Buying at Auction


Auction catalogues for each of our sales are available the Friday before the sale, either from the salerooms or by post. The catalogue has some illustrations but the best way to view the sale is on the website, where every lot in the sale has at least three images, and often many more.  We can also email further images to you of any lot on request.

Make sure you read the terms and conditions of sale, and the auction glossary, so that you understand the catalogue description, and note that damage, faults or repairs are not always mentioned.


We are always available to help with any lots you might be interested in. If you would like advice on any of the lots in our sales, please speak to a member of staff, either by phone or email, and we can assist you with any further information you may need.

All our sales have viewing days before the sale day, details of which are on the auction calendar.

Attending the sale

When you come to the sale you should register for a bidding number. You will be asked to provide your name, address and email, and possibly id. You should use your bidding card to get the auctioneers attention. Join the bidding early to confirm your interest, don’t leave it to the last second, you risk losing the lot. A shake of the head is helpful to let the auctioneer know that you have stopped bidding if the price is too high for you.

Condition reports

You are advised to attend the view days in person to examine any lots you may be interested in. If, however, you are unable to attend, we will provide a condition report. We will examine the item and comment on damage, restoration, age, period and provenance, and provide extra photos if required. This service is free and without obligation for you to bid on the lot. Condition reports are prepared to the best of our ability, with absolute honesty and care. If an item has something we miss on the condition report, such as very minor professional restoration, or something outside our field of knowledge, we do not accept responsibility for those errors. The best way to check condition is to look at the item yourself.

Absentee bidding

If you cannot attend the sale in person, we can bid on your behalf by commission. You need to decide the maximum amount you are prepared to go to, and we bid on your behalf as if you were in the room, and try to buy the lot for you as cheaply as we can, up to your maximum bid.  If we can buy the lot for you for less than your maximum bid, that is the price you pay (plus buyer’s premium), not the maximum price.

Absentee bids can be made through our website, by telephone on 01424 772374, or by email to

How to leave bids on our website:

  1. Create an account with our website/Login to your account
  2. Open the relevant sale and locate the lot number(s) you wish to bid on.
  3. Next to the lot, a grey box titled 'Place a Commission Bid' will appear, in which you must type your desired maximum bid and then click 'Add to bid basket'.
  4. After adding all of your bids to the basket, you MUST now scroll to the top of the page and click on 'My Bid Basket' in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
  5. Here, you can update, remove and submit your bids. The crucial part of this step is to tick the 'I accept the Terms & Conditions' box and click the 'Submit Your Commission Bids' button.
  6. Your bids will then be sent through to us and you will receive an email confirmation.

Internet bidding

We offer live bidding for our antique, picture and general sales via and also via

Both facilities enable you to listen in to the auction wherever you are in the world, and if you would like to participate you can register to bid real-time as if you were in the room. You should register before the sale starts, but remember there are additional charges for the online bidding services.

The-Saleroom: 5% surcharge plus VAT for this service (total of 25% +VAT)

EasyLiveAuction: Either 3% surcharge or £3, chosen by you at the point of registration (total of either 23% +VAT / 20% +VAT and a single £3 payment)

A few things to remember:

  • Check the auction terms and conditions before you bid
  • Find out about shipping before you bid. See below.
  • Check your broadband for speed and continuity
  • If you hold your mouse over the ‘bid’ button, the auctioneer can see that you are interested in bidding
  • Join the bidding early, don’t leave it to the last second or you may lose the lot
  • Bid quickly -there is a small time delay
  • If you pause your bidding the auctioneer will take it as a ‘no’
  • No goods are sold as-new, there are no guarantees, all lots are sold ‘as seen’.
  • Distance selling regulations do not apply at auction rooms
  • If you are a first-time buyer and you cannot attend to pay, you must pay by bank transfer for your first transaction.  Subsequent purchases may be paid for over the phone by card (CNP)

Telephone bidding

You can arrange to bid in person by telephone.  There is no minimum value but telephone bids must be requested before the start of the sale and are allocated on a first come first served basis.  There is no extra charge for this service.


We offer an in-house shipping service for very small items only (such as rings/watches). Approximate prices are £10-15 UK Mainland/ £15-20 International. All are sent Royal Mail Recorded Special Delivery. To obtain a more specific quote or book this service please contact

For larger items you may use a company of your choice, the majority of our customers use the following options:

(1) Kenroy Jones' worldwide postage and shipping service: or 01424 775847.

(2) Mailboxes Tunbridge Wells: or 01892 510155

(3) JenTel Packing UK and International shipping service (approved service provider for LAPADA): or call 01268 776777 

(4) Shiply ( allows you to compare local couriers.

(5) Big Van Removals: 07801 477696


Terms and conditions

View our terms and conditions of business for buyers and sellers

After the sale

  • If you have been successful at the sale you will receive an invoice by email immediately afterwards
  • All sale results are posted on the website straight after the sale
  • If you have left commission bids via our website you can check your bid basket for your results
  • There is a buyer’s premium of 20% +vat payable on top of the hammer price (25% +vat (the-saleroom bidders) / 23% +vat (EasyLive) / 20% +vat and a single £3 registration fee (EasyLive))
  • Payment can be made during or after the sale by cash, debit card, or bank transfer.
  • We require payment within 7 days of the auction.
  • Once we have received payment for your lots, you can collect them from the saleroom.
  • If you are not collecting in person, please contact us to let us know who will be collecting on your behalf.