Mitchells carries on business with bidders, buyers and all those present in the auction room prior to or in connection with a sale on the following General Conditions and on such other terms, conditions and notice as may be referred to herein.
In these conditions:
(a) ‘auctioneer’ means the firm Mitchells or its authorised auctioneer, as appropriate;
(b) ‘deliberate forgery’ means an imitation made with the intention of deceiving as to authorship, origin, date, age, period, culture or source but which is unequivocally described in the catalogue as being the work of a particular creator and which at the date of the sale had a value materially less than it would have if it had been in accordance with the description;
(c) ‘hammer price’ means the level of bidding reached (at or above any reserve) when the auctioneer brings down the hammer;
(d) ‘terms of consignment’ means the stipulated terms and rates of commission on which Mitchells accepts instructions from sellers or their agent;
(e) ‘total amount due’ means the hammer price in respect of the lot sold together with any premium, Value Added Tax chargeable and any charges payable by a defaulting buyer under these conditions;
(f) ‘sale proceeds’ means the net amount due to the seller, being the hammer price of the lot sold less commission at the stated rate, Value Added Tax chargeable and any other amounts due to us by the seller in whatever capacity and however arising;
(g) ‘You’, ‘Your’, etc. refer to the buyer as identified in Condition 2.
(h) The singular includes the plural and vice versa as appropriate.
(a) Bidders are required to register their particulars before bidding and to satisfy any security arrangements before entering the auction room to view or bid.
(b) The maker of the highest bid accepted by the auctioneer conducting the sale shall be the buyer at the hammer price and any dispute about a bid shall be settled at the auctioneer’s absolute discretion by reoffering the Lot during the course of the auction or otherwise.
(c) Bidders shall be deemed to act as principles.
(d) Once made, no bid may be withdrawn.
(e) Our right to bid on behalf of the seller is expressly reserved up to the amount of any reserve and the right to refuse any bid is also reserved.
Bidding increments shall be at the auctioneers sole discretion.
The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of :-
20% + VAT at the rate imposed by law, for General Household Sales, Country Sporting Sales, Vintage & Antique Toy Sales, and Fishing Sales, and
22% + VAT at the rate imposed by law, for Antiques & Fine Art Sales
Value Added Tax on the hammer price is imposed by law on all items affixed with an asterisk. Value Added Tax is chained at the appropriate rate prevailing by law at the date of sale and is payable by buyers of relevant lots. (Please refer to ‘information for Buyers’ for a brief explanation of the VAT position.)
(1) Immediately a Lot is sold you will:
(a) give to us, if requested, proof of identity, and
(b) pay to us the total amount due in cash or in such other way as is agreed by us.
(2) Any payments by you to us may be applied by us towards any sums owing from you to us on any account whatever without regard to any directions of you or your agent, whether expressed or implied.
(1) The ownership of any Lots purchased shall not pass to you until you have made payment in full to us of the total amount due.
(2) You shall at your own risk and expense take away lots that you have purchased and paid for not later than three working days following the day of auction after which you shall be responsible for any removal, storage and insurance charges.
(3) No purchase can be claimed or removed until it has been paid for.
If any Lot is not paid for in full and taken away in accordance with these Conditions or if there is any other breach of these Conditions, we as agent for the seller shall at our absolute discretion and without prejudice to any other rights we may have, be entitled to exercise all or any of the following rights and remedies:
(a) to proceed against you for damages for breach of contract;
(b) to rescind the sale of that Lot and/or any other Lots sold by us to you;
(c) to resell the Lot (by auction or private treaty) in which case you shall be responsible for any resulting deficiency in the total amount due (after crediting any part payment and adding any resale costs). Any surplus so arising shall belong to the seller;
(d) to remove, store and insure the Lot at your expense and, in the case of storage, either at our premises or elsewhere;
(e) to charge interest at a rate not exceeding 1.5% per month on the total amount due to the extent it remains unpaid for more than three working days after the sale;
(f) to retain that or any other Lot sold to you until you pay the total amount due;
(g) reject or ignore bids from you or your agent at future auctions or to impose conditions before any such bids shall be accepted; (h) to apply any proceeds of sale or other Lots due or in future becoming due to you towards the settlement of the total amount due and to exercise a lien on any of your property in our possession for any purpose.
All members of the public on our premises are there at their own risk and must note the lay-out of the accommodation and security arrangements. Accordingly neither the auctioneer nor our employees or agents shall incur liability for death or personal injury (except as required by law by reason of our negligence) or similarly for the safety of the property of persons visiting prior to or at a sale.
Whilst prospective buyers are strongly advised to attend the auction and are always responsible for any decision to bid for a particular Lot and shall be assumed to have carefully inspected and satisfied themselves as to its condition we will if so instructed clearly and in writing execute bids on their behalf. Neither the auctioneer nor our employees or agents shall be responsible for any neglect or default in so doing or failing to do so. Where two or more commission bids at the same level are recorded we reserve the right in our absolute discretion to prefer the first bid so made.
The seller warrants to the auctioneer and you that the seller is the true owner of the property consigned or is properly authorised by the true owner to consign it for sale and is able to transfer good and marketable title to the property free from any third party claims.
The auctioneer normally acts as agent only and disclaims any responsibility for default by sellers or buyers.
The seller acknowledges that Lots are sold subject to the stipulations of these Conditions in their entirety and on the Terms of Consignment as notified to the consignor at the time of the entry of the Lot.
(1) Subject to the next following Condition concerning deliberate forgeries, any representation or statement by us in any catalogue as to the authorship, genuineness, origin, date, age, provenance, condition or estimated selling price is a statement of opinion only. Prospective buyers are given ample opportunities to view and inspect before any sale and prospective buyers must satisfy themselves as to all such matters. Neither the auctioneer nor its employees or agents nor the seller accept liability for the correctness of such opinions and all conditions and warranties, express implied or statutory are hereby excluded.
(2) Private treaty sales made under these Conditions are deemed to be sales by auction for purpose of consumer legislation.
Notwithstanding the preceding Condition, any Lot which proves to be a deliberate forgery (as defined) may be returned to us by you within 21 days of the auction provided it is in the same condition as when bought, and is accompanied by particulars identifying it from the relevant catalogue description and a written statement of defects. If we are satisfied from the evidence presented that the Lot is a deliberate forgery we shall refund the money paid by you for the Lot including any buyer’s premium (but not the amount of any consequential loss, damages, expenses, of interest) provided that
(1) if the catalogue description reflected the accepted view of scholars and experts as at the date of sale or
(2) you personally are not able to transfer a good and marketable title to us, you shall have no rights under this Condition.
16. We shall have the right at our discretion, to refuse admission to our premises or attendance at our auctions by any person.
17. Any indemnity or exclusion under these Conditions shall extend to all actions, costs, expenses, claims and demands whatsoever suffered or incurred by the person entitled to the benefit of it and the auctioneer declares itself to be a trustee of the benefit of every such clause so far as it is expressed to be for the benefit of its employees and agents.
18. Any notice to any buyer, seller, bidder or viewer may be given by first class mail or Swiftmail in which case it shall be deemed to have been received by the addressee 48 hours after posting.
19. Special terms may be used in catalogue descriptions of particular classes of items in which case the descriptions must be interpreted in accordance with any glossary appearing within the catalogue.
20. Any indulgence extended to buyers or sellers by us notwithstanding the strict terms of these conditions or of the Terms of Consignments shall affect the position at the relevant time only and in respect of that particular concession only, in all other respects these conditions shall be construed as having full force and effect.
21. English law applies to the interpretation of these Conditions
1. Introduction. The following informative notes are intended to assist Buyers, particularly those inexperienced or new to our salerooms. All sales are conducted on our printed Conditions of Sale which are readily available for inspection and normally accompany catalogues. Our staff will be happy to help you if there is anything you do not fully understand.
2. Agency. As Auctioneers we usually act as agents for the seller whose identity, for reasons of confidentiality, is not normally disclosed. Accordingly if you buy your primary contract is with the seller.
3. Estimates. Estimates are designed to help buyers gauge what sort of sum might be involved for the purchase of a particular lot. The lower estimate may represent the reserve price and certainly will not be below it. Estimates do not include the Buyers Premium or VAT (where chargeable). Estimates are prepared some time before the sale and may be altered by announcement before the sale. They are in no sense definitive.
4. Buyer’s Premium. The Conditions of Sale oblige buyers to pay a buyer’s premium on the hammer price of each lot purchased. In addition, VAT is added to this premium (see below). The Buyer's Premium is defined in Section 4 'The Purchase Price' of the 'Conditions of Sale' above.
5. VAT. (*) indicates that VAT is payable by the purchaser at the standard rate (presently 20%) on the hammer price as well as being an element in the buyer’s premium. This imposition of VAT is likely to be because the seller is registered for VAT within the European Union and is not operating the Dealers Margin Scheme or because VAT is due at 20% on importation into the UK. The double symbol (**) indicates that the lot has been imported from outside the European Union and the present position is that these lots are liable to a reduced rate of VAT (5%) on the gross lot price (i.e. both the hammer price and the buyer’s premium). Lots which appear without either of the above symbols indicate that no VAT is payable on the hammer price. This is because such lots are sold using the Auctioneer’s Margin Scheme and it should be noted that the VAT included within the premium is not recoverable as input tax.
6. Conditions of lots. Please note carefully the exclusion of liability for the condition of lots contained in the Conditions of Sale. Intending buyers have ample opportunity for inspection of goods and neither the seller nor we as the auctioneers accept any responsibility for their condition. In particular, mechanical objects of any age are not guaranteed to be in working order. However, in specified circumstances lots misdescribed because they are ‘deliberate forgeries’may be returned and repayment made. There is a 3 week time limit. (The expression ‘deliberate forgery’ is defined in our Conditions of Sale).
7. Condition reports. We may be able to assist buyers unable to view by posting or faxing a condition report, but these reports are based solely on our own opinion and are for guidance only and no responsibility is accepted for their accuracy. Intending buyers are strongly encouraged to view. (Please see our Conditions of Sale).
8. Electrical goods. These are sold as ‘antiques’ only and if bought for use must be checked over for compliance with safety regulations by a qualified electrician first.
9. Export of goods. Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain
(a) whether an export licence is required and (b) whether there is any specific prohibition on importing goods of that character because, e.g. they may contain prohibited materials such as ivory. Ask us if you need help.
10. Bidding. Bidders may be required to register before the sale commences and lots will be invoiced to the name and address on the registration form. Some form of identification may be required if you are unknown to us. Please enquire in advance about our arrangements for telephone bidding.
11. Commission bidding. Commission bids may be left with the auctioneers indicating the maximum amount to be bid excluding buyer’s premium. They will be executed as cheaply as possible having regard to the reserve (if any) and competing bids. If two buyers submit identical commission bids the auctioneers may prefer the first bid received. Please enquire in advance about our arrangements for the leaving of commission bids by telephone or fax.
12. Methods of payment. As a general rule any cheques tendered will need to be cleared before removal of the goods is permitted. Please discuss with our Office in advance of the sale if other methods of payment are envisaged (except cash).
13. Collection and Storage. Please note what the Conditions of Sale state about collection and storage. It is important that goods are paid for and collected promptly. Any delay may involve the buyer in paying our storage charges.