Buying at Tennants

Buying at Tennants

Buying At Tennants

Taking part in an auction at Tennants has never been easier, whether you want to bid in person in the saleroom or browse lots and bid on the go.

We want to make buying at auction as transparent, accessible and straightforward as possible, no matter the price point of the lot you are after.

Buyer's Fees Explained

The following rates of buyer’s premium will be added to the hammer price of each lot that you purchase.

  • Antiques & Interiors Sales: 22% plus VAT (26.4% in total).
  • Fine Sales, Country House Sales, Specialist Sales and Automobilia Sales: 24% plus VAT on the first £1,000,000 of the hammer price (28.8% in total), and 20% plus VAT of that part of the hammer price in excess of £1,000,000 (24.0% in total).
  • Motor Vehicles: 10% plus VAT (12.0% in total).

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium of all lots (with the exception of books and unframed maps), and any extra charges such as transport.

VAT may be applied to the hammer price of certain lots. These will be clearly marked in the online and printed catalogue.

Find An Item


All our auctions are listed in our auction calendar, along with forthcoming sale highlights and all the latest auction news. Fully illustrated catalogues are available in the days leading up to the sale, and you can subscribe to receive email alerts when catalogues go live online.

In Person

All our sales are open for public viewing in our Leyburn salerooms. Viewing times vary for each sale, so please check sale listings or the online catalogue for each sale.


Printed catalogues can be purchased in our Leyburn salerooms or in our Harrogate office. Alternatively, you can subscribe to receive catalogues for the Fine Sales, Modern and Contemporary Sales, and 20th Century Design Sales by post. Please contact us on +44 (0)1969 623780.

Single catalogues – UK £20 (inc. p&p)

Please enquire for catalogue prices for Europe and the rest of the world.

Condition Reports

Once you have found your item, a condition report written by one of our specialists and extra images can be requested through the online lot listing or by contacting us.

We are happy to provide Condition Reports to prospective buyers, but would welcome your request as soon as possible, preferably at least 48 hours before the Day of Sale. We cannot guarantee a reply to any requests made within 48 hours of the start of the auction. The absence of a Condition Report from a lot does not mean that the lot is in perfect condition. A Condition Report is an honest expression of our opinion, not a statement of fact and is provided as a service to the seller. All lots are available on public view ahead of an auction and we encourage prospective buyers to inspect an item in person where possible. Our Condition Reports are not prepared by professional conservators, restorers or engineers, and are prepared with the naked eye unless otherwise stated. Works are not examined out of the frame, unless specifically stated. We accept no liability for the opinions expressed in any Condition Report.
Tennants Auctioneers do not cover damage to gilded wood or plaster picture frames, or to picture frame glass whilst the item is in our possession.


Register for a sale

To bid at Tennants for the first time you will need to create an account, which can be done by creating an online My Tennants account, telephoning us, or in person when you arrive in the saleroom. You will need to provide:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your email address
  • Valid debit or credit card
  • You may also need to provide two forms of ID as follows:
    1. Passport and Drivers’ license
    2. One form of photo ID and a recent utility bill

Once you have an account with us, you will simply need to register to bid in each sale. This can be done when you arrive at the saleroom, when you will be issued with a bidding paddle.

If you are unable to attend the sale in person, there are easy alternative ways to take part in the sale:

Online Bidding

Create or log in to your My Tennants account, register for the sale, and submit absentee commission bids online (no internet surcharge), or bid live online through Tennants Live Bidding (a surcharge of 1.5% plus VAT of the hammer price in addition to the standard buyer's premium and other charges will be payable). 


You can also register to bid live online through (a surcharge of 4.95% plus VAT of the hammer price in addition to the standard buyer’s premium and other charges will be payable to

Commission Bidding

You can place an absentee bid, and the auctioneer will bid on your behalf to obtain the lot as cheaply as possible. To make an absentee bid you can complete a bidding form at reception, telephone us, or submit your bid using your My Tennants account by clicking the ‘leave a bid’ button next to the lot details. You should give us the maximum hammer price you are prepared to pay, remembering to take into account the buyer’s premium and any taxes and charges payable on top of the hammer price.

Commission bids made by telephone or in person to us must be submitted by close of business on the day before the sale. Commission bids may be submitted online via your My Tennants account up to 30 minutes before the auction starts. In either case, if identical bids are submitted, the person who bid first will take precedence.

Telephone Bidding

You can take part in the sale by bidding over the telephone for lots with a lower estimate over £500 in the Fine Art Sales and £200 in all other sales. Telephone lines must be booked by close of business on the day before the sale, and are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Timed Auctions

Timed Auctions were introduced to Tennants in 2020. To learn how to take part in timed auctions on the Tennants website, please read our Guide to Timed Auctions.


Payment for lots can be made online via the Payments link at the top of the page. 

Payment (in pounds sterling) can be made as soon as you have won your lot. We accept bankers draft, cashiers cheque, personal cheque, travellers' cheques, debit or credit cards and cash up to £6,000. Payment by debit card may be made over the telephone up to the amount of £500 only

Wire transfers should be sent to:

Barclays Bank, High Row, Darlington, DL3 7QS
Sort code: 20-25-29
Account number: 13187632
Account name: Tennants Auctioneers Client account
IBAN: GB68BUKB20252913187632
Swift/Bic: BUKBGB222

Payment should be made within 14 days of the sale, and monies from wire transfers and cheques must be cleared into our account before items may be collected. 

For full details please see our terms and conditions.  

AML Due Diligence

We conduct appropriate Due Diligence checks to comply with current Anti-Money Laundering regulations. Any buyer exceeding the threshold of £8,000 per invoice will be required to provide two forms of ID and will be asked for source of funds before purchased lots will be released. We reserve the right to withhold the purchased lots until such checks have been completed. The information will be securely stored for as long as legally required.

You will need to provide two forms of ID as follows, before collecting:
1. Passport and Drivers’ license.
2. One form of photo ID and a recent utility bill

This can be done in person, or by emailing it to

Collection, Delivery and Storage

Once payment for lots has been received collection or transportation of purchased lots must be made within seven days of the sale.  


We are open for collections by appointment Monday – Friday between 8.30am and 5pm. Saturday collections between 8.30am and 2pm are only available when there is a sale (check Auction Calendar) and STRICTLY BY APPOINTMENT. Smaller items can be collected from our Harrogate Office by prior arrangement during their office hours.


Storage charges will be levied on all lots not collected within seven days of the sale. This will include a handling fee of £5 plus VAT per lot as well as a storage charge of £5 plus VAT per lot per day. Furniture, carpets, clocks and larger works of art will normally remain in the salerooms for seven working days following each sale, after which they will be removed to storage and subsequently arrangements for collection must be made in advance.

Collections & Shipping:


We offer an in-house shipping service for non-fragile items up to a total value of £5,000 (inclusive of buyer's premium, VAT and any other associated charges).

Please check the Shipping Tab at the bottom of the relevant lot description page to see if Tennants' shipping is available on the lot.

Prices start from £25, depending on size and destination. Items are fully insured and can be traced from despatch to delivery.

If you choose Tennants’ shipping, you will receive a revised invoice, which you will need to pay in full before items are despatched. We aim to despatch within seven working days following receipt of payment.

To obtain a quote for packing and shipping, or to discuss your requirements, please email or call 01969 623780.



If Tennants’ is unable to ship your lot, below are other carriers you may wish to contact.

Please Note: We do not pack items for external couriers or shipping companies to collect from our premises.

If you are arranging your own professional delivery, please ensure that the lot has been paid for and the transport company has full details of the items to be collected.


National Shippers


0191 3077024 or 07958 023028  



01325 281332 or 07968 941588



0113 242 8715



01904 672623



07831 651499



Shipping of large items available

01253 794673



Shipping of large items available

01582 493009 / 0800 6125060


Chandeliers (packing/transportation/re-building):




International Shippers:


01325 281332 or 07968 941588


MAIL BOXES ETC. LEEDS or 0113 242 8715



01904 672623



Shipping of large items available

01253 794673



Shipping of large items available

01582 493009 / 0800 6125060


Since the UK left the EU, items forwarded to countries within the EU, including Ireland, are subject to Import Duty imposed by the country of receipt. Potential purchasers must ensure they are aware of any import duties they may incur. Any documentation accompanying the package will detail the full value of the invoice and this will not be amended.

Artist's Resale Right

If you buy a work of art by a living artist or an artist who has died in the last 70 years, which costs more than £1,000, you will have to pay a royalty relating to the Artists Resale Right Regulations 2006. The royalties are administered by the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS), or the Artist’s Collecting Society (ACS), and no handling costs are retained by Tennants.

Items that may qualify for this royalty are marked in the catalogue with a tick next to the lot number.

The current royalty charge for qualifying items over £1,000 are:

Up to £50,000 – 4%
£50,000.01 to £200,000 – 3%
£200,000.01 to £350,000 – 1%
£350,000.01 to £500,000 – 0.5%
Exceeding £500,000 – 0.25%

Export/CITES Regulations/Ivory Act 2018

CITES-restricted items and Ivory Exempt items will be accompanied by a current CITES Article 10 licence/Ivory Exemption Declaration where applicable and the licence/exemption declaration number will be displayed within the original catalogue description (required by UK law). Both CITES Article 10 licences and Ivory Exemption Declarations are non-transferable and buyers must apply for a new Article 10 licence/Ivory Exemption Declaration in their name if they wish to sell to a third party.

It is the sole responsibility of the buyer and/or contracted shipping agent to have in place the correct CITES re-export and import licences into the buyer’s chosen country before shipping can be undertaken.

CITES regulations are given on or may be obtained from:

The Animal and Plant Health Agency
Centre for International Trade
Horizon House
Deanery Road
Bristol BL1 5AH
0117 372 3700

Those species that are covered by the US Endangered Species Act (USESA) or The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA): potential US bidders should check with USF&W (US Fish and Wildlife Services) for trade/possession restrictions in the US prior to bidding.