Buying at Auction

At Philip Serrell, we aim to make buying at auction an easy and pleasurable experience. We hold both Interiors sales and Fine Art and Antiques sales, both of which are available for online bidding at and

All auction sales are held on a Thursday commencing at 10.00am

Our bidding increments

From £5 – £50 £5
From £50 – £300 £10
From £300 – £1,000 £20, £50, £80, £20, £50, £80, etc
From £1,000 – £1,500 £50
From £1500 – £5,000 £100
From £5,000 – £10,000 £200, £500, £800, £200, £500, £800, etc.
From £10,000 – £20,000 £500
£20,000 plus Bids will be in £1,000 increments – or at the auctioneer’s discretion

NB Payments for lots using a Credit or Debit card will not be taken over the telephone unless previous arrangements have been made with Philip Serrell.

Philip Serrell Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd is a member of Propertymark’s Client Money Protection (CMP) Scheme. The Conduct and Membership Rules can be read here.

Buying FAQ

  • What are your Interiors and Fine Art & Antique Sales?

    We hold both Interiors sales and Fine Art and Antiques sales. All auction sales are held on a Thursday commencing at 10.00am.

    Our Interiors sales are an eclectic mix of antiques and include Victorian, Edwardian and contemporary furniture and effects, including paintings and watercolours, ceramics and glassware, collectables,and other household effects. No printed catalogue is produced, but a PDF catalogue can be downloaded from our website when the lots go online, usually at the end of the week before the sale. Condition reports and additional photography can be requested, but enquiries about lots with an estimate of over £50 will be given priority.

    Our Fine Art and Antiques auctions typically feature in the region of 500 lots to include 17th, 18th and 19th Century furniture, paintings and watercolours, porcelain and Royal Worcester porcelain, objets d’art, jewellery, glassware, silver, silver plate and other metal ware. We have specialist sections within our sales which often include wine, books and Asian Art.

    Bidding for all sales is online at and

  • When can I view your sales?

    Interiors Sales: Viewing is held on the Wednesday proceeding the sale, 9am to 4.30pm.

    Fine Art & Antiques Sales: Viewing is held two days before each sale, Tuesday from 11am to 4.30pm and Wednesday from 9am to 4.30pm.

  • Where can I see your sale catalogues?

    No printed catalogues are produced for our sales. Illustrated colour catalogues are available on-line at our website prior to a sale. The online catalogue can be searched by lot number, category or keyword, and a PDF version is available to download and print at home. Catalogues are also available to view on our bidding platform providers, and

  • How do I bid?

    In Person

    If you wish to attend the auction you will need to register for a bidding number in advance by filling out a bidding registration form in our office. When registering in person for the first time we require photo ID, passport or driving licence will suffice.

    Absentee Bidding

    Philip Serrell Auctioneers will bid on your behalf up to pre-submitted maximum bid as though you were present in the room. We will attempt to purchase the lot for you for the lowest price taking into consideration reserves, other commission bids and bidding in the room. Absentee bids can be left in person at the saleroom, e-mailed to or left online. Absentee bids must be left by 4.30pm on the day prior to the auction. When two commission bids are left for the same amount on the same lot, the first bid received will take preference. Absentee Bids do not include Buyers Premium

    Telephone Bidding

    Telephone bids must be booked in advance up to 4.30pm the day prior to the auction. Contact details for registration should include name, address, email address, land line and mobile telephone numbers.We will contact you during the sale and a saleroom representative will bid live with you over the telephone. Bid amounts do not include buyer’s premium

    Live Bidding

    You can register to bid ‘live’ for our sales by registering at or A valid credit/debit card will be needed to complete registration together with all personal contact details. Registration for online bidding closes at 9.30am on the morning of the sale. Commission bids can also be left via this method. These can be left during the sale if the buyer has already completed registration. Please note that if you’re a successful online bidder, we are permitted to debit the card you registered with. It is the buyer’s responsibility to deal with collection of lots. Please check the additional charges due with the relevant platform when bidding on-line.

  • How can I get a condition report?

    If you are unable to view the sale prior to bidding, it is highly recommended that potential bidders gather as much information as possible about the lot. Additional images for each lot are available on our website and and additional images and detailed condition reports can be requested at or through Please note when requesting condition reports and photographs for Interiors sales, that priority will be given to lots with an estimate above £50.

    We receive a large volume of condition reports prior to our fine art auctions and whilst we endeavour to complete these in a timely fashion some reports may not be available until two days prior to the auction. Your patience on these occasions is greatly appreciated. Requests for condition reports and photographs may be submitted up to 24 hours prior to the auction.

    Condition reports and images of lots may be requested up to 24 hours prior to the auction by emailing

  • What are your buyer's premium and Driot de Suite charges?

    Buyer’s Premium & the final invoice price

    All lots purchased are subject to a buyer’s premium of 20% plus VAT @ 20%. For every successful bid the final price will be the hammer price plus 24% (inclusive) buyers premium. Minimum buyer’s premium £2.00 plus VAT per lot

    Artist resale right – Droit de Suite

    Artist’s Resale Right was introduced by a European Directive in 2006 and applies to living artists and to those who have died within the last 70 years. Lots marked with a (D) indicates that the law dictates that the purchaser pays a royalty on top of the hammer price if the sale reaches or exceeds 1000 euros. The amount charged is variable depending on the final hammer price. 4% of the sale price is paid on lots up to 50,000 euros and this reduces to 0.25% of the hammer price for lots which sell in excess of 500,000 euros. Royalties are capped so that the total amount of the royalty paid for any single sale of a work cannot exceed 12,500 euros. For more information about the administration of artists’ rights you can visit the DACS website at

  • How can I pay?

    Methods of payment

    We currently are only accepting the following payments:

    • BACS
    • Debit Card (in person)
    • Credit Card (in person)

    NB Payments using a Credit or Debit card will not be taken over the telephone unless previous arrangements have been made with Philip Serrell.

    Goods will not be released until the purchaser’s account has been paid in full.

  • What about postage and packing?

    If you’re unable to pick up your successful bid, we offer a limited packing service within the UK only and at the auctioneer’s discretion. For information please contact us.

    Please be aware that liabilities are with you the buyer and we do not pack or ship any fragile items such as pottery, porcelain, glassware, paintings, arms or weaponry.

    We’re happy to recommend Shipping Services Direct ( or 07453 848981) as an alternative choice.