Buying in our auctions

Buying art at an auctions can be very exciting, but if you are new to auctions the experience can be daunting. Read our Buyers Guide for must-know information and tips!


Viewing the sale prior to the buying at auction is essential – it allows you to take into account aspects such as condition. Our staff are always available to offer advice on a lot you are interested in and registered users of this website can request condition reports.

How much will I pay?

When you bid at auction you pay the hammer price (the price the lot is sold for) plus a buyers premium. Our Buyers Premium rates vary based on the hammer price, but rates are currently as follows:
22% + VAT (26.4% inclusive).

The Artists Resale Right

 Artist’s Resale Right (or droit de suite) may apply to some lots in the Fine Art catalogue.
Since 2006 living artists have been entitled to receive a resale royalty each time their art work is bought or sold by an art market professional. In 2012, Artist’s Resale Right was extended to include sales of works by artists who have died within the last 70 years (following the existing term of copyright). Royalties will be payable to the families and beneficiaries of these artists.
This will be an extra charge upon the hammer price (excluding the buyer’s premium).
Art work must reach or exceed a certain value before it qualifies for the right. The qualifying threshold in the UK is 1000 euros which is approximately £850.

The rates are calculated as a percentage of the sale price and are set out in a sliding scale from 4% to 0.25%.

Portion of the sale price Royalty Rate
From 1,000 to 50,000 euro 4%
From 50,000.01 to 200,000 euro 3%

This will be an extra charge upon the sum for which the art work is obtained, excluding VAT for auctions this is regarded as the hammer price (excluding the buyers premium).


There are four simple ways to bid in our auctions:
Bidding in person
First register your details at our reception desk to receive a bidding ‘paddle’. When registering for the first time you may be asked for proof of identification. Bidding at auction is an exciting experience. Don’t believe the urban myth that you may buy a lot by winking or sneezing - the auctioneer will only accept clear and obvious bids. We sell approximately 100 lots to the hour. While being sold, a photograph of the lot will be displayed on a large screen next to the auctioneer’s rostrum.
Absentee bidding
If you are unable to attend the auction you can leave an absentee bid. This is a confidential bid left with us prior to the sale and executed on your behalf when the auction is in progress.
Prior to the sale date, you can submit absentee bids via this website, by email, by phone prior or by filling out an Absentee Form available from reception or in the back of your catalogue. Bids will not be accepted after the sale starts.
When absentee bids are placed, the auctioneer will then try to buy the lot for you as cheaply as possible. If you are successful an invoice will arrive a day later in the post.
Please note that neither Peter Wilson Fine Art Auctioneers LLP nor its employees or agents shall be liable to either the buyer or the seller for any neglect, default or failure in operating the bid.

Live internet bidding

Submitting your absentee bids through this website is a convenient way to participate in our auctions if you are not available to bid in person. However, if you do wish to participate ‘live’ and are unable to attend the sale, you can bid over the internet by registering with our online provider

Telephone bidding

For our Fine Art auctions only, you can bid by telephone. Please arrange directly with a member of staff prior to the sale. We will phone you at the appropriate point during the sale when you will be able to hear the auctioneer invited to bid. If you are successful, an invoice will arrive a day later in the post.


We can accept cash, cheque (subject to five days’ clearance), debit cards from all banks and all credit cards (except American Express). 

PLEASE NOTE: Debit and Credit card payments where the card holder is not present will only be accepted for transactions up to £500.  Credit card payments may only be made using chip and pin up to £2,000.
Please see Terms and Conditions for more information regarding cataloguing practices and information.




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