Conditions of Sale - Buying at Tate Ward Auctions Ltd


These conditions of Sale and important notices and explanation of cataloguing practice set out the terms on which we offer Lots listed in our catalogues and online for sale. By registering to bid and/or by bidding on line or at auction you agree to these terms so you should read them carefully before bidding. Unless otherwise agreed Tate Ward acts as agent for the seller. The contract for sale of all property is therefore made between the Seller and the Buyer.



1. Description of Lots

(a) Certain words used in the catalogue descriptions have special meanings. You can find details of these on the page headed “Important Notices” (b) Our descriptions of any Lot in the catalogue, any condition reports and any other statement made by us (whether orally or in writing) about any Lot including about its nature or condition, artist, period, materials, approximate dimensions or provenance are our opinion and not to be relied upon as a statement of fact.

2. Our Responsibility for our description of Lots

We do not provide any guarantee in relation to the nature of a Lot apart from our authenticity warranty contained in paragraph E2 and to the extent provided in paragraph I.

3. Condition

(a) The condition of Lots sold in our auctions can vary due to factors such as age, previous damage, restoration, repair and wear and tear. Their nature means they may not be in perfect condition. Lots are sold “as is” in the condition they are in at the time of the sale, without any representation or warranty or assumption of liability of any kind as to condition by Tate Ward or by the seller.

(b) Any reference to condition in a catalogue entry or in a condition report will not amount to a full description of condition and images may not show a Lot clearly. Colours and shades may look different in print or on screen to how they look on physical inspection. Condition reports are provided free of charge as a convenience to our buyers and are for guidance only. They offer our opinion but may not refer to all faults, inherent defects, restoration, alteration or adaptation because our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. For that reason they are not not an alternative to examining the lot in person or taking your own professional advise. Tate Ward sell Art and not Frames so please note that Frames are not included in any valuations and the condition of Frames may not be mentioned in any condition reports as these have no bearing of the value of any lot.

4. Viewing Lots Pre-Auction

(a) If you are planning to bid on a Lot you should inspect it personally or through a knowledgeable representative to make sure that you accept the description and its condition.

(b) Pre-auction viewings are open to the public free of charge. Our specialists may be available to answer any questions at the view or by appointment at any time.

5. Estimates

Estimates are based on the condition , rarity, quality and provenance of the Lots and on prices achieved at auction for similar property. Estimates can from time to time change and are not a guarantee of the actual selling price or a Lots value for any other purpose. Estimates DO NOT include the buyer’s premium or any applicable taxes.

6. Withdrawal

Tate Ward may withdraw any lot at any time prior to or during the sale. Tate Ward has no liability to any potential buyers or other interested parties for any decision to withdraw any lot.



1. New Bidders

(a) If this is your first time bidding with Tate Ward you should register at least 24 hours prior to the auction to give us enough time to process and approve your registration.

You will be asked for the following:

Photo Identification (driving licence, national id card or passport) Proof of your current address (a current utility bill or bank statement) We may ask you you to give us a financial reference and/or a deposit as a condition of allowing you to bid.

2. Returning bidders

We may ask for an updated ID document or a new financial reference should you look to bid on lots at a higher value than you have done in the past.

3. Bidding on behalf of another person

If you are bidding on behalf of another person that person will need to complete the registration requirements above before you can bid. They will also have to provide you and Tate Ward with a signed letter authorising you to bid for them and who is to settle the invoice in full.

4. Bidding in person

If you wish to bid in the saleroom you must register for a numbered bidding paddle at least 30 minutes before the sale. You can register online at or in person.

5. Bidding services

The bidding services described below are provided to our clients as a convenience and Tate Ward are not responsible for any error (human or otherwise).

(a) Phone Bids

A request to phone bid must be made 24 hours prior to the sale. We will accept any reasonable request to telephone bid as long as we have enough staff available on the day of sale to facilitate these bids. All telephone bids will be in English unless otherwise agreed prior to the sale. We may record telephone bids. By bidding via telephone you agree to us recording your conversations. You also agree that your telephone bids are governed by these conditions of sale.

(b) Internet bids

We will accept bids via the internet. You can bid via or by one of our online partners such as the, Invaluable or Artsy. There may be a charge for bidding on these platforms - please see the websites for details.

(c) Written bids

You can find a written bid form at the back of each of our catalogues, at our office and online at We must receive your completed written bid form at least 24 hours before the sale. All bids must be in GBP. The auctioneer will take reasonable steps to carry out written bids at the lowest possible price, taking into account the reserve. For identical winning written bids we will sell the lot to the bidder whose bid we received first.



1. Who can attend the auction All auctions are open to the public however Tate Ward may in our opinion refuse admission to the auction premises or decline to permit participation in any auction.

2. Reserves

Unless otherwise indicated all lots are subject to a reserve. The reserve cannot be more than the low estimate.

3. Auctioneers discretion

The auctioneer can at his/her sole option:

(a) Refuse any bid

(b) Move the bidding backwards or forwards in any way he or she may decide.

(c) Withdraw any lot

(d) Reopen or continue the bidding even after the hammer has fallen

(e) In the case of error or dispute, cancel the sale or re open bidding in or after the sale.

4. Bidding

The auctioneer accepts bids from:

(a) Bidders in the saleroom

(b) Telephone and internet bidders

(c) Written bids (also known as absentee or commission bids)

5. Bidding on behalf of the seller

The auctioneer may bid on behalf of the seller up to but not including the amount of the reserve. No bids on behalf of the seller will be actioned at or above the reserve.

6. Bid increments

Bidding usually starts below the low estimate and increases in steps (bid increments). The auctioneer will decide at his or her sole opinion where the bidding should start and the bid increments. 

7. Successful Bids

Unless the auctioneer decides to use his/her discretion when the auctioneer's hammer strikes we have accepted the last bid. This means a contract for the sale of the lot has been formed between the seller and the successful bidder. We will issue an invoice to the registered bidder who made the successful bid. Whilst we send out invoices by post and/or email after the auction we do not accept responsibility for telling you whether or not your bid was successful. You should contact us by telephone, in person or email as soon as possible after the auction to get details of the outcome of your bid.



1.The Buyers Premium

In addition to the hammer price the successful bidder agrees to pay us a buyer’s premium on the the hammer price of each lot sold. On all lots we charge 25% plus VAT of the hammer price up to and including £500,000, 12% plus VAT on that part of the hammer price above £500,000. A buyers premium of 19.5% plus VAT is charged on Wine and Spirits.

2. Taxes

The successful bidder is responsible for any applicable tax, including any VAT, sales or equivalent tax wherever they arise on the hammer price and the buyers premium. It is the buyers responsibility to ascertain and pay all taxes due.

3. Artists Resale Royalty (ARR)

In certain countries local laws entitle the artist or the artists estate to a royalty know as ARR when any lot created by the artist is sold. We identify all these lots in all sales both in our catalogues and online. If these laws apply to a lot you must pay us an extra amount equal to the royalty. We will pay the royalty to the appropriate authority on our client's behalf. ARR applies if the hammer price of the lot is 1,000 Euro or more. The total ARR on any lot cannot be more than 12,500 Euro. The following table has been provided to us by the collection agency DACS.

4% up to 50,000 3% between 50,001 and 200,000

1% between 200,001 and 350,000

0.50% between 350,001 and 500,000

Over 500,001 the lower of 0.25% and 12,500 Euro

We will work out the ARR using the Euro to Sterling (GBP) rate of exchange of the Bank of England on the day of the auction.



1. Seller Warranties For each lot the seller gives a warranty that the seller:

(a) is the owner of the lot or a joint owner of the lot acting with the permission of the other owner(s).

(b) has the right to transfer ownership of the lot to the buyer without any restrictions or claims by anyone else.

2. Our Authenticity Warranty. We warrant that the lots in our sales are authentic. If within 10 years from the date of sale you satisfy us that your lot is not authentic we will refund the purchase price paid by you (We would expect at least 2 independent specialists recognized by us to provide written evidence that the lot is not authentic and the reasons for their opinion)



1. How to pay

(a) Immediately following the auction you must pay the the purchase price being:

(i) The hammer price and

(ii) The buyers premium and

(iii) Any other amounts due under section D

(iv) Any duties , VAT and services taxes Payment is due no later than by by the end of the seventh calendar day following the date of the auction.

(b) We will only accept payment from the registered bidder. Once issued we cannot change the buyers name on the invoice or re issue the invoice in a different name. You must pay immediately even if you want to export the lot and you need an export licence.

(c) You must pay for the lots bought at Tate Ward in GBP in one of the following ways:

(i) Bank Transfer to: Barclays Bank, Southend on Sea branch, Account number: 93810798, Sort Code: 20-79-73

(ii) Credit card We accept most major credit cards subject to certain conditions

(iii) Cash We accept cash up to a maximum of £5,000 per buyer per sale.

(c) You must quote the sale number , your invoice number and client number when making payment.

(d) for any more information please contact Tate Ward on any number listed.

2. Transferring ownership to you

You will only own the lot once we have received cleared funds and you have paid the invoice in full. We will then release the lot to you.

3. Transferring Risk to you

The risk and responsibility for the lot will transfer to you from whichever is the earlier of the following:

(a) When you collect the lot or

(b) At the end of the 14th day following the date of the auction (the free storage period)

4. What happens if you do not pay

(a) If you fail to pay us the purchase price in full by the due date, we will be entitled to do one or more of the following (as well as enforce our rights or remedies we have by law)

(i) we can cancel the sale of the lot. If we do this we may sell the lot again , publicly or privately on such terms we see fit in which case you must pay us any shortfall between the (original) purchase price and the proceeds from the resale. You must also pay all costs, expenses, losses, damages and legal fees we have had to pay or may suffer.

(ii) we can pay the seller an amount up to the net proceeds payable in respect of the amount bid by your default in which case you acknowledge and understand that Tate Ward will have all the rights of the seller to pursue you for such amounts.

(iii) we can hold you legally responsible for the purchase price and may begin legal proceedings to recover it together with other losses, interest, legal fees and costs as far as we are allowed by law.

(iv) we can take what you owe us from any amounts which we may owe you

(v) we can at our opinion reveal your identity and contact details ro the seller's legal representative.

(vi) we can take any other action we see necessary or appropriate.

(b) if you make payment in full after the due date and we choose to accept such payment we may charge you storage and transport costs from the date that is 14 calendar days following the auction.

5. Keeping your property

If you owe money to us as well as the rights set out in F4 above we can use or deal with any of your property we hold in any way we are allowed to by law. We will only release your property to you after you pay us in full for what you owe. However if we choose we can also sell your property in any way we think appropriate. We will use the proceeds of the sale against any amounts you owe us and we will pay any amount left from that sale to you. If there is a shortfall you must pay us any difference between the amount we have received from the sale and the amount you owe us.



(a) We ask that you pay for and collect all purchased lots on the day of the auction.

(b) If you do not collect any lot on the day of the auction we can at our opinion remove the lot to a third party warehouse.

(c) If you do not collect a lot within 14 calendar days from the date of auction then unless otherwise agreed in writing:

(i) we will charge you storage charges from that date

(ii) as stated above the lot will be moved to a third party warehouse and they will charge you transport and handling fees for doing so.

(iii) we may sell the lot in any commercially reasonable way we think appropriate.


Tate Ward do not have a shipping department but can recommend several fine art shipping companies.(please see for details.) We are not responsible for the acts of any recommended companies. All post-sale shipping is solely at the buyer's expense and includes insurance, postage, import and export permits and any other licence necessary.


(a) We give no warranty in relation to any statement made, or information given, by us or our employees about any lot other than as set out in the authenticity warranty and as far as we are allowed by law, all warranties and other terms which may be added to this agreement by law are excluded. The seller’s warranties contained in paragraph E1 are their own and we do not have any liability to you in relation to those warranties.

(b) We are not responsible to you for any reason other than in the event of fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation by us or other than as expressly set out in these conditions of sale.

(c) In particular please be aware that our written and telephone bidding services, online, condition reports, currency conversion and any other saleroom services are free services and we are not responsible to you for any errors (human or otherwise)

(d) We have no responsibility to any person other than a buyer in connection with the purchase of any lot.

(e) If in spite of the terms in paragraphs (a) to (d) or E2 above we are found to be liable to you for any reason we shall not have to pay more than the purchase price paid by you to us. We will not be responsible to you for any reason for loss of profits or business, loss of opportunity or value, expected savings or interest, costs, damages or expenses.



1. Our ability to cancel. In addition to the other rights of cancellation contained in this agreement we can cancel a sale of a lot if we reasonably believe that completing the transaction is, or may be, unlawful or that the sale places us or the seller under any liability to anyone else or may damage our reputation.

2. Recordings. We may record proceedings at any auction. We will keep any personal information confidential, except to the extent of disclosure is required by law. Unless we agree otherwise in writing you may not record proceedings at any auction.

3. Copyright. We own the copyright to all images, illustrations and written material produced by or for us relating to a lot. You cannot use them without our prior written permission.

4. Law and disputes. This agreement and non-contractual obligations arising out of or in connection with this agreement, or any other rights you may have relating to the purchase of a lot will be governed by the laws of England and Wales.

5. Reporting on Details of all lots sold by us, including catalogue descriptions and prices may be reported on Sales totals are hammer price plus buyers premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer's or seller's credits. We regret that we cannot agree to requests to remove these details from


Notices for Purchasers

Our lots are almost exclusively antique or second hand and as such should be expected to have small signs of wear and use commensurate with the age of the piece

Viewing days are held prior to auctions.

We recommend that you view any items you intend to purchase as refunds will not be given for buyer’s remorse. This doesn’t affect your statutory rights.


Advancements in technology have led to some diamonds being treated in a number of ways, all designed to improve their appearance or alter their colour. Processes include but are not necessarily limited to: fracture filling, laser drilling, a combination of drilling and filling, HPHT treatment, irradiation and various coatings. Buyers are also alerted to the fact that synthetic diamonds are now produced in large quantities. Whilst every effort is made to identify or disclose treated and synthetic goods, it is not possible for Tate Ward to guarantee that all diamond set lots do not contain such material.

Tate Ward do not knowingly offer treated diamonds for sale, unless a gemmological opinion disclosing the type of treatment has been obtained and the treatment would be stated within the item description.

Jewellery & Gemstones

Purchasers are advised that whilst great care has been taken in the examination of gemstones, it is not possible to test every gemstone in multi-gemstone lots.

Coloured Gemstones

Purchasers are advised that whilst great care has been taken in the examination of gemstones, it is not possible to test every gemstone within the constraints of time and equipment available outside of laboratory conditions. Any gemstone not provided with a laboratory report has been assessed by Tate Ward within the limitations of any mounting and an opinion has been given where possible.

Historically, many coloured gemstones have been subjected to a variety of treatments designed to enhance their appearance. Certain enhancement methods, such as heating, are routinely used to alter aspects of rubies, sapphires, and other gemstones. Oiling is often undertaken to enhance the clarity of emeralds. The international jewellery trade has generally accepted these and other enhancement methods. Some treatments are permanent whereas others may only be semi-permanent, possibly requiring further re-treatment in order to retain their appearance.

Because of the widespread variety of treatments within the jewellery industry, prospective purchasers should assume that all gemstones will have been treated unless statements are made to the contrary. Gemmological reports from internationally recognised Gemmological Laboratories will be noted in the item description where available.

Weights and Measures

Estimated diamond weights, colours and clarities given by Tate Ward are intended as guides for prospective purchasers, with the given limitations of mounts and settings, and are opinions only, not guaranteed by Tate Ward.

Weights of coloured gemstones offered are extrapolated on the estimated dimensions, using trade standard formula. Due to the traditional cutting techniques for coloured gemstones it is possible there may be discrepancy between the stated estimate and the unmounted weight.

Measurements and weights provided are estimates only.

The information stated in reports is the opinion of the respective laboratory and is not necessarily the opinion of Tate Ward auctioneers.


Due to opening of some case backs or possible deterioration of seals, we recommend that watches are re-sealed by an authorised technician to ensure any stated water resistance is retained.

Whilst Tate Ward makes every attempt to identify and disclose any custom attributes where possible, the absence of any disclosure is not a guarantee of authenticity, Tate Ward accepts no liability if an item is later found to be with non-brand alterations. Neither is it always possible to authenticate every component, this includes individual external and movement parts, watch glasses, hands, straps and buckles, this is often due to items having been previously maintained outside of authorised workshops, Tate Ward are therefore unable to accept any liability if any component or part is later found to be with issue – this includes compatible yet non-original brand parts and/or numbering that may limit maintenance options through workshops in the future.

Items may have export restrictions for customers outside of the EU

Export of Gemstones, Watches, Handbags, Accessories and Parts containing materials from Endangered Species:

Many of the articles offered have components, or are parts which may contain material(s) derived from endangered or protected animal materials e.g. alligator, crocodile skin and as such are prohibited by law to be exported by Tate Ward without a CITES permit. Tate Ward are therefore required to remove any restricted strap prior to delivery of the watch and buckle/clasp, and are unable to ship from their offices any other restricted part. It is the responsibility of the prospective buyer to understand and comply with any restrictions.

Lots containing ivory, tortoiseshell, coral, etc. may require export or CITES licences in order to leave the UK or the EU. It is the buyer's responsibility to ensure that lots have the relevant licences before shipping them.

Please also note that some countries such as the United States prohibit the purchased and import of objects originating from certain countries such as Iran, Persia and Burma/Myanmar. It is the buyer's responsibility to satisfy themselves that the lot being purchased may be imported in the country of destination. 


Tate Ward routinely provides a number of viewing days to enable prospective bidders the opportunity to view and inspect any item prior to sale. It is assumed that any buyer who has viewed an item is able to make an informed decision and was sufficiently satisfied to bid. Neither Tate Ward nor its employees, agents or Vendors may accept liability for the correctness of such opinions, and all conditions and warranties, express, implied or statutory are hereby excluded.

Condition Report

Statements in the catalogue regarding the condition of lots in this sale may appear in the description, however, the absence of such a reference does not imply a lack of damage or wear, or lack of any further faults within the piece.

Please note that Tate Ward offer condition reports on almost every lot offered. Our condition reports are the opinion of Tate Ward and should only be referenced as a guide. We highly recommend that a prospective buyer views in person or sends a representative to satisfy themselves to the condition, originality and suitability of a piece(s) before bidding.