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Illustrated sales catalogues are available on-line approximately two weeks prior to the sale.


All our Saturday auctions are on view the preceding Thursday and Friday, with late evening viewing until 9.00 p.m. on the Friday.   Viewing outside these times may be possible by prior arrangement.

Condition Reports


We endeavour to fulfil all requests for condition reports, where practical.  The colours of images vary from one screen to another, and from one printer to another, so you should be aware that image colours may not be an accurate representation.   It should be noted that, whilst every effort is made to be thorough with condition reports Semley Auctioneers will not be responsible for omissions or inaccuracies.   Electrical goods are sold for decorative purposes only, and buyers should have any such purchases checked for safety & compliance to regulations by a qualified electrician. 

Bidding at our auctions


Registering with us 


All first time buyers need to register with us. In registering with us you agree to Semley Auctioneers' terms & conditions of business as set out in our printed literature and on our website. Once registration is complete you will be provided with a permanent buyer’s number which can be used in all future sales conducted by us.

To register, you will need to provide two forms of identification -

1.   passport or photographic driving licence, or, for overseas buyers, a valid ID card

2.   utility bill or document showing your name and address

Please note - for some sales or particular lots within a sale we may require a deposit from prospective buyers prior to bidding.   This is at the sole discretion of the directors of Semley Auctioneers who reserve the right to refuse bids or to re-offer lots bought by buyers who have not satisfactorily complied with such request.   Deposits must be made in pounds sterling, the amount to be stated by the directors of Semley Auctioneers, by bank transfer or debit card (not credit card), and to be received no later than the close of business on the day preceding the sale.   Deposits will be used against any outstanding invoices, whether or not in relation to the present sale or particular lot, and Semley Auctioneers will return all unallocated deposits, without interest, any transaction charges to be borne by the bidder, no later than 7 days after the sale.  

You can register in person or by contacting the office on 01747  855 122 or by e-mailing  

Semley Auctioneers reserve the right to refuse bids from or to re-offer lots bought by buyers whose identities have not been satisfactorily established.

Please note - registering with or other on-line bidding platform does not automatically register you with us.

Bidding in the Saleroom

You will need to register with us, as above.  A written paddle number will then be allocated to you.

​​Commission Bidding (absentee bidding)

You will need to register with us, as above.   We will be pleased to execute bids on behalf of prospective buyers, and no charge is made for this service.   All bids are treated in strict confidence and the auctioneers undertake to purchase lots as cheaply as permitted by other bids and any reserves placed on the lot.   Where more than one bid for the same lot is received the bidding shall commence at one bid above the underbidder's maximum bid, as if both bidders were present in the room, subject to any reserve price placed on the lot.   Where identical bids are left for the same lot the earlier bid left will take precedence.   Bidding forms are available from the office and can be found at the back of the catalogue.   All bidding forms must be signed.   Completed bidding forms may also be sent by fax or e-mailed to us.   However, these must include the name, address, daytime telephone number and signature of the prospective buyer.   No responsibility will be accepted for faxed bids, e-mailed bids or bids taken over the telephone.   All written bids must be submitted before the commencement of the sale.   The auctioneers accept no responsibility for wrong lot numbers entered.   Please note all bids are subject to Buyer's Premium, VAT, and, if applicable, artist’s resale right charges (Droit de Suite), as stated.   Semley Auctioneers will endeavour to advise successful commission bidders as soon as possible.   However, we cannot accept responsibility for this and therefore suggest to all commission bidders that they enquire as to whether or not they were successful at the end of the sale or shortly thereafter.

Telephone Bidding

You will need to register with us, as above.  Please note that there are a limited number of telephone lines and mobile phones available, and allocation is on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis and ideal be set up the day befor the sale.   It should be noted that the auctioneers may be unable to contact the prospective bidder at the desired time and therefore requests for bidding by telephone will be entirely at the risk of the intending bidder.   This service is only available for lots expected to realise more than £ 500. 

Live Online Bidding

You will need to register with us, as above.   Live online bidding is now available for most of our auctions via, enabling you to take part in the bidding from anywhere in the world, live as it happens.  To bid online you will also need to register at, subject to approval.   There is a charge of 4.95% of the hammer price plus VAT for this service.   Please note that we do not, at present, take payments through

To bid online you will need to register at, subject to approval. Easy live auctions offer charges of ether 3% or £3 depending on your requiremts (see there website for details)

Please note that we do not, at present, take payments through, if successful you will reserve an invoice with information on what to do next.

Please note - Registering with and does not automatically register you with us.

Bidding Increments

Bidding increments shall be at the sole discretion of the Auctioneer.

Buyer's Premium

Each lot is subject to a Buyer's Premium of 22% plus VAT.



Lots marked with a dagger (†) are subject to VAT on the hammer price and the buyer’s premium. Lots marked with an omega (Ω) have been temporarily imported from outside the EU and are subject to VAT at 5.0% on the hammer price and VAT at the standard rate on the buyer's premium.  All other lots (i.e. unmarked in the catalogue) are subject to VAT only on the buyer’s premium.

We operate under the Auctioneers Margin Scheme.

Artist's Resale Right / Droit De Suite

These lots will be marked with the letters ARR at the beginning of the catalogue entry.

Droit de Suite is a royalty payable to a qualifying artist or the artist's heirs each time a work is resold during the artist's lifetime and up to a period of 70 years after the artist's death.

Royalties are calculated on a sliding percentage scale based on the hammer price excluding the buyer's premium.  The royalty does not apply to lots selling below the sterling equivalent of Euros 1,000 and the maximum royalty payable on any single lot is the sterling equivalent of Euros 12,500.


Droit de Suite, which is not subject to VAT, will be added to the buyer's purchase price and then passed on to the relevant collecting agency.

Please enquire for the accepted exchange rate on the day of the sale.


Royalties for Droit de Suite are as follows:

4% Up to €50,000 
3% €50,000.01 - 200,000
1% €200,000.01 - 350,000
0.5% €350,000.01 - 500,000
0.25% In excess of €500,000
Up to a maximum levy of €12,500

Cites Regulations

Some lots may be subject to CITES regulations if exported.   Prospective buyers should satisfy themselves as to the status of such lots prior to bidding.

Export Licenses

An export licence may be required for items of national interest or above a certain value prior to leaving the United Kingdom.   The obtaining of a relevant licence is the responsibility of the buyer.


Legal requirements for buying these lots will be stated in the catalogue description.  




These are intended only as a guide to prospective buyers.   Any bid between the listed figures would, in our opinion, offer a fair chance of success.   However, the degree of competition for a lot may cause it to sell above or below the given estimates.   Estimates can be subject to revision without notice so it is advisable to enquire of any change nearer the time of the sale.   Estimates do not include the Buyer's Premium and any other charges applicable.

Condition of lots

While an identification of damage is sometimes stated in the catalogue, an absence of such advice does not imply that a lot is free from defect.   Prospective buyers are strongly advised to inspect any lot on which they intend to bid.

All weights and measurements are approximate and should be verified by prospective buyers.

General cataloguing terms


a/f - 'All Faults' or 'As Found', indicates that the item(s) referred to is (are) found to be extensively damaged or repaired when catalogued.

Glossary of Terms:

A glossary of the conventional terms employed in this catalogue concerning attribution of paintings, drawings, and works of art.  The auctioneers reserve the right, in forming their opinion, to consult and rely upon any expert or authority considered by them to be reliable. 


Dimensions are given in inches and centimetres, height before width.


1.   The forename(s) and surname of the artist:

In our opinion a work by the artist.   When the artist's forename(s) is not known, a series of asterisks (*), followed by the surname of the artist, whether preceded by an initial or not, indicates that in our opinion the work is by the artist named.


2.   Attributed to .........

In our opinion probably a work by the artist but less certainty is expressed than in the preceding category.


3.   Studio of ...........


In our opinion a work by an unknown hand in the studio of the artist which may or may not have been executed under the direction of the artist.


4.   Circle of ........

In our opinion a work by an as yet unidentified but distinct hand – closely associated with the named artist but not necessarily his pupil.


5.   Follower of ........


In our opinion a work by a painter working in the artist's style, contemporary or nearly contemporary, but not necessarily his pupil.


6.   Manner of........


In our opinion a work in the style of the artist and of a later date.


7.   After ........


In our opinion a copy of a known work of the artist.


8.   Signed / Dated / Inscribed .........


In our opinion the work has been signed / dated / inscribed by the artist.


9.   With or Bears Signature / Date / Inscription ........


In our opinion the signature / date / inscription is by a hand other than that of the artist.


The addition of a question mark (?) indicates an element of uncertainty.


Prints - the measurements of prints are taken, where possible, from the plate mark (P); otherwise they record the size of the subject (S), or the image of the subject (I).


In other categories the use of the word "style" indicates that, in our opinion, the item(s) is (are) in the style stated but of a later date.


Special notices


Prospective buyers are advised to take note of any special notices displayed in the salerooms or announced from the rostrum as these may affect or invalidate statements made in the catalogue or printed elsewhere.


Payment is due immediately after the auction in pounds sterling. Ownership title shall not pass to the buyer until full cleared payment has been received and no lot may be removed from the salerooms before full cleared payment has been received and a receipted invoice or collection order presented. Any payment or deposit received from a buyer may be applied towards any outstanding invoice of that buyer.

We welcome the following methods of payment -

Bank transfer (preferred method) – our bankers are:

Barclays Bank PLC

Shaftesbury Branch, Mid Wessex Group, King George Street, Yeovil, Somerset BA20 1PX

Sort code – 20  99  40

Account number – 90024449

IBAN no. - GB75BUKB20994090024449

Please quote your invoice number as reference.

Debit card - Visa, Delta, Switch, Connect (please note – there is a surcharge of 2% for international debit cards, except EU countries). Card payments are only accepted in person.

Credit card - we do not accept credit cards.

Personal cheque – cheques are accepted provided they are supported by a valid cheque guarantee card and that the amount does not exceed the limit stated on that card.


Cash - we no longer accept cash payments above 500 pounds sterling. 


No lot may be removed from the salerooms before full payment has been received and a receipted invoice shown.

All lots must be cleared no later than 30 days after the sale, after which storage charges may be applied at £ 2.00 plus VAT per lot per day, plus £ 10.00 plus VAT administration costs per buyer per sale, payable before removal of goods.


Packing and Shipping

Semley Auctioneers do not themselves offer a packing or dispatch service but recommend the following:

For smaller items

Mailboxes (01202  299  151)

Jentel Packing (01268  776  777)

Post it 4 me (01258  920  180)

Barberry (07803  081  531)


For larger items 

Martin Bros. Removals Ltd. (01985  844  144)

Alban Shipping (01582 493099)

Swift Removals Dorset (07752  073  266)

Where practical, payment can be made and purchases collected during the auction.

VAT  refunds


VAT refunds will only be made to qualifying buyers who have satisfactorily completed the necessary forms and provided proof of export.

An administration charge of £ 20.00 plus VAT will be deducted from the refund, together with any transaction charges.

Third Party Liability

Every person on Semley Auctioneers' premises at any time shall be deemed to be there at their own risk. He or she shall have no claim on Semley Auctioneers in respect of any accident which may occur or injury, damage or loss howsoever caused, save in so far as the injury, damage or loss shall be caused by the direct negligence of Semley Auctioneers' employees.

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