A guide to buying with Chiswick Auctions

Buying at auction is an exciting experience and the auctioneers work hard to make attending a sale entertaining as far as is possible. All lots are sold to the highest bidder subject to reserve.

Our specialist auction catalogues are available online at least 2 weeks before the sale. The general sale catalogue is uploaded the Sunday before it takes place.

Registering to buy

If you have not bid with Chiswick Auctions before, you will be required to fill out a registration form AND provide:

  • Proof of identity in the form of a Passport, Photo-card Driving Licence or National ID Card (no other forms of ID are acceptable)
  • Proof of address. For proof of address, only official documents showing name and address will be accepted (e.g. Utility Bill/Bank Statement/Letter from DWP).
  • Both landline and mobile telephone numbers must be provided.

We will then photocopy your documents and keep securely on file.  Buyers purchasing from abroad may be asked for a deposit when planning to bid. We apologise for any inconvenience but it is a requirement to ensure security for our vendors.

Condition Reports

Buyers are responsible for satisfying themselves concerning the condition of the property. All Lots are sold as seen.

Please request condition reports prior to the auction date. All photographs will be updated on to three websites by Sunday evening prior to the sale. Additional photograph requests should be requested prior to the Sunday before the sale so that the website can be updated with them. We do try to assist you with condition reports, however, we cannot promise to reply to condition reports requested on the day of the sale. Please come in and view the items to satisfy your own judgement wherever possible.

Telephone bidding

To arrange to telephone bid at one of our auctions, please call us on +44 (0)20 8992 4442. It is recommended that you do this by the end of day prior to the auction date.

Buyers Premium

We charge 23% buyers premium on the hammer price + VAT on that premium.
There is a minimum premium of £5.00.
Customers bidding through are liable for a 3% surcharge on the hammer price + VAT, in addition to our premium.
Customers bidding through Invaluable or AuctionZip are liable for a 5% surcharge on the hammer price + VAT, in addition to our premium.


All purchased lots must be paid for on the day of the auction. Written bids (‘Commission bids’) must be paid for the day after the auction. Payment must be in cash, debit, credit card or bank transfer. We do not accept cheques. Credit cards are subject to a 3% surcharge. Buyer’s are welcome to pay via PayPal, but must pay the charges incurred by this payment method (please contact our Accounts Department for more information on these charges as they vary between countries). Title will not pass to the buyer until Chiswick Auctions Ltd has received all amounts due to them in cleared funds even if the Lot has been released to the buyer.
You must collect, or let us know of your collection arrangements, by 6pm on the Thursday following the sale, or storage charges of £5.00 per lot per day will be enforced as specified in our standard Terms and Conditions.


For your convenience we now offer a competitive Shipping service – please contact ku.oc1503401738.snoi1503401738tcuak1503401738ciwsi1503401738hc@gn1503401738ippih1503401738S1503401738 for a quote.

Terms & Conditions

  1. Agent for the Seller: Unless otherwise agreed, Chiswick Auctions Ltd acts as agent for the seller. The contract for sale of the property is therefore made between the seller and the buyer.


  1. Inspection: Prior to auction, prospective purchasers are very strongly advised to examine personally any property in which they are interested to satisfy themselves in relation to matters which may concern them.


  1. Descriptions: Any representation in any catalogue or otherwise as to the origin, date, age, attribution, genuineness or estimated selling price of any lot is a statement of opinion only. Such statements do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Chiswick auctions in relation to the lot.  Any prospective buyer should satisfy themselves prior to the sale as to the reliability of the catalogue description. 


  1. Condition: Chiswick Auctions Ltd does not provide condition reports and buyers are responsible for satisfying themselves concerning the condition of the property. All lots are sold as seen.


  1. Contract of sale: The buyer shall be the bidder at the highest price at the fall of the hammer.


  1. Dispute resolution: Any dispute shall be settled at the auctioneer’s absolute discretion. Under no circumstances will a sale be cancelled after the fall of the hammer, except at the auctioneer’s entire discretion.


  1. Bidder as principal: A bidder is accepting personal liability to pay the purchase price including the buyer’s premium and all applicable taxes and charges unless: Chiswick Auctions Ltd has explicitly agreed in writing with the bidder before the commencement of the sale that (A) the bidder is acting as agent on behalf of a third party acceptable to Chiswick Auctions Ltd and (B) Chiswick Auctions Ltd has further agreed that they will look only to that third party for payment.


  1. Premium: The buyer shall pay Chiswick Auctions Ltd a premium on the hammer price of 23% plus VAT on that commission.


  1. Reserve: Many Lots are offered subject to a reserve, which is the confidential minimum sale price. The reserve will never exceed the low estimate printed in the catalogue. Chiswick Auctions Ltd may open the bidding on any lot below the reserve by placing a bid on behalf of the seller, and may in their discretion continue to bid on behalf of the seller up to the reserve price, by bidding in response to other bidders or alternatively by placing consecutive bids.


  1. Responsibility: Purchased lots shall be at the buyer’s risk in all respects from the fall of the hammer, and neither Chiswick Auctions Ltd nor their agents shall be responsible for any loss or damage of any kind, whether caused by negligence or otherwise.


  1. Payment: All purchased lots must be paid for on the day of the auction. Written bids (‘Commission bids’) must be paid for the day after the auction. Payment must be in cash, debit, credit card or bank transfer. We do not accept cheques. Credit cards are subject to a 3% surcharge. Title will not pass to the buyer until Chiswick Auctions Ltd has received all amounts due to them in cleared funds even if the Lot has been released to the buyer.


  1. Attendance at auction: Chiswick Auctions Ltd has the right in their absolute discretion to refuse participation in any auction, to reject any bid, and to refuse admission to the premises.


  1. Collection: Purchased lots can be collected from the auction room after the sale has ended or between 10am and 6pm on the day after the sale. Purchased lots not collected before 6pm on the day after the sale shall incur storage charges of £5.00 per lot, per day or part thereof. Chiswick Auctions Ltd shall be entitled to retain purchased lots sold until all sums due have been paid to Chiswick Auctions Ltd. If any purchased lot remains uncollected 21 days after the sale storage charges shall thereafter be £10 per day and Chiswick Auctions Ltd shall have the right to sell the purchased lot to recover payment of storage charges outstanding. Any balance proceeds of sale received after payment of all sums outstanding and due to Chiswick Auctions Ltd shall be held for the account of the purchaser.


  1. Packing: Chiswick Auctions Ltd will use reasonable efforts  to take care when handling packing and shipping lots purchased, but are not responsible for the errors or omissions of third parties who may be retained for these purposes.


  1. Electrical Items: All electrical items are sold as seen and Chiswick Auctions Ltd offers no guarantee as to the working condition of such items.


  1. Absentee Bids


  • Commission Bids: Chiswick Auctions Ltd will use reasonable efforts to carry out Commission bids received by them prior to the sale for the convenience of clients who are not present at the auction in person .Execution of Commission bids is a free service provided to help clients and Chiswick Auctions Ltd does not accept liability for any failure to execute a Commission bid or for errors and omissions in connection with it. Commission bids shall be executed at the lowest possible price, subject to competing bids and reserves. Although Chiswick Auctions Ltd will endeavour to inform buyers by telephone, it is the buyer who is responsible for checking to see if he has been successful in purchasing something.


  • Telephone Bids:  Chiswick Auctions Ltd will use reasonable efforts to contact prospective buyers who make arrangements prior to commencement of the sale to bid by telephone, but Chiswick Auctions Ltd does not accept liability for any failure or error or omission arising in connection with telephone bidding.


  1. Proof of Identity: Bidders not previously known to Chiswick Auctions Ltd, will be required to provide:


  • Proof of identity in the form of a passport or photocard driving licence (no other forms of ID are acceptable) and Proof of address will be required. For proof of address, only official documents showing name and address will be accepted.
  • Both landline and mobile telephone numbers must be provided.


  1. Remedies for non-payment: If the buyer fails to make payment in full in cleared funds within the time required by clause 11 above, Chiswick Auctions Ltd shall be entitled to exercise any one or more of the following rights or remedies additional to such other rights or remedies available:


  • to charge interest at 4% per annum above the base rate of Lloyds bank plc;
  • to commence legal proceedings for the recovery of the total amount due together with interest, legal fees and costs;
  • to cancel the sale;
  • to resell the property on such terms by auction or otherwise entirely as Chiswick Auctions Ltd may shall think fit, the buyer to be liable for all costs including legal fees incurred in the sale and to remain liable for any shortfall arising upon sale;
  • to set off against any sums which Chiswick Auctions Ltd may owe the buyer the outstanding sums unpaid by the buyer;
  • where the buyer owes sums to Chiswick Auctions Ltd in respect of different transactions, to apply any sum paid by the buyer entirely at the discretion of Chiswick auctions Ltd to discharge any sums owed;
  • to refuse entry to the buyer at any future auction and/or reject any future bids by the buyer and/or seek a deposit from the buyer entirely in the discretion of Chiswick Auctions Ltd;
  • to retain all property owned by the buyer in the possession of Chiswick Auctions Ltd as collateral for outstanding sums owed and to exercise all the rights and remedies of a person holding security over any such property , whether by way of pledge, security interest or in any other way, to the extent permitted by law;
  • to take such other action as is permissible by law and in the discretion of Chiswick Auctions Ltd.


  1. Copyright: Chiswick Auctions Ltd shall own the copyright in all images, illustrations and written material produced by or for Chiswick Auctions Ltd relating to a lot including catalogue contents and such copyright shall remain at all times the property of Chiswick Auctions Ltd .Neither the buyer not anyone else shall use the same without the prior written consent of Chiswick Auctions Ltd.


  1. Severability: Whenever and to the extent that any provisions of these terms would or might contravene the provisions of any relevant legislation such provision is to take effect only in so far as it may do so without contravening such legislation and the legality, validity and enforceability of any of the remaining provisions are not in any way to be affected or impaired as a result.


  1. Law and Jurisdiction: The rights and obligations of the parties with respect to these Conditions of Sale and the conduct of the auction and any matters related to any of the foregoing shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with English law. For the benefit of Chiswick Auctions Ltd, all bidders and sellers agree that the Courts of England are to have exclusive jurisdiction to settle all disputes arising in connection with all aspects of all matters or transactions to which these Conditions of Sale and Authorship Warranty relate or apply. All parties agree that Chiswick Auctions Ltd shall retain the right to bring proceedings in any court other than the Courts of England.


  1. CITES: Some lots will require Export or Cites Licences in order to leave the U.K. and/or the European Union. It is the buyer’s responsibility to ensure that lots have the relevant licences before shipping them. Please contact the department for assistance. Please also note that some countries such as the United States and Canada restrict or prohibit the purchase and import of objects of Iranian or Persian origin. It is the bidder’s responsibility to satisfy themselves that the lot being purchased may be imported in the country of destination.Please be aware that all lots marked with the symbol λ are subject to CITES regulations.


  1. Artist’s Resale Rights / Droit de Suite: Lots marked with a † symbol may be subject to a levy. Droit de Suite is a royalty payable to a qualifying artist or the artist’s heirs each time a work is resold during the artist’s lifetime and up to a period of 70 years after the artist’s death. Royalties are calculated on a cumulative sliding percentage scale based on the hammer price excluding the buyer’s premium. The royalty does not apply to lots selling below the sterling equivalent of €1,000 and the maximum royalty payable on any single lot is the sterling equivalent of €12,500. Droit de Suite, which is not subject to VAT, will be added to the buyer’s purchase price and then passed on to the relevant collecting agency by the auctioneer. Please enquire for the accepted exchange rate on the day of sale. Royalties for Droit de Suite are as follows:

4% up to €50,000

3% €50,000.01 – €200,000

1% €200,000.01 – €350,000

0.5% €350,000.01 – €500,000

0.25% in excess of €500,000.

Up to a maximum levy of €12,500


  1. Jewellery


  • Gemstones: Historically many gemstones have been subject to a variety of treatments to enhance their appearance. Sapphires and rubies are routinely heat treated to improve their colour and clarity, emeralds are also frequently treated with oils or resin for the same purpose. Other treatments such as staining, irradiation or coating may have been used on other gemstones. These treatments may be permanent, whilst others may need special care or re-treatment to retain their appearance. Bidders should be aware that estimates assume that gemstones may have been subjected to such treatments. A number of laboratories issue certificates that give more detailed descriptions of gemstones. However there may not be consensus between different laboratories on the degrees, or types of treatment for any particular gemstone. In the event that Chiswick Auctions has been given or obtained certificates for any lots in the sale these certificates will be disclosed in the catalogue. In the event that no certificate is published in the catalogue, bidders should assume that the gemstone may have been treated. Neither Chiswick Auctions nor the seller accepts any liability for contradictions or differing certificates obtained by buyers on any lots subsequent to the sale


  • Estimated Weights: If a stone(s) exact weight appears within the body of the description, the stone has been unmounted and weighed by Chiswick Auctions. If the weight of stone(s) is stated to be approximate, the stone(s) has been assessed by us within its/their settings, and the stated weight is a statement of our opinion only. This information is given as a guide and bidders should satisfy themselves with regard to this information as to its accuracy.


  • Signatures:

‘A diamond ring, by Tiffany & Co.’: When the maker’s name appears in the title, in Chiswick Auctions’ opinion the piece is by that maker.

‘A diamond ring, signed Tiffany & Co.’: Has a signature that, in Chiswick Auctions’ opinion, is authentic but may contain gemstones that are not original, or the piece may have been altered.

‘A diamond ring, mounted by Tiffany & Co.’: Has been created by the jeweller, in Chiswick Auctions’ opinion, but using stones or designs supplied by the client.

‘Maker’s mark for Tiffany & Co.’: Has a maker’s mark which in Chiswick Auctions’ opinion is authentic


  1. Clocks and Watches: All lots are sold as seen and the absence of any reference to the condition of a clock or watch does not imply that the lot is in good condition and without defects, repair or restoration. Most clocks and watches have been repaired in the course of their normal lifetime and may incorporate parts not original to them. Chiswick Auctions makes no representation or warranty that any clock or watch is in working order. As clocks and watches often contain fine and complex mechanisms, bidders should be aware that a general service, change of battery or further repair work, for which the buyer is solely responsible, may be necessary. Bidders should be aware that the importation of watches such as Rolex, Frank Muller and Corum into the United States is highly restricted. These watches may not be shipped to the USA and can only be imported personally.


  1. Fine Chinese Paintings: Current scholarship in the fields of Southeast Asian Modern and Contemporary Art, as well as Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy, does not permit unqualified statements as to the authorship or date of execution. The limited right of rescission contained in the Conditions of Sale does not apply to Chinese paintings. Nonetheless, if within twenty-one days of the sale of any such lot, the original purchaser gives written notice to Chiswick Auctions that the lot is a forgery and within fourteen days after giving such notice, the original purchaser returns the lot to us in the same condition as at the time of sale and demonstrates to our satisfaction that the lot is a forgery, Chiswick Auctions will rescind the sale and refund the purchase price received. For this purpose a ‘forgery’ is defined as a work created with the intent to deceive.

 *All purchased lots must be paid for on the day of the sale (save for commission bids which must be paid for on the day after sale) and all purchased lots must be collected no later than 6pm on the day following sale.

**Storage charges become applicable from the 2nd day following the sale.

Thank you for your cooperation. 

Click here to read our Returns & Delivery Policy.