Terms of Business


1. Definition

In these terms of business:

Tennants of Yorkshire Fine Art and Antique Auctioneers Ltd is referred to as ‘Tennants’.

The Tennants representative conducting the auction is referred to as the ‘auctioneer’.

2. Attribution and Condition of Lots

We make every effort to ensure the accuracy of any statement as to authorship, attribution, origin, date, age, provenance and condition of any lot, whether or not such a statement forms part of the description of any such lot. 

Any statement made orally or in the catalogue is an opinion given after careful consideration and research.

It should be noted that pictures have not been removed from their frames unless this is specifically mentioned in the condition report. 

When bidding, you acknowledge that you are fully satisfied as to the attribution and condition of the lot.

If any damage is done to any lot at the viewing or before, during or after the sale, it shall be made good by:

  • the person who caused the damage; or
  • the person for whom they are acting.

Tennants will assess the extent of the damage to be repaired.

3. Attribution of Pictures

(a) If the forename(s) (or asterisks where not known) and surname of the artist are given, this indicates that in the opinion of Tennants the picture isa work by the named artist.

(b) If the initials of the forename(s) and the surname of the artist are given, this indicates that in the opinion of Tennants the picture is a work of the period of the named artist and may be wholly or in part his work.

(c) If the surname of the artist is given, this indicates that in the opinion of Tennants the picture is a work of the same school of the named artist, or by one of his followers, or in his style and of uncertain date.

(d) The term ‘Bears signature’ indicates that in the opinion of Tennants this is not the signature of the artist.

(e) All other terms are self-explanatory.

4. Third Party Liability

Every person on TENNANTS premises before, during or after a sale shall be deemed to be there at their own risk and shall have no claim against TENNANTS in respect of any injury they may sustain or any accident which may occur.

5. Disputes

Any dispute not covered in these terms of business will be settled at the sole discretion of Tennants.

The Seller

6. Payment

Once your buyer’s funds have cleared in our account we aim to pay you no later than 28 working days after the auction, and within 14 days of a non-catalogue sale.

If your buyer pays more than 23 days after the auction, we will pay you within 5 days of the funds clearing.

We do not pay interest on the period between your buyer’s payment and your receipt of the payment.

Please remember that you will have to pay certain charges on your sale.

We act as agents and cannot be held responsible if your buyer does not pay. We cannot pay you until we have received cleared funds.

The Buyer

7. The Buyer

The highest bidder acknowledged as such by the auctioneer will be the buyer. If any dispute arises, the auctioneer has absolute discretion to settle the matter. The auctioneer rules the bidding and bids cannot be retracted. The auctioneer reserves the right to refuse any bid. 

The successful bidder, whether bidding for himself or for a third party, is entirely responsible for paying for the lots they have bought in accordance with Tennants’ terms of business. 

The auctioneer reserves the right to bid on behalf of the vendors for any lot and to withdraw, consolidate or divide any lot or lots.

8. Registration

Prospective buyers need to register with us, giving their full name, address, contact telephone number(s) and email address. First time buyers will be required to provide proof of identity (i.e. driving licence/passport), a valid debit or credit card and a copy of a utility bill or a document showing their name and address. Upon receipt of the above a paddle will be issued, which is only valid for the current sale. This card may be used to indicate your bids to the Auctioneer during the sale. If successful, the bidder must ensure that their number can be seen by the Auctioneer and that it is their number that is called out. Should there be any doubts as to price or buyer, please draw the Auctioneer’s attention to it immediately.

9. Buyer’s Premium

Commission Charges
You will pay a premium of 20 per cent plus VAT for Fine Art, Specialist and Country House sales, and 17.5 per cent plus VAT for Antique & Interiors sales of the hammer price of your purchase on each lot.

10. Value Added Tax

Lots on which the buyer may have to pay VAT on the ‘hammer price’ are indicated in the catalogue with a symbol. The buyer must pay this VAT at the rates that apply on the day of the auction.

11. Auctioneers Margin Scheme

This scheme allows auctioneers to sell items without VAT on the hammer price. The buyer then pays an amount equivalent to VAT. This amount cannot be refunded and is not shown separately on the invoice.

12. Payment

Buyers must pay in full before their purchases can be released to them.

Otherwise, an invoice will be sent the day after the sale. Buyers must pay their invoice within 24 hours and let us know when they will be collecting their purchase.

Invoices which are not paid within seven days will incur interest at 5 per cent above the base rate, charged from the date of the sale.

If buyers are unknown to us, we cannot hand over purchases unless we have adequate references or payment is cleared.

Payment Methods

We accept payment by:

  • Cash – up to £9,000 or €10,000
  • Cheque – made payable to ‘Tennants’
  • Debit card
  • Credit card – but not American Express or Diners Club. Please note a charge of 1.3 per cent plus VAT is added to credit card payments.  Card payments where the card holder is not present will only be accepted for transactions up to £500.
  • Bank transfer to:

Barclays Bank plc, 31 High Row, Darlington, DL3 7QW

Account no.                30874329

Account name           Tennants clients a/c

Sort code                    20-25-29

IBAN                           GB37 BARC 2025 2930 8743 29

SWIFTBIC                 BARCGB22

13. Internet Bidding

Live online auctions are held in conjunction with the-saleroom.com

Full details are given at the time of the live sale. A charge of three per cent of the hammer price (plus VAT) (in addition to the regular buyer's premium) is made for internet bidding.

14.  Ownership of Purchases

Ownership of lot(s) purchased will not pass to the buyer until they have paid Tennants in full and Tennants has applied the payment to the lot.

15. Transfer of Risk

Each lot is the buyer’s sole responsibility from the fall of the hammer and is sold with all faults and imperfections.

Tennants is not responsible for the correct description, genuineness or authenticity of any lot and makes no warranty whatsoever. The buyer is deemed to have inspected each lot and satisfied himself as to its condition.

16. Commission Bids

If instructed, Tennants will execute bids and advise prospective buyers. This service is free. 

Buyers who cannot come to a sale may leave their bid with our reception staff after viewing, or make their bid in advance by telephone, email or fax. Such bids are placed at the buyer’s own risk.

Bids must be made at least one hour before the sale starts, and we advise buyers to make bids within one hour of the close of the view day.

When making bids, buyers must provide:

  • Their full name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Contact telephone numbers
  • The number of the lot they wish to buy
  • Their maximum bid amount – excluding commission which will be added to the invoice afterwards.

Buyers must state what their maximum bid would be. We cannot accept an instruction to ‘buy’ or unlimited bids.

We will ensure that lots are bought as cheaply as possible depending on the bids made and other reserves. If identical bids are placed, the person who bid first will take precedence.

17. Telephone Bids

Requests for telephone bidding must be registered one hour prior to the close of the view day. We will not accept requests on sale days.

Lines are booked on a first come first served basis and are subject to a minimum lot value of £500 in Fine Art Sales and £200 for all other sales. Full name, address and telephone numbers will be required together with proof of identity and address. Bank and credit/debit card details are also necessary to secure the line. 

18. Absentee Bidding

Whilst every effort is made to execute absentee bidding, Tennants cannot be held responsible for any default or neglect in connection with this service. All such arrangements are made entirely at the prospective buyer’s risk.

19. Storage and Collection

Please note furniture, carpets, clocks and larger works of art lots will normally remain in the salerooms for fourteen working days following each sale, after which they will be removed to store and arrangements for collection must be made in advance.

Storage charges will be levied on all lots not collected within fourteen days of the sale. This will include a handling fee of £5 plus VAT per consignment as well as a storage charge of £5 plus VAT per lot per day. No goods may be collected until these charges have been paid.


20. Droit de Suite Royalty Charges

A work of art by a living artist, or those who have died within the last 70 years, which costs more than the UK sterling equivalent of €1,000 will incur a royalty charge. We pass this payment onto the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS), and do not charge a handling fee. Buyers can calculate royalty charges on the DACS website.

Items marked with the symbol in the catalogue will potentially incur royalty payments.

We use the euro to UK sterling exchange rate which applies on the day of the sale. It is the buyer’s responsibility to check the relevant exchange rate.  

The actual qualifying threshold is calculated by the Artist’s Resale Right Service Hub based on the European Central Bank reference rate published at 2.15pm on the day of the sale, and can be found on the DACS website.

The royalty charge for pictures which achieve a hammer price of more than the UK sterling equivalent of €1,000, but less that the UK sterling equivalent of €50,000 is four per cent. On works of art that achieve a hammer price of more than the UK sterling equivalent of €50,000 a sliding scale of royalty charges applies. For a complete list of the royalty charges and threshold levels please download more information from the DACS website.

The royalty charge is added to invoices, and must be paid before purchases are removed. VAT is not paid on royalty charges.

21.Cites License

Important Notice Relating to Sporting and Natural History

Clients intending to import/export any item derived from natural history specimens into/from a non-European country should first check for any Import/Export and possession restrictions prior to bidding/selling.

Certain species * are also subject to CITES regulations when exporting/importing these items out the EU.  CITES regulations are given on www.ukcites.gov.uk or maybe obtained from Animal Health, Wildlife Licensing and Registration Service, Zone 1/17, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol BS1 6EB.  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.

While every effort has been made to attribute the correct Latin name for each specimen, the auctioneers will not be held responsible for any errors that may occur concerning Latin nomenclature.

For Health and Safety reasons, large heads, full mounts, and any particularly heavy or awkward lots cannot be removed whilst the auction is in progress.


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