Buying at Auction

At Lyon & Turnbull we want to make buying at auction, either in the saleroom or online as easy and enjoyable as possible. With both specialists and client services available across a wide range of locations so whatever your interest or query we are always on hand to help.

Here we explain the whole process of buying at auction, from the first sight of your lot to taking it home.



    To view all of the lots please note the public viewing times and locations listed at the front of each printed catalogue or at the top each online auction catalogue.


    All auctions are available to view online and each image can be enlarged for closer inspection. For further information on a lot you may be able to view a condition report online (see below) or contact us using the Lot Enquiry button.


    All lots carry an estimated price band, listed in the catalogue, which indicates our opinion of value. The final price may be higher or lower than this band depending on demand. If there is a reserve on the lot then it cannot be sold below that price. Reserves are never higher than the bottom estimate price and may be set lower.


    We highly recommend that potential bidders gather as much information as possible regarding a lot before placing a bid. If you are unable to view a lot in person you may request a condition report and/or additional images of a lot. If you would like a report on the condition of your lot(s) you can view them from the online catalogue when they become available or request one at

    Please be aware that we receive a large volume of requests for additional information prior to an auction and whilst we endeavour to reply to all enquiries in a timely fashion, we may not be able to provide a full report until the last few days before the auction.


    Lot descriptions and estimates are prepared in advance of the auction and may be subject to change.

    Any alterations will be announced on the catalogue alteration sheet, available prior to the auction from our main office and reception.


    All purchases are subject to a buyer’s premium of 26% of the hammer price of each lot up to and including £20,000, plus 25% from £20,001 up to and including £500,000, plus 20% from £500,001 and thereafter. When you successfully bid on any lot, the price you pay will be the hammer price (the value you bid at the auction), plus the buyer’s premium.

    The premium is subject to VAT at the standard rate, with the exception of lots marked in the catalogue with a dagger (†) where VAT applies to both hammer price and buyer’s premium. If there is an asterisk (*) or section mark (§) next to your lot number in the catalogue, this is to indicate that the law dictates your lot will be subject to additional import VAT or Droit de Suite charges.

    Should your winning bid be placed via an third-party online live auction service you may be charged an additional fee on the hammer price (see 'bidding' below).

    Information on any additional charges is always available at the very start of both printed and online catalogues.

There are many ways to bid (see below). You can register to bid at any time before the auction; however we suggest you allow plenty of time to register to secure your bids. The few hours prior to an auction are often very busy and clients will be registered on a first-come-first-served basis.

Prior to placing bids please be sure to read our Conditions of Sale for Buyers. By submitting a bid (in any form) you are agreeing to these Conditions of Sale.

We kindly ask that all first time, and returning, bidders at Lyon & Turnbull supply the following documents in order to complete their initial registration

1. Government issued photo ID (passport/ driving licence)
2. Proof of address (utility bill/ bank statement)

You may present these documents in person at our saleroom or at one of our office locations or, if registering for a telephone or absentee bid, fax (0131 557 8668) or email copies to us at

We may, at our discretion, ask you to provide a bank reference and/ or a deposit as a condition of allowing you to bid.

There are currently three easy ways to join our auctions remotely and, of course, all bids are confidential.


    If you are unable to attend the auction we can bid on your behalf. You can leave an absentee bid online by selecting the 'Leave a Bid' option on your chosen lot.

    Alternatively you can complete an absentee bid form and either hand it to a member of staff or fax it to 0131 557 8668. Please note that our bid department may contact you for further details.

    Either way, the amount you enter on the form should be your maximum limit. We will bid up to that limit for you, and remember you may end up paying less than your limit, depending on other bidding on the day.


    If you would like to bid by telephone, our clerk will call you from the saleroom on the auction day, just before your lot(s) come up, and will then relay to you the events in the room, and bid on your behalf live at the auction when instructed to do so.

    If you would like to bid by telephone please contact our team prior to the auction with your details of the lots you are interested in and your full name, mailing address, telephone number(s) and email.

    Once our team have processed your bid request you will receive an email confirmation.

    Please note that all absentee and telephone bid requests must be received at least an hour before the auction.


    Many clients prefer bidding live online at our auctions. It’s easy to register with us online, you can watch the auction as it happens and place bids from the comfort of your computer.

    L&T Live is powered by StreamBid. There will be no additional live bidding fees applied for this service (unlike many other providers).


    The latest version of L&T Live is fully responsive so you can access the platform from any device - desktop, tablet or mobile - without the requirement for an additional/separate app on your device.

Congratulations on your successful bidding, the next stage is payment.

There are number of ways to pay to make it as easy as possible for you. We accept bank transfer, credit or debit card and, on some occasions, cash.

Remember your final invoice will include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium of 26% of the hammer price of each lot up to and including £20,000 / 25% from £20,001 up to and including £500,000 / 20% from £500,001 and thereafter, plus VAT on the buyer's premium. If there is a dagger (†), double-dagger (‡), omega [Ω] or section mark (§) next to your lot number in the catalogue, your lot will be subject to additional VAT or Droit de Suite charges. See our Conditions of Sale for further details, or the auction information at the start of the printed or online catalogues.

All items must be paid for before they can be collected.


    Please find details in any email invoice we issue or upon request from our accounts department.

  • CASH

    Cash payments can be made at the accounts desk during or after an auction. Please note that there is an annual cash payment limit of £5000 per buyer.  


    Payment can be made by credit or debit card. Please note we can accept Visa or MasterCard only. Payment by card must be made in person in our Edinburgh branch or online (see below), we are unable to accept card payments by telephone.


    Click on the link in your email invoice, sent directly after an aucion, to pay online. A system provided by Opayo.


    Cheques should be made payable to Lyon and Turnbull Ltd. We reserve the right to wait until cheques have been cleared by our bankers before releasing bought goods. Cheques can be cleared prior to auction on request. Cheques drawn by third parties cannot be accepted. If paying by post please include the slip from your invoice.


All collections/drop-offsare at all our venues are by appointment - for both private individuals and professional carriers. 

To find out more about collections/ deliveries please contact:

EDINBURGH SALEROOM | |  0131 557 8844 

LONDON GALLERY | | 0207 930 9115 

GLASGOW GALLERY | | 0141 333 1992 

Scroll down to find out more about our new pre-sale UK shipping quote service (in partnership with Mail Boxes Etc Edinburgh & Mayfair) 

Our saleroom team are always on hand to help, whether you are collecting in person or require advice about recommended carriers.

If you attend an auction in person and are successful in your bid, you are free to collect and remove your item there and then once payment has been cleared. If you are not able to do so we can help with a number of different options for you:  


If you are in the UK, we are taking the guesswork out of shipping costs - we are delighted to now offer instant quotes, for applicable items, from art and antiques shipping specialists, Mail Boxes Etc. Please note larger items and international purchases will require a "price on application" quote request.

Instant quotes are not inclusive of compensation cover.  Mail Boxes Etc offer an enhanced compensation cover scheme (for an additional cost to pre-sale quote), one developed specially for the fine art and antiques sector. This is based on the declared value of the shipment (DVCS) and is calculated at 3.5% of the value or a minimum charge of £15, if the value is under £500.

Find out more about this service


You are, of course, very welcome to use alternative couriers. We have included information below for other alternatives you may wish to consider. Please note all shippers are third parties and not part of Lyon & Turnbull Ltd.


Mail Boxes Etc
44/46 Morningside Road
Edinburgh, EH10 4BF
Tel: 0131 556 6226 

Mailboxes Etc
8 Shepherd Market
London, W1J 7JY
Tel: 0207 491 0022

Mailboxes Etc
61 Praed Street
London, W2 1NS
Tel: 0207 706 3666


A&S Pert Removals
Tel: 07876 343520

New Leaf Removals
Tel: 07999 926261


Aardvark Art Services Ltd
Tel: 01253 794 673


Crown Fine Art
Art Central, Union Court
20-22 Union Road
London, SW4 6JP
+44 (0)20 7732 7610

Hedley's Group,
3 St Leonard's Road
London, NW10 6SX
Tel: +44 (0)20 8965 8733

EBISS - Specialist Art Shipping
0208 017 6329

The Shore Porters Society
1 Baltic Place, Aberdeen, AB11 5EW
Tel: 01224 569569

Constantine Moving Services (Specialists in UK & International Shipping)
Constantine House
North Caldeen Road
Coatbridge, ML5 4EF
Tel: 01236 430 681

A Van Man Transport
Unit 5, Benridge Park
Holyrood Close, Creekmoor
Poole, Dorset, BH17 7BD
Tel: 01202 600 012


Mail Boxes Etc. Romford | Mr. Xigang Hu 胡夕剛
07766 905168 | Wechat ID: xiganghu /

Zixis Fine Art Ltd.  | Mr Xiaoyang Zhang 張曉陽 先生 
Wechat ID: zixisfineartltd

Eric International Logistics Co. Ltd.聖軒國際物流有限公司
+852-2204 1888 | Wechat ID: Eric_Art_Services /




If purchased, or unsold, items remain uncollected for an inappropriate period of time after an auction then additional storage fees may be applied (normally £5 per day).

As you may be aware several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, such as rhino horn, ivory, coral and tortoiseshell. If you are interested in bidding on a lot containing these materials and you wish to export please make sure you are familiar with all relevant customs regulations prior to bidding. It is the buyer’s sole responsibility to obtain any relevant export or import licence.

Please be aware that lots marked with the symbol Y may be subject to CITES regulations when exporting outside of Great Britain. For more information please visit

For security reasons all lots with an upper estimate value of £1,000 and above are searched against the Art Loss Register database in advance of every auction.

For further information on buying at Lyon & Turnbull please see our Conditions of Sale.

View Conditions of Sale