Selling at Auction

We hold approximately 30 auctions per annum, spanning many specialist categories from Old Masters to contemporary design. By combining personal, one-to-one service with a team of internationally experienced specialists selling antiques and art at auction can be easy. Our team are on hand to assist at every stage, keeping you up-to-date throughout the process from initial valuation to settlement. 


No, an auction estimate is not a final valuation. Please note that all auction estimates are subject to physical examination of the item as well as changes in the art market. Estimates are not formal documents for insurance, taxes or estate valuations and cannot be used as such. Our auction estimates are offered free of charge and without any obligation.

With a great number and range of specialist auctions throughout the season our specialists will advise you on the best auction to place your item in in order to attract the most interest and achieve the best result possible for you. If you would like to speak to a specialist to ensure now is a good time to sell, please call or email one of our specialists.

Meet the Specialists

  • Customer Receipts

    Upon deciding to consign a lot to our sale you will receive a full customer receipt from us – this receipt will outline your details, the details of the items you wish to consign (including sale dates, brief description, estimates and any reserves discussed) and the commission/ charges involved. You then review this receipt and sign, retaining a copy for your records along with our Conditions of Sale.

    You items will now be assigned a personal consignment/ receipt number which must be quoted in call communication concerning your items. It is important that you retain a copy of this customer receipt, and the associated Conditions of Sale for your reference - it is a record of your instruction to us to sell and acts as a contract with Lyon & Turnbull.

  • Reserves

    When appropriate, a reserve (a price below which an item will not be sold) may be placed upon individual items. Reserves cannot exceed low estimate and sadly we cannot apply a reserve to an item valued at less than £500. Your specialist will advise you on deciding a reserve - in our experience a high reserve can put some bidders off, whereas a low reserve encourages more bidders to participate, generating higher prices.

  • Seller’s Commission

    Please contact the department for details.

  • Loss & Warranty

    All sold lots will be subject to a 1.5% loss & warranty fee.

  • Item Photography & Online Listing

    Each sold lot will be subject to a £40 photography and listing charge. This allows for your lot to be promoted not only on our own website but also through a number of other international auction platforms such as, and Live Auctioneers.

  • Additional Print Catalogue Photography

    For lots illustrated in our printed catalogues there may be an additional catalogue photography fee charged (for example £50 for half page, £100 for full page). Specialists will be happy to discuss this further at initial consignment.

  • VAT

    VAT, at the current rate, is payable on all commissions and charges.

  • Transportation

    We need to have your property on our premises far enough in advance of the sale to catalogue, photograph and promote it properly - usually at least six weeks prior to the sale date. We are happy to assist with transportation arrangements. Any charges for transportation will be removed from your initial settlement, so please take the opportunity to discuss transport arrangements when consigning your goods to ensure you are fully aware of any costs.

  • Unsold fees

    We do not charge you anything on lots that we do not manage to sell.  However, if unsold items remain uncollected for an inappropriate period of time after an auction then additional storage fees may be applied (normally £5 per day).

Prior to any sale you will receive a pre-sale notification (via email or post) indicating which lots will be offered in the forthcoming auction. This notification will outline the auction date, item description, lot  number, estimate and any agreed reserves.  It will be sent along with a copy of the illustrated online catalogue for you to browse.

  • Results of Sale

    Shortly after an auction you will receive a Results of Sale notification by email/post outlining each of your lots and the hammer price of each item. If you would like to know the outcome on the day, you are welcome to telephone the saleroom about an hour after the end of the auction.

  • Unsold Lots

    If one or two of your lots remain unsold after an auction we will be in touch with our recommendations on what to do next. The specialist in charge of the sale may suggest that either your lot is re-offered again in a future auction, collected by yourself or transferred to a secondary saleroom. If you decide you are not happy with our recommendations please call us to discuss. If we do not hear from you we may proceed with our recommendation. Lyon & Turnbull do not charge for unsold lots.

  • Settlement

    Payment will be sent 28 working days after the auction for all lots sold and collected along with a detailed settlement statement. It is at this stage that we deduct our fees and charges (including any transport fees incurred at consignment). Payments are normally made by cheque, if you would prefer to receive settlement by bank transfer please let us know at the consignment stage.

For further information on selling at Lyon & Turnbull please see our Conditions of Sale for Sellers.

View our Conditions of Sale