Lot specific guidance

Part of the joy of bidding at one of our auctions is the variety of items on which you can bid.
However, it is important to understand that such a wide variety of lots can bring about strange and unusual terms and requirements on buyer, seller and auctioneer.
Below is a useful guide to help you identify these oddities before you come to buy or sell.

Artists’ Resale Rights

Certain works of art may attract royalties under ‘Artist Resale Right’ legislation.
Prospective purchasers must satisfy themselves as to whether or not a royalty payment applies to lots they are intending to buy. Where ARR royalties apply, the buyer agrees to pay the auctioneer an amount equal to the resale royalty and we undertake to the buyer to pay this sum to the artist’s designated collection agent.

Picture Descriptions

All statements given by the auctioneer regarding authorship, attribution, origin, date, age, provenance and condition are statements of opinion and are not treated as a statement of fact.

The following terms apply in our determination of a picture description :

  1. “A N Artist” – in our opinion, the work is by the artist.
  2. “Attributed to…” – in our opinion, the work is of the period of the artist which may be whole or in part the work of the artist.
  3. “Studio/Circle/Workshop of…” – in our opinion, the work is of the period and closely relates to the artist’s style.
  4. “School of…” – in our opinion, the work is by a pupil or a follower of the artist.
  5. “Manner of…” – in our opinion, the work is in the style of the artist and is of a later period.
  6. “After…” – in our opinion, the work is a copy of the artist.
  7. “Ascribed to…” – in our opinion, this work is not by the artist, however, previous scholarship has noted this to be a work by the artist.
  8. “Signed/Dated” – the work has a signature/date which in our opinion is genuine.
  9. “Bears signature/date” – the work has a signature/date which in our opinion is not authentic.

Books are normally classed as zero rated for VAT. This means that zero VAT is added on the purchase price or any auction charges relating to the sale of the specific lot.

Due to the increase in the circulation of fake goods, the following items are not accepted from private vendors:

  • High value designer clothing
  • Designer accessories and shoes
  • Perfumes and cosmetics
  • Trading cards (Pokemon, Magic the Gathering etc)
  • Designer sunglasses without the original packaging
  • Designer watches (such as Rolex, Omega and Tag) without the original packaging
  • Other branded goods which saleroom staff have any doubts over

We undertake a portable appliance test (PAT) on all small portable appliances with a 240-volt or 110-volt electrical supply. We do not undertake such tests on items which are normally directly wired into an electrical supply or that are three phase electric. It is important to note that the PAT tests undertaken test for electrical safety only and DO NOT check for full functionality. The cost of these tests are per lot, charged onto the seller.

Another key thing to note before putting up your electronic items for sale, is to ensure you clear them of any personal data. It is the seller's responsibility to ensure such information is wiped before consigning. It's not just laptops and mobiles that store data anymore, many other devices also do such as TV's, landline phones and even doorbells! Sellers should ensure that information is cleared from both the device itself and also deregistered from any cloud services such as Google or iCloud.

Certain endangered species of flora and fauna have special regulations restricting their sale and purchase. These items are covered by the UK CITES regulations and require the vendor of an item to obtain the appropriate licence prior to selling. Our specialist team are happy to advise and assist you in obtaining this if it is relevant to any lots you wish to sell.

The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (as amended in 1989 and 1993) state that all soft furnishings holding foam must conform to BS 5852 standards. This means that any post-1988 furniture will need to bear a fire label for auction purposes.

The following exceptions apply:

  • Items constructed pre-1950
    [Regulation 4(a)]
  • Items being sold to someone who is in the business of reupholstering furniture
    [See Regulation 4[b] and Consumer Protection Act 1987, s.46(7)]
  • Items being sold to someone who is in the business of dealing in furniture
    [Regulation 14(1)]
  • Items being sold that will not be used in a domestic setting in the UK
    e.g. for export, for use in a museum or theatre, as a work of art
    [Regulation 3(1a) and 4(c)]

The Mid-Century period has been recognised as an area of increased interest to collectors for many years now. The relevant soft furnishings in our Mid-Century sales have been carefully selected to be collector’s pieces which are purchased for their design qualities.

Soft furnishings in this sale are being sold as collector’s items and are NOT intended for private use in the UK. They may not be in compliance with the Furniture & Furnishings (Fire)(Safety) Regulations 1988 and should be re-upholstered to conform to BS 5852 prior to any use in a domestic dwelling.

Bids are only accepted on the agreement that the furnishings will not be used in a domestic dwelling in the UK.

This policy is in-line with all major UK auctioneers and the Mid-Century trade.