Important Information

Updated Information for Buyers and Conditions of Sale below.

Our Buyer's Premium is  26% + VAT (31.2% inclusive) up to £20,000 and 25% + VAT (30% inclusive)  thereafter per lot.

Lots purchased online with will attract an additional charge for this service in the sum of 4.95% of the hammer price plus VAT at the rate imposed


Unfortunately Bearnes Hampton and Littlewood do not offer shipping and are unable to provide any other wrapping, packing and despatch service of their own. 

Competitive rates have been negotiated with Mail Boxes Etc., specialist in the provision of wrapping, packing and despatch services to the Antiques and Fine Art business sector. They provide for all services for lots purchased from our saleroom. 

Mail Boxes Etc. collect items weekly from our saleroom, though special collections can be arranged if required. They offer a professional, domestic and International service by post, courier, road, air and sea, depending on the lot size, destination and speed required. Bespoke cases can also be made up for your lot or lots. While indicative pricing is always obtainable by contacting Mail Boxes Etc., firm pricing is agreed after wrapping and packing prior to despatch. 

We do not undertake postage and packing or recommend anyone who may undertake this on your behalf. However the local branch of Mailboxes who receive our catalogues and are happy to assist and will quote in advance.   0044 1752 257224    Email:

Mail Boxes Etc. collect items regularly from our saleroom, though special collections can be arranged if required. They offer a professional, domestic and International service by post, courier, road, air and sea, depending on the lot size, destination and speed required. Bespoke cases can also be made up for your lot or lots.

While indicative pricing is always obtainable by contacting Mail Boxes Etc., firm pricing is agreed after wrapping and packing prior to despatch.


 APS                   07736 544362          ( Small Items)


 Martin Bros. Removals Ltd.   (Carriers for larger items, furniture etc )The Old Sawmills, The Street, Kilmington, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 6RG.   Tel: 01985 844144


 Information for Buyers at Auctions


Introduction. The following notes are intended to assist bidders and buyers, particularly those that are inexperienced or new to our salerooms. All of our auctions are governed by our Conditions of Business incorporating the Terms of Consignment (primarily applicable to sellers), the Terms of Sale (primarily applicable to bidders and buyers) and any notices that are displayed in our salerooms or announced by the auctioneer at the auction. Our Conditions of Business are available for inspection at our salerooms and the Terms of Sale are printed in the back of our auction catalogues. Our staff will be happy to help you if there is anything in our Conditions of Business that you do not fully understand.


Please make sure that you read our Terms of Sale set out in this catalogue or on our website carefully before bidding in the auction. If your bid is successful, you will be obliged to comply with our Terms of Sale.



Agency. As auctioneers we usually act on behalf of the seller whose identity, for reasons of confidentiality, is not normally disclosed. If you buy at auction your contract for the goods is with the seller, not with us as auctioneer.


Estimates. Estimates are designed to help you gauge what sort of sum might be involved for the purchase of a particular lot. Estimates may change and should not be thought of as the sale price. The lower estimate may represent the reserve price (the minimum price for which a lot may be sold) and will not be below the reserve price. Estimates do not include the buyer’s premium or VAT (where chargeable). Estimates are prepared some time before the auction and may be altered by a saleroom notice or announcement by the auctioneer before the auction of the lot. They are not definitive.


Buyer’s Premium. The Conditions of Sale oblige buyers to pay a buyer’s premium at  26% + VAT (31.2% inclusive) up to £20,000 and 25% + VAT (30% inclusive)  thereafter per lot,  which shall include VAT on the premium at the rate imposed by law (see below). There is a surcharge for bidding on the internet.


VAT. Items in our catalogue may be marked in the following ways: 

a.   A ‘dagger’ symbol indicates that VAT is payable by the buyer on the hammer price as well as being an element in the buyer’s premium. VAT will be chargeable at the standard rate (presently 20%). 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.  

b.   The double ‘dagger’ indicates that the lot has been imported from outside the European Union. [These lots are liable to a reduced rate of VAT (5%) on the hammer price and buyer’s premium)].  

c.   Lots which do not have either of the above symbols have no VAT payable on the hammer price. This is because such lots are sold using the Auctioneers’ Margin Scheme. The VAT included within the premium is not recoverable as input tax.


Inspection of goods by the buyer. As we act on behalf of the seller, we are dependent on information provided by the seller about their goods. We may inspect lots and will act reasonably in taking a general view about them. However, we are normally unable to carry out detailed examinations of lots to check their condition in the way a buyer would do. You will have ample opportunity to inspect the goods. You must inspect and investigate lots that you might wish to bid for. Please note carefully the exclusion of liability for the condition of lots set out in the Terms of Sale at clause 12.4.


Electrical goods. These are sold as “antiques” and for collection and display only. If you buy electrical goods for use you must ask a qualified electrician to check them for compliance with safety regulations before you use them.


Export of goods. If you intend to export goods you must find out:   

a.  whether an export licence is needed; and

b.  if there is a prohibition on importing goods of that character e.g. because the goods contain prohibited materials such as ivory.


Bidding. Bidders will be required to register with us before the auction starts. We reserve the right to impose a deadline prior to the auction by which you must register or by which we must receive a commission bid. If you wish to bid on high value lots this deadline may be several days before the auction in order to allow us sufficient time to carry out the necessary checks. Lots will be invoiced to the name and address on the registration form. Please enquire in advance about our arrangements for telephone or online bidding. Please note that we may refuse to register you if you do not provide us with all the information and documentation that we ask for or at our discretion.


Financial Checks.  As auctioneers we may have to conduct various checks into our customers under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 and related legislation. Unless we confirm we already have this information, on registration you will be required to provide the following:

a.  For individuals, official photo identification (driving licence, passport or equivalent) and proof of address (if this is not included in your ID document);

b.  For corporate entities, the certificate of incorporation (or equivalent) with your official name, registered number (if any) and registered address, as well as details and ID documentation for directors and beneficial owners of the entity;   

c.  For trusts and estates, details and ID documentation for executors/trustees and details of beneficiaries; please contact us for further information.

You may be asked for further information if we deem this necessary.  If you are bidding for another person (your “Principal”) you will be required to provide the above information for yourself and your Principal, along with a signed letter from your Principal authorising you to bid.

Further information about ID requirements is available on 01392 413100 or If we deem that you have not provided sufficient information for us to complete our anti-money laundering and terrorist financing checks to our satisfaction, we may refuse to register you to bid and we may postpone completion of or cancel any contract made by you and the Seller in the event you have made a successful bid.


Commission bidding. Commission bids may be left with the auctioneers indicating the maximum amount to be bid against a lot (excluding the buyers’ premium and/or any applicable VAT). We will execute commission bids as cheaply as possible having regard to the reserve (if any) and competing bids. If two buyers submit identical commission bids we may prefer the first bid received (where this can be reasonably ascertained). Please enquire in advance about our arrangements for the leaving of commission bids by telephone or email or online bidding platform.


Methods of Payment

All payments must be made in sterling. The following methods of payment are available:


If a purchaser is unknown to the auctioneers and is intending to pay by credit or debit card we will require the card holder to attend in person with suitable photographic identification, otherwise payment is required by BACS/CHAPS or electronic bank transfer. As a general rule any cheques tendered will need to be cleared before removal of the goods is permitted.

 Cheques and drafts should be made payable to Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood. 

Card payments where the card holder is not present will only be accepted for transactions up to £1,000

 Clearance Times

 All other sterling cheques drawn on UK banks will generally clear on the fifth working day after receipt.

 Sterling bank drafts drawn on UK banks can generally be cleared immediately.

Bank transfers clear as soon as our bank receives funds (which does not happen instantaneously after payment instructions are given).

 Credit and debit card payments can be cleared immediately, subject to paragraph above.


Collection and storage. Please note what the Terms of Sale say about collection and storage. It is important that you pay for and collect goods promptly. Any delay may involve you having to pay storage charges.