Never attended an auction before?

Many collectors are daunted by the prospect of going to an auction, but there is no need to be. Our auction staff are helpful and friendly, and once tried we are sure that you will look forward to attending our sales on a regular basis. Whether you are likely to spend £20 or £1,000’s we trust that you will receive the same courteous service.

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It is also possible to view the lots in which you are interested and leave your bids with us, if you do not wish to bid in person.

There is no more enjoyable or cost effective way to enhance your collection. You get the chance to view a wide range of material at your leisure with no obligation to bid or purchase.


Whether bidding by post or in person at the sale, the principal is the same. Each lot is knocked down for one bid above the second highest bidder, or at the reserve price if no other bids are received.

For example, a lot is estimated at £100 with a reserve of £80. If no bids have been received before the sale, the lot will open at £78 so that the first bid in the Room will be £80 (i.e. the reserve).

If you bid and no one else in the Room bids, it will be knocked down to you at £80. If we have a prior bid of, say, £92, then the lot will open at £80 and if anyone bids in the Room they will have to bid up to £94 to secure the lot.

How realistic are the estimates?

We try to be realistic but on the conservative side in our estimates. You will therefore find that a high percentage of our lots sell, and the majority at above estimate. Overall our lots will typically go for around 20% over estimate, but some fetch less than estimate and some fetch considerably more. Part of the fun of buying at auction is deciding what a lot is worth to you and hoping to get it for less!

What are our Reserves?

The reserves are determined by the vendors and we usually recommend that lots are reserved at around 80% of estimate, but because our estimates are reasonable the vast majority of lots will fetch more than this, and bids at the reserve figures on popular material, will have little chance of success. We do not generally accept a reserve higher than estimate.


Viewing is available at our offices during normal office hours at any time from when the catalogue comes out, up to and including the Thursday before the Auction. Viewing during the week leading up to the auction is usually busy, so we would recommend viewing earlier if you can. Please telephone to make an appointment to view.

Viewing on the morning of the sale is available from 9.15am to 12.45pm at the hotel (details in catalogue), and no appointment for this is necessary.