrespective of your method of bidding, we will notify you by email, following the sale, of those lots that you have succeeded in buying. You will be able to monitor your successful bids during the sale by logging into your account on our website. Please note that you will not necessarily always be the successful buyer simply because your bid was at the hammer price, as the auctioneer will accept bids in the order they are received.

In all instances, once you have submitted a bid to the auctioneer during the live sale it is irreversible, and in doing so you are committing to buy the lot at the price you have bid. You are also agreeing to pay our buyer's premium and any other charges, fees and taxes applicable to the purchase of the lot. For more information, please refer to our Terms of Sale.