Buying Art at Auction

Buying at auctions is one of the most reliable and most fascinating ways to collect art or to enrich existing collections.  Each auction is always an extraordinary event.

Germann Auction House Ltd. welcomes all art enthusiasts to our Fine Art Auctions. There are various ways to participate in our auctions: In person in our saleroom, as an absentee bidder with a written bid, by telephone or by «Online-Bidding».

Our auction catalogues are published approx. 3 weeks prior to the auctions. You can order your personal copy, browse the catalogues online on our webpage or download the PDF-catalogue.

We exhibit all artworks during the auction previews and are looking forward to your visit.

Next Auctions:
Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art Sales 7 - 9 June 2021

28 May - 2 June 2021

The auction catalogue will be online from 15 May 2021


For the upcoming Auctions from 7 - 9 June 2021 we recommend you to place a written or telephone bid, or to participate via  «Online-Bidding». Registration for online bidding will be possible from 15 May 2021 via the button «Online-Bidding» for the respective auction.

For the protection of our clients' health, personal participation in the salesroom is possible only after prior registration.
Please contact:, Tel +41 44 251 83 52 or + 41 44 251 83 58.

The auctions and the previews are public

We recommend you to visit the preview exhibitions and to examine the quality and the condition of the art works. Due to reproduction − catalogue and internet − it might be possible that slight colour deviations occur. Unfortunately, not even the most modern techniques avoid such changes. 

We kindly ask you to carefully read the «Conditions of Sale by Auction».


First time bidders must also fill out and duly sign the «Registration for First Time Bidders» and send it together with a photocopy of the passport or the identity card at least 24 hours before the auction to Germann Auction House Ltd. 
Germann Auction House Ltd. can also request a bank reference  or a deposit. 

watchlist / bidding list on the internet

Presumably, your interest is attracted by several objects and you cannot take an immediate decision. While clicking into the field «save to my watchlist/bidding list» you can list your favourites. The list is designed to be used as your personal working instrument as well as for placing written absentee bids or telephone orders (see below). 

Bidding in person at auction

At the forthcoming auction from 22-23 of June, personal participation in the auction room is only possible with prior registration.
Potential buyers attending the auction are required to present an official identification document half an hour before the auction.
Information for first time bidders: Please fill in the «Registration for First Time Bidders», which must reach us latest 24 hours before the auction. 
By placing a bid, the bidder accepts and acknowledges the conditions of sale by auction.

Due to Covid-19 we recommend you to place written or phone bids, or to participate via "Live-Online-Auction".
The incriments are determined by the auctioneer, but usually never exceed ten percent of the previous bid.

Absentee Bids / Written Order Bids

If you cannot attend the auction in person and wish to bid, you can do so by completing the absentee bid form and submit your written bid.

On the internet: For lots of your interest click on the page detailed view into the field «save to my watchlist/bidding form». On the menu item «Auctions» and «My Watchlist/Bidding Form» you see the collected artworks of your interest. On your Watchlist/Bidding Form you can edit your selection and  put in your maximum bids. Just print the list, insert your complete address and personal details and send it duly signed together with a copy of your passport or copy of your identity card either by post, fax or E-mail to Germann Auction House Ltd.

A «Blank List» can also be printed and filled out in handwriting. The form is also included in each catalogue. 

Your bid with your maximum amount will not be exceeded. The premium on the hammer price and the applicable Swiss VAT (value added tax) are not included in your bid and will be added to the price. As a rule, the lots will always be bought for the lowest increment that exceeds all competing bids and which meets or exceeds the reserve price.

The duly signed forms must reach Germann Auction House Ltd. no later than 24 hours before the auction starts. 

We strongly recommend that you send in your written order bids as early as possible because, in the event of identical bids, the earliest received will take precedence. 


Bids by telephone

If you decide to bid by telephone we will call you during the auction at your specified  phone number short before the desired lot comes up .

Please ensure your telephone lines are not occupied and that you have the catalogue available. As a rule, the auction proceeds rather fast and therefore, it is advisable that you roughly decide in advance on the amount you are willing to pay. The premium on the hammer price and the applicable Swiss VAT is not included in your bid and will be added to the price. Our team is eager to actively engage you in the auction process and will help you to successfully place your bids. 

To place your telephone order:  Create your «Watchlist/Bidding Form»  as described in the above section «Absentee Bids/Written Order Bids». Instead of filling in an amount you just write «Phone Order» and state the telephone number (including country code) at which you can be reached during the time the auction takes place and send it duly signed together with a copy of your passport or identity card either by post, fax or e-mail to Germann Auction House Ltd.

The duly signed forms must reach Germann Auction House Ltd. no later than 24 hours before the auction begins.
The telephone lines are limited.


Live-Online-Auctions / Online-Bidding

Potential buyers who intend to to place their bids in the course of a «Live-Online Auction»  may participate in the auction once their registration application has been approved by Germann Auctions House Ltd. Germann Auctions House reserves the right to decline registration applications at its discretion. Registration for online bidding will be possible from 15 May 2021 via the button «Online-Bidding» for the respective auction.



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 the hammer price

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. 


Value added tax (VAT / MWST)

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.


Payment and release of acquired objects

You may pay for your purchase immediately after the auction by going to the Cashiers and take the objects with you. Payment by check or credit card is not accepted. Otherwise, the invoice will be sent to you by mail or Email and must be paid within 10 days either by bank or post transfer. Late payments are due to a penalty of 1% interest per calendar month.

The purchase will be released after receiving the buyer’s full payment of the hammer price, premium and, if applicable the taxes. You may pay for your purchase immediately after the auction by going to the Cashiers or an invoice will be mailed to you following the sale.

The object acquired must be picked up at the close of the auction or within 10 days thereafter at the risk and expenses of the buyer. After that, the objects will be stored at the risk and expenses of the buyer. The daily rate is CHF 10 per object.
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.

We look forward to your participation in our auctions. 


Germann Auction House Ltd.  -  Your Partner concernig Fine Arts

  • Member of the Association of Swiss Auctioneers
  • Partner of THE ART LOSS REGISTERAll artworks with an estimate of at least CHF 1500 are checked against The Art Loss Register’s database before the auctions.
Germann Auctions House Ltd., Stockerstrasse 38, 8002 Zurich (Switzerland)
Telephone +41 44 251 83 58   |   Fax +41 44 261 53 87    |