Conditions of Sale by Auction
- By participating in the sale, the bidder fully accepts the following Auction Conditions of Germann Auction House Ltd. The hammer price is determined by the bidder recognised by the auctioneer as having made the highest bid in Swiss Francs resulting in the conclusion of a purchase contract between the seller and the purchaser. Seller shall not bid for their own lots.
- A currency converter may be operated at some auctions but only for the guidance of bidders. Germann Auction House Ltd. will not accept any responsibility in case of error on the part of the currency converter, either in foreign currency of bids or in Swiss Francs or otherwise.
- Every purchaser is personally responsible for his bids. Objections on the grounds of having bought on behalf of a third party are not accepted. The bidder remains bound by it until either a higher price is offered or the auctioneer refuses it. The auctioneer reserves the right to refuse or cancel the sale, interrupt or cancel the auction procedure, withdraw the item or reoffer and resell the item. Title and risk pass to the buyer on acceptance of the bid by the auctioneer. The auctioneer may initiate the auctioning of an item below the reserve price agreed upon with the seller. Works of art may be knocked down without having been sold or withdrawn, without being apparent prior to the end of the auction. Invoices are payable within 10 days after the auction. Compensation is excluded.
- Any party may participate in an auction as a bidder. However, Germann Auction House Ltd. has absolute discretion to refuse admission to the auction.
- New: Bidders, previously unknown to Germann Auction House Ltd. must register at least 24 hours before the auction, using the form “Registration for First Time Bidders” provided for this purpose. This registration form must be duly signed and a copy of the valid bidder’s passport or identity card must be enclosed.
Germann Auction House Ltd. may ask a prospective buyer to supply financial references.
- New: Bidders attending the auction in the salesroom require a bidding number in order to participate in the auction. The bidding number must be collected at the reception 30 minutes before the auction starts.
- Absentee bids or bids by telephone from prospective buyers who cannot attend the sale are accepted in writing up to 24 hours before the sale begins. Telephone bidders accept that the phone calls may be recorded. Written and telephone bids are offered as an additional service at no extra charge and at the buyer’s risk. Germann Auction House Ltd. cannot accept liability for failure to place such bids.
- All buyers shall pay a premium on the hammer price for each lot calculated as follows:
For a hammer price up to CHF 10'000: 25%
For a hammer price above CHF 10'000 up to CHF 400'000:
25% on the first CHF 10'000
20% on the difference between CHF 10'000 up to CHF 400'000
For a hammer price above CHF 400'000:
25% on the first CHF 10'000
20% on the difference between CHF 10'000 up to CHF 400'000
15% on the difference between CHF 400'000 up to the hammer price.
- If the winning bid is placed in the course of a Live Online Auction, there will be an additional 3% added to the premium. Bidders are subject to the terms and conditions of Germann Auctions House Ltd. as listed on the Live Auction Website, which may differ in some respects from those listed here.
- The above mentioned buyer’s premium is subject to the Swiss VAT, which is to be paid by the buyer. For lots marked with asterisk (*) both, the price at which the object has been knocked down and the buyer’s premium are subject to the Swiss VAT.
- After an export declaration duly signed by the Swiss customs authorities has been received, Germann Auction House Ltd. will refund the Swiss VAT to foreign buyers, provided that the sum exceeds CHF 50.
- All objects are put up for auction on behalf of and on the account of third parties. The buyer shall not have the right to be informed of the seller’s name or his commission.
- The buyer must take possession of the objects in the condition in which they are at the time of being knocked down to him. During the preview exhibition the objects are open to inspection. They are described to the best of our knowledge, but Germann Auction House Ltd. and the auctioneer cannot be held responsible for the information given in the catalogue. Guarantee of defects of any kind, both physical and legal, is excluded explicitly. Any written or oral comments are statements of opinion, which may be revised at any time and are not warranties, guarantees, conditions or the like.
- If, within one year from the date of auction of an object, the buyer informs Germann Auction House Ltd. in writing that the said object is a willful imitation and returns said object in the same conditions in which it was knocked down to him, and in fact it turns out to be a willful imitation, with respect to its description in the catalogue, the auctioneer will cancel the sale.
- The proof of willful imitation is to be supplied by the buyer. Any copy which was produced with intent to deceive, either with respect to its maker, origin, date, epoch, cultural area or source, without this appearing from the text of the catalogue, and which was worth less at the sale than it would have been if the object had matched its description, is considered a willful imitation. An item shall not be deemed to have been forged if it is merely damaged or has been subjected to restoration or modifications of any nature whatsoever.
- The following restrictions shall apply, however. The object can not be returned:
- if the description in the catalogue was made in keeping with the level of research or according to the opinion of the majority of experts at the time when the catalogue was being compiled; or
- if, in keeping with the level of research, the imitation was not to be qualified as such at the time the catalogue was being compiled.
The object can only be returned by the buyer in whose name the invoice is issued.
- The purchase will be released after receiving the buyer’s full payment of the hammer price, premium and, if applicable the value added tax (VAT). After 10 days from the auction, the buyer is fully liable for the loss, theft, damage or destruction of the acquired items. Germann Auction House Ltd. ceases to have liability after the said period. You may pay for your purchase immediately after the auction or an invoice will be mailed to you following the sale.
- Payment by credit card is not accepted. Late payments are due to a penalty of 1% interest per calendar month.
- If a buyer fails to pay at all or does not in due time, Germann Auction House Ltd. is entitled to either ask for performance of the terms of the sales contract or to cancel the sale of the lot without notice. A buyer who does not abide by the conditions outlined above, is liable to pay damages.
These may include a loss incurred by auctioning off the object a second time as well as the commission and expenses due for both sales. Germann Auction House Ltd. stipulates having the right of retention and a lien over any of the buyer’s property which is in the possession of Germann Auction House Ltd. for any reason until payment of all outstanding amounts due. Germann Auction House Ltd. may resell those goods by auction or private sale, with estimates and reserves at Germann Auction House Ltd.’s discretion. If such resale is for less than the amount due the buyer will remain liable for the shortfall together with all costs incurred during such resale.
The buyer whose allocation has been cancelled shall have no right to raise a claim on the possible sum in excess of the former price. In addition, articles 213.ff. and following as well as 102.ff. and following of the Swiss Code of Obligations shall apply. In case the object has been picked up by the buyer before paying the full amount of the invoice, Germann Auction House Ltd. or the seller is authorized to rescind the contract and ask for the object to be returned.
- On demand, Germann Auction House Ltd. assists with shipping and insurance arrangements, but declines all liability resulting from such acts. If the purchsed lots are not collected within 10 days after the auction, the objects will be stored at the buyer’s expense and entire risk either at Germann Auction House Ltd. premises or with a third party and will be subject to a handling fee and charges for storage.
- The conditions stated above are an integral part of every purchase contract concluded at the auction. Modifications thereof are valid only if agreed upon in writing. Should any provision of these Conditions of Sale be held unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions shall remain in full force.
- The Canton and the Borough of Zurich bear no legal responsibility whatever in connection with the sale. The Official, delegated by the City of Zurich, acts in a purely supervisory capacity.
The relationship between the parties to the contract is governed by Swiss law in all respects. Deliveries are due at Zurich 2, which is also the place of jurisdiction. The right of recourse to the Swiss Federal Court is reserved.
- The original text in German is binding.
Updated: October 2019
Germann Auction House Ltd. - Your Partner concernig Fine Arts
- Member of the Association of Swiss Auctioneers
- Partner of THE ART LOSS REGISTER. All artworks with an estimate of at least CHF 1500 are checked against The Art Loss Register’s database before the auctions.