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.


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:
20% + VAT (24% inclusive) for purchases up to £35,000
17.5% + VAT from £35,001 to £100,000
15% + VAT from £100,001 and above.


Artists Resale Right ("droit de suite") may apply to some lots in the Fine Art catalogue.  From mid - February 2006 living artists are entitled to receive a resale royalty each time their art work is bought or sold by an art market professional.  However, from 1st January 2012, the 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 new law was introduced in the UK following a European Directive.  Art work must reach or exceed a certain value before it qualifies for the right.  The qualifying threshold in the UK is 1,000 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 4 ways you can bid in our auctions:

Bidding in person
First register your details at our reception desk to receive a bidding card. When registering for the first time you may be asked for proof of I.D. 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, whilst being sold a photograph of the lot will be displayed on a large screen next to the auctioneer.

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. You can submit absentee bids through this website, or by faxing, emailing or calling us prior to the sale date, or by filling in an Absentee Form found available from our sale room or at the back of your catalogue. 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 or default or failure in operating the bid. Remember, get your absentee bids in early becasue bids will not be accepted after the sale starts!

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 when the sale is actually taking place. However, if you do wish to participate ‘live’ but are not able to attend our sale rooms, you can bid ‘live’ over the internet by registering on

Telephone bidding
For our Fine Art auctions only, you can bid by telephone. If you would like to do this please arrange it with a member of staff in our sale room, or by phone, fax or email prior to the sale. We will then phone you at the appropriate point during the sale. You will be able to hear the auctioneer and will be asked if you wish 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 or all credit cards (except American Express) there is a 1.5% extra charge for using a credit card.


Please see Terms and Conditions for more in depth information regarding cataloguing practices and information.


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