Main Auction Sale
The participation in any of our auctions implies the unconditional acceptance of these Terms & Conditions.
Art. 1 – The sale is executed strictly in cash, Swiss francs and without warranty. For administrative purposes, each buyer will be asked to give a proof of his/her identity in order to obtain an invoice at the end of the sale. Invoices can be settled at the end of each auction session. Buyers can settle the invoice via wire transfer, major credit/debit cards or cash. Payments in cash for an amount equal to or more than CHF 100'000 will not be accepted. Personal or company cheques are not accepted.
Art. 2 – No more bids will be accpted after the hammer strike, unless otherwise communicated by the auctioneer. In case of a dispute at the time of the hammer strike, the auctioneer may at his discretion cancel and immediately put the lot back up for sale.
Art. 3 – The auctioneer, at his/her sole option, can: refuse any bid, move the bidding backwards or forwards in any way he/she decides; change the order of the lots, withdraw any lots, divide or combine any two or more lots, reopen or continue the bidding even after the hammer strike. The auctioneer may bid on behalf of the seller up to but not including the amount of the reserve either by making consecutive bids or by making bids in response to other bidders. In the event that the reserve price set by the seller is not reached, the auctioneer may deem such lot unsold and move on to the next lot by a single strike of the hammer.
Art. 4 – The successful bidder agrees to pay a buyer's premium at 20% of the hammer price on all lots purchased. VAT at 7.7% is charged on the buyer's premium, giving a total of 21.6% on the hammer price. Internet buyers incur an additional 3% internet fee on the buyer's premium plus VAT (Total premium for internet buyers 24.8% inc VAT). (N.B.: In case of special sales, such as sales taking place outside the Hôtel des Ventes area, a commission of 23% will apply, instead of 20%.)
Art. 4a – For foreign buyers, the VAT collected may be refunded upon presentation of duly completed Swiss customs papers. To avoid administrative fees, reimbursement of VAT will only be allowed if the amount of the VAT is superior to 50CHF.
Art. 5 – Bidding must be placed by spoken voice or made by a distinctive sign unequivocally demonstrating the willingness to bid. The auctioneer, at his discretion, can refuse bids from unknown bidders. The minimum amount of an increment is 10%. However, the auctioneer may modify this rate by announcement.
Art. 6 – The viewing period allows the buyer to evaluate personally the condition and authenticity of the objects. Any dispute will not be allowed once the bidding is over. The objects are sold as seen at the time of bidding. To the best of our knowledge, all indications provided in the sale catalogue are correct; however the descriptions are only the expression of a professional opinion and do not constitute a guarantee. The catalogue may mention some damage to a lot without necessarily providing an exhaustive list. If the low estimate is CHF 1'000 or less there will be no mention of the object's condition. Condition reports are available upon request. Photographs, dimensions and weight are for indication only.
Art. 6a – Foreign buyers shall always check the relevant customs laws and regulations before bidding on any lot containing wildlife material such as, but not only: ivory, tortoiseshell, crocodile skin, rhinoceros horn, or whalebone. Hôtel des Ventes pays particular attention to complete its due diligence duties to ensure that all the objects presented in the catalogue comply with our laws and regulations of Cultural Property (CPTA). However, we are under no obligation to cancel your purchase and refund the amount paid if your lot cannot be exported, imported or if seized by a government authority.
Art. 7 – Lots must be collected at the expense and sole risk of the buyer. To avoid delivery errors and complications in invoice settlement, no lot can be collected during the sale. Unless previously agreed, collection is not permitted before full payment of the invoice. Objects may be collected by the buyer according to the "Payment and collection of lots" as outlined at the front of the catalogue.
Art. 8 – Every visitor is responsible for any damages he may cause to any given object in the sale; he may be charged with an amount equal to the average of the object's estimate plus buyer's premium and VAT.
Art. 9 – All absentee bids are executed with care, discretion and offered as a service to our clients. Telephone bids are accepted from buyers already known to Hôtel des Ventes and for lots whose low estimate is or exceeds CHF 400. In the case a telephone bidder cannot be reached due to technical error or other unforseen circumstances, Hôtel des Ventes reserves the right to award the lot to the telephone bidder on his behalf at the price equal to 50% of the high estimate, unless the reserve price is higher. In addition, any telephone bids will be considered de facto as a written bid of CHF 400. These bidding services are offered as a courtesy to our clients and Hôtel des Ventes is not responsible for any error (human or otherwise), omission or breakdown in providing these services. Your request for this service must be made no later than 48 hours prior to the auction. Any cancellation of absentee/phone bids must be submitted in writing at least 24h before the start of the auction concerned. To be accepted, the cancellation must be acknowledged by the Hôtel des Ventes bidding office or the Court baliff overseeing the auction.
Art. 10 – Title of goods therefore any risk passes to the buyer the moment the hammer falls on a lot. However, ownership of a lot can only be assumed after full payment of the invoice. In case of non- payment after three days following the end of the sale, the buyer is liable to judicial prosecution. Cancellation of the sale will ensue after a 30 day period of non payment if instructed by the vendor however, all fees and other charges will still be due by the buyer.
We give no guarantees as to the condition of the frames and glass.
Art. 11 – Hôtel des Ventes reserves the right to refuse admission or participation in any auction or to reject any bids. Any persons obstructing or disrupting the auction will be subject to police sanctions.
Art. 12 – Hôtel des Ventes reserves the right to accept or refuse any credit card payment. The following cards are accepted at no extra fee: Maestro, Postcard and EC-Direct. Payment by other major cards (MasterCard, Visa, PrePaid MasterCard, PrePaid Visa, American Express and UnionPay) will be subject to a 2% administrative fee.
Art. 13 – Hôtel des Ventes may publish, for advertising purposes, photographs of objects sold at auction in its own magazines and/or through other media channels.
Art. 14 – Any dispute concerning the sale is subject to Swiss law and is under the jurisdiction of the Canton of Geneva law courts, regardless of the town or country of residence of the involved parties.
Art. 15 – Unless otherwise specified, storage fees at a minimum of CHF 30 per month and per object will be charged for any lot that has not been collected by the buyer within 8 days following the auction. These lots will be sent into storage at the expense and risk of the buyer. The buyer expressly agrees that the unclaimed lot becomes the property of Hôtel des Ventes and authorises the resale as soon as storage costs exceed the price of the low estimate (in the buyer's case) or the reserve price (in the vendor's case).
NB: unless otherwise stated, the dimensions of paintings and furniture are indicated in centimetres and are written in this order: height x width x depth. Unless otherwise stated, books and watches are measured in millimeters. Carpets are “old” if they are more than 30 years old and “antique” if they are more than 80 years old.