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Terms & Conditions

Terms & Conditions | Grand Auctions


Grand Auctions carries on business with bidders, buyers and all those present in the auction room prior to or in connection with a sale on the following General Conditions and on such other terms, conditions and notices as may be referred to herein. These conditions of Sale and Business constitute the contract between Grand Auctions (The Auctioneer) and the seller on the one hand and the buyer on the other. By bidding at the auction you agree to these terms.


In these Conditions:

(a) “auctioneer” means the firm of Grand Auctions or its authorised auctioneer, as appropriate;

(b) “deliberate forgery” means an imitation made with the intention of deceiving as to authorship, origin, date, age, period, culture or source but which is unequivocally described in the catalogue as being the work of a particular creator and which at the date of the sale had a value materially less than it would have had if it had been in accordance with the description;

(c) “hammer price” means the level of bidding reached (at or above any reserve) when the auctioneer brings down the hammer;

(d) “terms of consignment” means the stipulated terms and rates of commission on which Grand Auctions accepts instructions from sellers or their agents;

(e) “total amount due” means the hammer price in respect of the lot sold together with any premium. Value Added Tax chargeable and any additional charges payable by a defaulting buyer under these Conditions;

(f) “sale proceeds” means the net amount due to the seller, being the hammer price of the lot sold less commission at the stated rate. Value Added Tax chargeable and any other amounts due to us by the seller in whatever capacity and however arising;

(g) “You”, “Your”, etc. refer to the buyer as identified in Condition 2.

(h) The singular includes the plural and vice versa as appropriate.


(a) Bidders are required to register their particulars and show proof of identity with a driving licence or passport before bidding and to satisfy any security arrangements before entering the auction room to view or bid;

(b) the maker of the highest bid accepted by the auctioneer conducting the sale shall be the buyer at the hammer price and any dispute about a bid shall be settled at the auctioneer’s absolute discretion by reoffering the Lot during the course of the auction or otherwise. The auctioneer shall act reasonably in exercising this discretion.

(c) Bidders shall be deemed to act as principals.

(d) Our right to bid on behalf of the seller is expressly reserved up to the amount of any reserve and the right to refuse any bid is also reserved.


Bidding increments shall be at the auctioneer’s sole discretion.


The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 20%. This premium is subject to VAT at the rate imposed by law.

5. VALUE ADDED TAX – items marked with * or **

Value Added Tax on the hammer price and the buyer’s premium is imposed by law on all items affixed with an asterisk or double asterisk. Value Added Tax is charged at the appropriate rate prevailing by law at the date of sale and is payable by buyers of relevant Lots. Lots imported from outside the EU and certain lots owned by businesses are marked ** and full VAT is payable on the Hammer Price and Buyer’s Premium. Certain lots imported at a preferential rate are marked * and VAT is payable currently at 5% on the Hammer Price and Buyer’s Premium.


From 14th February 2006 all UK art market professionals are required to collect a royalty payment for all works of art that have been produced by living artists. This payment is only calculated on qualifying works of art, which are sold for a hammer price more than the UK sterling equivalent of EURO 1,000 – the UK sterling equivalent will fluctuate in line with prevailing exchange rates.

It is entirely the responsibility of the buyer to acquaint himself with the precise EURO to UK Sterling exchange rate on the day of the sale in this regard, and the auctioneer accepts no responsibility whatsoever if the qualifying rate is different to the rate indicated. All items in the catalogue that are marked with AR are potentially qualifying items, and the royalty charge will be applied if the hammer price achieved is more than the UK sterling equivalent of EURO 1,000. The royalty charge will be added to all relevant buyers’ invoices, and must be paid before items can be cleared. All royalty charges are passed on to the Design and Artists Copyright Society (‘DAGS’), no handling costs or additional fees with respect ro these charges will be retained by the auctioneers. The royalty charge that will be applied to qualifying items which achieve a hammer price of more than the UK sterling equivalent of EURO 1,000, but less than the UK sterling, equivalent of EURO 50,000 is 4%. For qualifying items that sell for more than the UK sterling equivalent of EURO 50,000 a sliding scale of royalty charges will apply – for a complete list of the royalty charges and threshold levels, please see there is no VAT payable on this royalty charge.


(1) Immediately a Lot is sold you will:

(a) give to us, if requested, proof of identity, and

(b) pay to us the total amount due in such other way as is agreed by us.

(2) Any payments by you to us may be applied by us towards any sums owing from you to us on any account whatever without regard to any directions of you or your agent, whether express or implied.


(1) The ownership of any Lots purchased shall not pass to you until you have made payment in full to us of the total amount due.

(2) You shall at your own risk and expense take away any lots that you have purchased and paid for not later than 3 working days following the day of the auction or upon the clearance of any cheque used for payment after which you shall be responsible for any removal, storage and insurance charges.

(3) No purchase can be claimed or removed until it has been paid for.


(1) If any Lot is not paid for in full and / or not taken away in accordance with these Conditions or if there is any other breach of these Conditions, we, as agent for the seller and on our own behalf, shall at our absolute discretion and without prejudice to any other rights we may have, be entitled to exercise one or more of the following rights and remedies:

(a) to proceed against you for damages for breach of contract;

(b) to rescind the sale of that Lot and/or any other Lots sold by us to you;

(c) to resell the Lot (by auction or private treaty) in which case you shall be responsible for any resulting deficiency in the total amount due (after crediting any part payment and adding any resale costs). Any surplus so arising shall belong to the vendor;

(d) to remove, store and insure the Lot at your expense and, in the case of storage, either at our premises or elsewhere; if that proves impractical, Grand Auctions reserves the right to sell the lot by private treaty or auction without reserve. Any funds raised will be returned to the buyer less Grand Auctions’ expenses and charges; if any surplus is raised, it shall belong to the vendor .

(e) to charge interest at a rate not exceeding 1.5% per month on the total amount due to the extent it remains unpaid for more than 3 working days after the sale;

(f) to retain that or any other Lot sold to you until you pay the total amount due;

(g) to reject or ignore bids from you or your agent at future auctions or to impose conditions before any such bids shall be accepted;

(h) to apply any proceeds of sale of other Lots due or in future becoming due to you towards the settlement of the total amount due and to exercise a lien (that is a right to retain possession of) any of your property in our possession for any purpose until the debt due is satisfied.

(2) We shall, as agent for the seller and on our own behalf pursue these rights and remedies only so far as is reasonable to make appropriate recovery in respect of breach of these conditions


Grand Auctions will remit the proceeds of the sale to the vendor 28 working days after the date of the sale provided that Grand Auctions has received the total amount due from the buyer.


All members of the public on our premises are there at their own risk and must note the lay-out of the accommodation and security arrangements. Accordingly neither the auctioneer nor our employees or agents shall incur liability for death or personal injury (except as required by law by reason of our negligence) or similarly for the safety of the property of persons visiting prior to or at a sale.


Whilst prospective buyers are strongly advised to attend the auction and are always responsible for any decision to bid for a particular Lot and shall be assumed to have carefully inspected and satisfied themselves as to its condition we will if so instructed clearly and in writing execute bids on their behalf or by telephone. Neither the auctioneer nor our employees or agents shall be responsible for any failure to do so save where such failure is unreasonable. Where two or more commission bids at the same level are recorded we reserve the right in our absolute discretion to prefer the first bid so made.


The seller warrants to the auctioneer and you that the seller is the true owner of the property consigned or is properly authorised by the true owner to consign it for sale and is able to transfer good and marketable title to the property free from any third party claims.


The auctioneer normally acts as agent only and disclaims any responsibility for default by sellers or buyers.


The seller acknowledges that Lots are sold subject to the stipulations of these Conditions in their entirety and on the Terms of Sale on the consignment form as notified to the consignor at the time of the entry of the Lot.


Where a vendor cancels instructions for sale, Grand Auctions reserves the right to make a withdrawn lot charge amounting to no less than 15% of Grand Auctions’ low estimate of the auction price, owner’s reserve, suggested reserve or the agreed reserve, whichever is the greater, together with VAT thereon and any other expenses incurred in relation to the property. Any lot withdrawn either by the vendor or by Grand Auctions which is not collected within three days of the sale will be subject to the same conditios as Clauses 8 and 9 in Terms of Sale.


(1) Whilst we seek to describe lots accurately, it may be impractical for us to carry out exhaustive due diligence on each lot. Prospective buyers are given ample opportunities to view and inspect before any sale and they (and any independent experts on their behalf) must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of any description applied to a lot:

(a) Each lot as set out in the catalogue or as divided or combined with any other lot or lots is sold by the vendor with all faults, imperfections and errors of descriptions.

(b) Grand Auctions does not accept responsibility for the authenticity, genuineness, origin, authorship, date, age, period, condition or quality of any lot, unless Grand Auctions has been instructed in writing by the vendor so to certify and in such case the Auctioneers do so as the agents of the vendor and are not themselves responsible for such claims.

(c) All statements, whether in the catalogue or made orally as to any of the matters set out in (b) above are statements of opinion only and are not to be taken as being or implying any warranties or representations of fact by Grand Auctions unless Grand Auctions has been instructed in writing by the vendor so to certify, and in such case the Auctioneers do so as agents of the vendor and are not themselves responsible for such claims.

Prospective buyers also bid on the understanding that, inevitably, representations or statements by us as to authorship, genuineness, origin, date, age, provenance, condition or estimated selling price involve matters of opinion. We undertake that any such opinion shall be honestly and reasonably held and accept liability for opinions given negligently or fraudulently. Subject to the foregoing neither we the auctioneer nor our employees or agents nor the seller accept liability for the correctness of such opinions and all conditions and warranties, whether relating to description, condition or quality of lots, express, implied or statutory, are hereby excluded. This Condition is subject to the next following Condition concerning deliberate forgeries and applies save as provided for in paragraph 6, Information to Buyers.  

(2) Private treaty sales made under these Conditions are deemed to be sales by auction for purposes of consumer legislation.   

(3) Description of Paintings:

Measurements are given in inches and centimetres, height by width and are for guidance only.

The full First Name(s) and the Surname of the ‘Artist’ - In our opinion a work by the artist, if the first name/s is not known, an asterisk/s preceding the surname means the painting is in our opinion a work by the artist.

Attributed to the ‘Artist’ – in our opinion probably a work by the Artist but less certainty as to the authorship as expressed in the preceding category.

The surname only of the ‘Artist’ The Initials of the First Names(s) and the Surname of the ‘Artist’ - In our opinion a work of the period of the Artist which may be wholly or in part by the Artist.

Studio/Workshop of the ‘Artist’ - In our opinion a work by an unknown hand of the School or by one of the followers of the Artist or in his style.
Circle of the ‘Artist’ – In our opinion a work by a hand closely associated with a named Artist, but not necessarily a pupil of the Artist.

Follower of the ‘Artist’ – In our opinion the work of a painter working in the Artist’s style, contemporary or nearly contemporary, but not necessarily his pupil.

Manner of the ‘Artist’ – In our opinion a work in the style of the Artist and of a later date.

The word “after” associated with the Surname of the ‘Artist’ - In our opinion a copy of the work of the Artist.

Has a signature which in our opinion is the signature of the Artist.

“Bears Signature” or “Traces of Signature”  - Has a signature which in our opinion may be the signature of the Artist.

Is so dated and in our opinion was executed at that date. “Bears date” or “Inscribed” (with date) - Is so dated and in our opinion may have been executed at about that date.

VAT and Artists’ Royalty Rights - AR

VAT: If there are two asterisks (**) after the artist’s name, VAT at the current rate is payable on the Hammer price and Commission. See Terms for details.

AR: If AR appears after the artist’s name, it signifies that a charge of 4% is made for living artists whose painting fetches the equivalent of 1000 euro or more, a charge that was imposed by the government in February 2006. There is no VAT payable on this charge. See Terms for details. 


Notwithstanding the preceding Condition, any Lot which proves to be a deliberate forgery (as defined) may be returned to us by you within 21 days of the auction provided it is in the same condition as when bought, and is accompanied by particulars identifying it from the relevant catalogue description and a written statement of defects. If we are satisfied from the evidence presented that the Lot is a deliberate forgery we shall refund the money paid by you for the Lot including any buyer’s premium provided that
(1) if the catalogue description reflected the accepted view of scholars and experts as at the date of sale or
(2) you personally are not able to transfer a good and marketable title to us, you shall have no rights under this condition.

The right of return provided by this Condition is additional to any right or remedy provided by law or by these Conditions of Sale.


Unless otherwise instructed in writing with full evidence the vendor/s insurance covers his/her property on the premises of Grand Auctions, all goods on the Auctioneers premises and in their custody will be held insured against the risks of fire, theft following forcible entry and water damage (but not against accidental breakage or damage) for which insurance is included in the Vendor Commission Rates. The value of the goods so covered shall be gross amount realised, or in the case of unsold lots the best bid, or in the case of goods withdrawn prior to a sale the reserve price or where there is no reserve that which the Auctioneers shall in their absolute discretion estimate to be the auction value of such goods. The rate payable by the vendor is 1.75% of the hammer price plus VAT. Insurance is provided at mid auction estimate. In the event of a claim settlement will be made at this level less normal charges as if the lot had been sold for the mid estimate price.

The Auctioneers shall not be responsible for damage to or the loss, theft or destruction of any goods not so insured upon the owner’s written instructions. The Auctioneers shall not be responsible for accidental breakage, loss or damage howsoever caused unless directly caused by negligence of their employees. In respect of any article delivered to the Auctioneers if the vendor has in force a policy or policies of Insurance in which the article is specifically mentioned as being insured, whether or not for an agreed sum or value, the vendor shall notify his insurers of and shall himself note the Auctioneers interest as bailees in such policy or policies.


20. We shall have the right at our discretion, to refuse admission to our premises or attendance at our auctions by any person.

21. (1) any right to compensation for losses liabilities and expenses incurred in respect of and as a result of any breach of these Conditions and any exclusions provided by them shall be available to the seller and/or the auctioneer as appropriate.
(2) Such rights and exclusions shall extend to and be deemed to be for the benefit of employees and agents of the seller and/or the auctioneer who may themselves enforce them.

22. Any notice to any buyer, seller, bidder or viewer may be given by first class mail, email or Swiftmail in which case it shall be deemed to have been received by the addressee 48 hours after posting.

23. Special terms may be used in catalogue descriptions of particular classes of items In which case the descriptions must be interpreted in accordance with any glossary appearing at the commencement of the catalogue.

24. Any indulgence extended to bidders buyers or sellers by us notwithstanding the strict terms of these Conditions or of the Terms of Consignment shall affect the position at the relevant time only and in respect of that particular concession only; in all other respects these Conditions shall be construed as having full force and effect.

25. English law applies to the interpretation of these Conditions.

26. If for any reason items are left at Grand Auctions' premises without the agreement of Grand Auctions, Grand Auctions will make a storage charge of £3.00 per item per day.


Due to international laws, any item on the Endangered species list (i.e. Ivory, Rhino horn etc.), whether it dates from the18th/19th Century or the 1930s, requires re-export permits for bidders outside the EU (CITES). Some countries also require import permits as well and all permits must be in place prior to shipment. Grand Auctions cannot be held liable if a purchaser buys a lot that comes within this field and then import/export licences cannot be arranged. Certain countries, particularly the USA, have their own Endangered Species Act (USESA) and possession or being involved in a commercial transaction with any item on this list can be an offence for a US resident. Therefore, it is the potential buyer’s responsibility to check Federal regulations before bidding for a lot, which comes under these or similar regulations.

Please note no license is required to sell or advertise within the EU if items are pre-1947.