How To Buy

Step 1. ViewingIn advance of each auction, we hold exhibition/viewing days where you can personally examine the lots in the sale. The dates and times are posted on the website. It is sometimes possible to arrange private views by appointment only. Those unable to attend in person can request condition reports, but these are given as a guide only. Please refer to our conditions of business, available at the bottom of this page.
Step 2. Register to BidIf you have never bid with us before we require you to register. This can be done in person during the exhibition or via email well in advance of the auction. We require photographic proof of I.D such as a driver’s license or passport and proof of address. Please clearly supply your full name, address, telephone number and email details. We may also request credit card information. This information is held by us in strictest confidence under the Data Protection Act. Until you are registered with us you cannot bid. New bidders wishing to bid online need to register via the on-line bidding platform and complete their registration process for us to approve (see below).
Step 3. Placing a bidAll bids must be made in pounds sterling. Buyer’s Premium: When deciding on the amount you wish to bid, you need to factor in the Buyer’s Premium which is a charge auction houses add to hammer price, which will then be added to your invoice if you are successful. For lots up to £50,000, the buyer’s premium is 25% of the hammer price. For lots selling for above £50,000, the buyer’s premium is 20% of the hammer priceVAT on the premium is charged at the prevailing rate.

Bidding in person: Just turn up on the day of the sale – if you have already registered you will be handed a numbered paddle, which you show to the auctioneer once you have made a successful purchase. If you are a new bidder we will require you to register with us first. The sales usually proceed at around 100 lots an hour and if it is an all day sale there is break between the two sessions. Kerry is an experienced auctioneer and can sense if the bidder is nervous or in-experienced and slows down and helps them where necessary!

Commission bidding: Your written maximum bid is given to the auctioneer to operate on your behalf. We undertake to purchase the lot(s) on your behalf as cheaply as possible taking into account the reserve and other bids received. Bids can be left with us directly – online, by fax or by email. You can also download a bid slip here. You can leave bids via the website but please note you will need to also include registration information if you are unknown to us.

Telephone bidding: There are a limited number of lines so we advise that you request telephone bids well in advance of the auction and not on the day of the sale when it may not be possible to assist. We require a list of your requested lot numbers and primary and back-up phone numbers if possible. Landlines are preferable to mobiles, which are not as reliable. We also recommend you leave a cover bid in-case we cannot reach you for whatever reason.

Live Internet bidding. You are able to bid in real-time during the auction via The Saleroom. You will need to register with them separately, find our catalogue on their website and click to be approved to bid in the auction. Please note we close registration for online bidders one hour before the sale begins. You are also able to watch the sale live as it takes place via a webcam.

Step 4. PaymentsPayment in due immediately, in pounds sterling. We do not accept other currencies. We accept payment by debit or credit cards (credit cards have varying charges so contact us for more information), cash (up to £8000 only), sterling cheque or bank transfer. We send out invoices the day after the auction and include shipping quotes where necessary. Our full results are also posted online the day after the auction.
Step 5. Shipping & CollectionOn receipt of cleared funds, lots can be collected from our saleroom. They are available for collection during our office hours – Monday to Friday 9.30-5pm. We provide shipping quotes via our appointed shippers and they provide competitive worldwide quotations for packing and shipping of purchases and are experienced in handling rare costume and textiles. If you have requested shipping, once payment has been received the goods are released to our shippers, and tracking information is provided to our clients. If clients wish to use their own shippers then our shippers also provide just a packing service. Please note that for purchasers outside the EU, export invoices excluding VAT will only be issued to clients using our appointed shipper. If another shipper is used then VAT will be charged and then reimbursed only upon documentary proof of export.Buyers are reminded that it is their responsibility to comply with UK export regulations and with any local import requirements. We are happy to assist our clients with CITES applications.

Please read our full condition of business for buyers, before placing your bid.