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Buying & Selling

Buying with Lawrences

Below you will find some of the terms used in the auction industry which will help to explain how it all works. If, however, you would like any further information or clarification then please contact us direct.

Hammer Price

This is the price that the lot sold for at auction. In addition to this price you will have to pay a buyer’s premium charge. Certain lots may be subject to additional charges (such as Artist’s Resale Right or, occasionally, VAT on the hammer price) but this will be clearly indicated in the catalogue.

Buyer's Premium

A premium of 30% (25% plus VAT) will be charged on top of the hammer price on all lots. VAT is not applicable on books and unframed maps.

Viewing days

On viewing days, you will be able to view all the lots on offer in person and ask advice from our specialists.


On-site parking is available but spaces are limited and we cannot accommodate all visitors at peak sale times.  Additional parking is available in the town centre within short walking distance.

Lot Numbers

Each item to be auctioned carries a number to identify it.


This is an approximate guide to the price that a lot is expected to realise.

Online Bidding

We use the latest technology to ensure that you can bid in all of our sales from the comfort of your own home, wherever that may be. Whether you are a UK-based or an international bidder, our online live bidding systems allow you to access each auction in real-time whilst soaking up the saleroom atmosphere with live video and audio feeds.

Online live bidding is available:

Fine Art Sales

Via or

General Sales


If you haven’t already created an account, you’ll need to do that first, it only takes a moment.

If you are not able to follow the auction live, you can leave an ‘autobid’, which is the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a lot, in advance of the sale beginning (this can be hours, days or even weeks before).

Once the auction starts, or will place your bids for you, bidding at the level needed to keep you in the lead whilst ensuring you never go beyond your limit. If nobody else bids more than your maximum bid then you will win the lot.

To bid live in real-time, just logon in plenty of time for your lots and click the ‘Bid Live Now’ button.  Wait for the amount you want to bid to appear on the screen and click the blue bid button. If you are the highest bidder, the button will turn green. If you are outbid, the blue button will reappear and you can have another go.

Any lots purchased online with will be subject to an additional 5.94% (4.95% plus VAT) which is applied by the

Any lots purchased online with will be subject to an additional 3.6% (3% plus VAT) or you can opt to pay a flat fee per sale of £3.00 (inc VAT)  per sale which is applied by easyliveAuction.

Bidders are strongly advised not to rely solely on the webcast audio to place live bids as both the audio and video can lag behind the sale by a varying degree. Please place live bids only by the textual information displayed on the bidding window which will accurately reflect the current state of bidding.

Bidding in Room

Your name and address are registered into the computer and a numbered paddle is issued for you to bid with on the day. You indicate that you would like to bid by waving your paddle. If you are successful, then your number will be announced by the auctioneer as the winning buyer. We will need proof of ID before allocating you with a paddle number. 

In-room bidding is allowed for our Fine Art Sales.

In-room bidding is not currently allowed for our General Sales during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Commission Bids

You can leave your bids with us and we will endeavour to buy on your behalf as cheaply as possible. The bidding does not start at the price you indicate. You can leave a commission bid via our website by first creating an account. This is a FREE service.

If you intend to bid on a lot with an estimate over £1,000 we will need proof of ID. This will then be checked and safely stored for 5-years and you will receive your own individual buying number.

You can also submit a commission bid as follows:

Complete a commission bid form when you visit us in person.

Post a commission bid to us.

Call us on 01460 73041 to leave your bid.

Email your bid to

Bidding by Telephone 

Although we have increased our ability to handle telephone bids, there is still a limit and so it is advisable to contact us as soon as possible if you want to bid in this way and at least 24 hours before the start of the sale. A member of our staff will call you from the saleroom shortly before the item comes up for sale. Please note that we cannot accept applications for this service on the day of the sale. This is a FREE service.

It is unlikely that we will accept requests to bid on lots carrying an estimate of less than £500 and telephone bids may not be available on all lots. 

The telephone bidding facility is a discretionary service. We will not be responsible for bidding on your behalf if you are unavailable at the time of the sale or if the telephone connection is interrupted during bidding.

As with commission bidding, if you intend to bid on a lot with an estimate over £1,000 we will need proof of ID. This will then be checked and safely stored for 5-years and you will receive your own individual buying number.

Condition Reports

Remember that at auction it is up to you, the bidder, to satisfy yourself about the condition of an item. Please note, Lawrences are not entering into a contract with you in respect of the Condition Report and accordingly do not assume responsibility to you in respect of it, nor do we agree to owe you as a Bidder any obligation or duty in respect of this free report about a lot, which is available for your own inspection or for inspection by an expert instructed by you.

Postage & Packing

The responsibility for the collection of purchases rests with the buyer. However, for a packing fee plus the cost of postage and insurance, and when time permits, we are able to post small items such as jewellery, small items of silver, individual books, smaller ceramics, coins, medals, etc. Please refer to our postage and packing terms for full details.

Additional Charges


Pictures and original prints by European artists are subject to a resale royalty if the hammer price exceeds 1000 Euros. This has now been extended to include living European artists and all European artists who have died since 1951.

The buyers of such lots agree to pay Lawrences this royalty and we shall forward it to the artists’ collecting agents. The rate varies as follows and is quoted in Euros:

1000-50,000                     4%

50,000.01-200,000            3%

200,000.01-350,000          1%

350,000.01-500,000          0.5%

Exceeding 500,000           0.25%

ARR is capped at 12,500 Euros

Please note that it is calculated in Euros and the royalty still applies even though we have left the EU. The Euro rate of exchange will be based upon the European Central Bank rate on the day of sale as all invoices are issued in Pounds Sterling.


In some cases, you may be liable for the payment of any VAT on the hammer price but this will be clearly indicated in the catalogue.


Selling with Lawrences

If you are thinking of selling an item then we would be delighted to help. The notes below will help you to determine the best way that we can realise the highest value for your property.

If, however, you would like any further information or clarification then please contact us direct.

We will charge you a commission on the sale of the Goods calculated as a percentage of the Hammer Price at the following rates:

Catalogued Lots Selling for more than £1,000 – 10% plus VAT 

Catalogued Lots Selling up to £ 1,000 – 15% plus VAT 

General Sales 15% plus VAT on all lots.

There is a minimum lot fee of £10/lot in our quarterly catalogued sales
and £5/lot in all other sales, including our general sales.

Free Valuations 

Valuations are available at our CREWKERNE salerooms on a daily basis, by appointment. 

General valuations will be available from 9:30am - 1:00pm each weekday (excluding bank holidays) with specialist appointments available in the afternoons (appointment must be made directly with the appropriate specialist - our team will put you in touch with them when required).

FREE online valuations are also available using the upload tool via our website.

Alternatively, photos and details can be emailed to or via WhatsApp. If you're on the phone simply click HERE

We also hold specialist valuation days and events outside of these times throughout the year and throughout the South West. 

House Visits

For clients not able to visit the Salerooms or for valuations of larger items, we can arrange visits to clients' homes free of charge. 

House Clearances

With our fortnightly general sales, we are able to process house clearances quickly and efficiently. Our specialists check through items and if it would be better sold in one of our catalogued sales it will be retained for inclusion in the relevant specialist sale.

If you would like to know more about this service then please contact:

Chris Flower
Tel: 01460 73041

If you would like to know more about our Valuation Services, please contact us.

For further information, please see our full Terms & Conditions. 

*Please note that Clause 1.5 dealing with VAT applies prior to Brexit and may not be correct. We apologise for any confusion this may create. Please enquire if you need clarification.


Auction Calendar

Selling over 50,000 lots per year with over 50 Specialist and General Sales.


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“We thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and your wonderful enthusiasm. A one off memorable experience for all of us...”

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