Terms & Conditions


Prospective buyers must satisfy themselves concerning the condition of the goods and the matters referred to in the catalogue description, in accordance with the Conditions of Sale and Business. At its discretion, Mayfair Book Auctions may provide condition reports. The relative antiquity or common usage of most of the items at auction precludes their being in perfect condition and some descriptions in the catalogue, or given by way of condition report (oral or written), make reference to damage and/or restoration. Mayfair Book Auctions provide this information for guidance only and the absence of such a reference does not imply that an item is free from defects or restoration, nor does a reference to particular defects imply the absence of any others.


If, on collation, any named items in this catalogue prove defective, in text or illustration, the purchaser may request to cancel the sale or seek partial refund by way of compensation provided the Lot is returned within fourteen days, explaining the defect in writing. This however will not apply in the case of un-named items, periodicals, autograph letters, manuscripts, music, maps, atlases, prints or drawings, nor in respect of damage to bindings, stains, foxing, marginal wormholes or other defects not affecting the completeness of the text, nor in respect of lack of list of plates, inserted advertisements, cancels or subsequently published volumes, supplements, appendices or plates or error in the enumerating of the plates, nor in respect of defects mentioned in the catalogue or announced at the time of sale.


Purchasers are advised that a storage charge of £3.00 per lot per day may be levied on all purchases not cleared within seven working days of the sale.


Mayfair Book Auctions will execute bids on behalf of clients unable to attend the sale. Commission or absentee bids on traditional, live auctions are accepted by post, fax, email, telephone or via the Mayfair Book Auctions website. For these types of auctions Mayfair Book Auctions will add these bids to the auctioneer’s sale book and will undertake to purchase the lots on your behalf as cheaply as allowed by other bids and reserves. Mayfair Book Auctions does not accept liability for failing to execute commission bids, or for any errors or omissions.

In the case of timed online-only auctions bids can only currently be accepted via the relevant third-party bidding platform (i.e. the-saleroom.com *)


A licence from the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council will be required before certain items may be exported from the United Kingdom. Any item containing ivory will require a CITES licence before it can be exported from the EU.


Payment will be accepted by debit or credit card drawn on a UK bank and registered to a UK billing address. There is no additional charge for purchases made with these cards, in cash up to €10,000 (subject to relevant money laundering regulations), or by bank transfer direct into our bank account (details available upon request). Payment may also be made by Sterling personal or business account cheques drawn on a UK bank, although Mayfair Book Auctions reserves the right to withhold release of purchases paid for by this method until the funds have been cleared.


Lots marked with an delta symbol (δ) are subject to the Artist’s Resale Right Law. The buyer agrees to pay Mayfair Book Auctions an amount equal to the resale royalty and we will pay such amount to the artist’s collecting agent. Resale royalty applies where the Hammer price is €1,000 or more, with a maximum royalty of €12,500 per lot. The amount is calculated as follows: ROYALTY FOR THE PORTION OF THE HAMMER PRICE (IN EUROS) 4.00% up to 50,000 3.00% between 50,000.01 and 200,000 1.00% between 200,000.01 and 350,000 0.50% between 350,000.01 and 500,000 0.25% in excess of 500,000. Invoices will, as usual, be issued in Pounds Sterling. For the purposes of calculating the resale royalty the Pounds Sterling/Euro rate of exchange will be the European Central Bank reference rate on the day of the sale.


Our buyer’s premium is 20% of the hammer price up to £100,000; 15% of the hammer price from £100,001 to £1,000,000 and 12% of the hammer price for sales in excess of £1,000,000. These rates are inclusive of VAT.


The Vendor warrants that ownership of the Lots will be transferred to the Buyer with good and marketable title, free from any third party right and encumbrances, claims or potential claims. The Vendor has provided all information concerning the items ownership, condition and provenance, attribution, authenticity, import or export history and of any concerns expressed by third parties concerning the same.


Commission rates are arranged between the Auctioneer and the Vendor at the time the receipt is issued.


Mayfair Book Auctions is not authorised by the FSA to provide insurance to its clients, and does not do so. However, Mayfair Book Auctions for its own protection assumes liability for property consigned to it at the lower pre-sale estimate until the hammer falls. The liability assumed by Mayfair Book Auctions shall be limited to the lower pre-sale estimate or the hammer price if the lot is sold.


Goods will normally be offered subject to a reserve agreed between Mayfair Book Auctions and the Vendor before the sale.


If an item is unsold Mayfair Book Auctions has the right to re-offer it in a future auction, though the vendor will be notified in writing that this is our intention. Where in our opinion an item is unsaleable you must collect such item/s from the saleroom promptly on being so informed. Otherwise, storage charges may be incurred. We reserve the right to charge for storage in these circumstances at a reasonable daily rate.


Bidders are required to register their particulars before bidding and to satisfy any specific security requests made by Mayfair Book Auctions prior to partaking in an auction, either directly or via a third-party bidding platform; the maker of the highest bid accepted by the auctioneer conducting the sale shall be the buyer at the hammer price and any dispute about a bid shall be settled at the auctioneer’s absolute discretion. Bidders shall be deemed to act as principals. Our right to bid on behalf of the seller is expressly reserved up to the amount of any reserve and the right to refuse any bid is also reserved.


The ownership of any Lots purchased shall not pass to the successful bidder until payment has been made in full. The Buyer shall at their own risk and expense take away any Lots purchased and paid for not later than 7 working days following the date of the auction or upon clearance of any cheque used for payment, after which they shall be responsible for any removal, storage and insurance charges.


If any Lot is not paid for in full and taken away in accordance with these Conditions or if there is any other breach of these Conditions, we, as agent for the Vendor and on our own behalf, shall at our absolute discretion and without prejudice to any other rights we may have, be entitled to exercise one or more of the following rights and remedies:
(i) proceed against you for damages for breach of contract;
(ii) rescind the sale of that Lot and/or any other Lots sold by us to you;
(iii) resell the Lot (by auction or private treaty) in which case you shall be responsible for any resulting deficiency in the total amount due (after crediting any part payment and adding any resale costs). Any surplus so arising shall belong to the seller;
(iv) remove, store and insure the Lot at your expense and, in the case of storage, either at our premises or elsewhere;
(v) charge interest at a rate not exceeding 1.5% per month on the total amount due to the extent it remains unpaid for more than 3 working days after the sale;
(vi) retain that or any other Lot sold to you until you pay the total amount due;
(vii) reject or ignore bids from you or your agent at future auctions or to impose conditions before any such bids shall be accepted;
(viii) apply any proceeds of the sale of other Lots due or in future becoming due to you towards the settlement of the total amount due.


Prospective buyers are strongly advised, where practicable, to attend the auction and are always responsible for any decision to bid for a particular Lot, and they shall be assumed to have carefully inspected and satisfied themselves as to its condition. We will in the case of traditional, live auctions, if so instructed, clearly and in writing execute bids on their behalf. Neither the auctioneer nor our employees or agents shall be responsible for any failure to do so. Where two or more commission bids at the same level are recorded we reserve the right in our absolute discretion to prefer the first bid so made. Bidding on timed online-only auctions can currently only be made via the relevant third-party bidding platform (i.e. the-saleroom.com and are subject to the conditions thereof *).

* Please note that any lots purchased via the-saleroom.com live auction service will be subject to an additional 3% commission charge.