The auction process is a key part of the secondary art and antiques market.

Firms of auctioneers usually specialise in a number of fields such as jewellery, ceramics, paintings, Asian art or coins but many also hold general sales where the goods available are not defined by a particular genre and are usually lower in value.

Auctioneers often provide other services such as probate and insurance valuations.


Scurvy doctor's grant of arms makes four times estimate in Colchester

15 March 2021

This Georgian grant of arms document on vellum was presented to the celebrated Scottish physician Gilbert Blane (1749-1834) after his creation as a baronet by The Prince Regent in 1812.

Silver ewers

Beatles fan mail and silver ewers are among five lots to watch at auction

15 March 2021

With estimates from £100-25,000 here are five previews of upcoming items this week.


Map shows heartfelt emotion

15 March 2021

Sold at $34,000 (£25,185) apiece, two very different lots headed the bidding in a New York sale of December 17.


Daily life and world history in one

15 March 2021

A magnificent copy of Liber chronicarum, or ‘Nuremburg Chronicle’ as it is more familiarly known, made a record $350,000 (£265,150) at Bonhams New York.


Sèvres gift from Napoleon’s empress offered at Fontainbleau auction

15 March 2021

Osenat is holding one of its periodic sales titled L’Empire à Fontainbleau in its Fontainebleau saleroom on March 22.


Silver in the spring: Fourteen upcoming lots in the next two months

15 March 2021

A number of key sales for dealers and collectors of antique silver were postponed earlier this year. However, plenty is on offer this month and with lockdown in England set to recede, April features a bumper crop


Alfred Wainwright strides ever onward

15 March 2021

Drawings by the great fell-walking guidebook author catch the mood of escapism


Sale explores early America

15 March 2021

Published in Paris, a 1613 first edition of a pioneering American exploration work sold for $160,000 (£114,285) in Philadelphia.


New York buyers curious about Dickens

15 March 2021

Almost a hundred lots in a New York sale came from the extensive Dickens collections assembled over four decades by Martin Nason.


Dublin corkscrews and wine ewers draw strong competition at Adam’s

15 March 2021

Georgian silver bow corkscrews by Dublin makers are rare beasts and appeal to both silver collectors and helixophiles.


Huge baths picture makes a big splash

15 March 2021

At nearly 7ft high, a fine example of a four-sheet coloured lithograph of the Sutro Baths sold for $10,000 (£7355).


Talk of the London taverns as silver wares get snapped by dealers

15 March 2021

A recent sale at Dawsons’ (23% buyer’s premium) sale in Maidenhead included two George IV tablewares by Edward Farrell chased and embossed with tavern scenes in the manner of Dutch genre painting.


Liverpool theme grips Atkinson Grimshaw

15 March 2021

The city of Liverpool holds a special place in the oeuvre of John Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-93).


Christening bowl for a Carnegie sells in Hampshire

15 March 2021

A late 19th century christening bowl offered by Hampshire auction house Hannam’s (23% buyer’s premium) was admired both for its artistry and ownership history.


Tea served by Regency stars

15 March 2021

This Neo-classical silver tea service combines the talents of two giants of the Regency era.


Books and works on paper: Grimm and wonderful buys

15 March 2021

Famous brothers’ fairy tales take top spot in an exceptional selection of children’s works.


Snuff box bidding battle in York

15 March 2021

This George III silver table snuff box by Phipps and Robinson, London 1814, is engraved to the cover with a plan of the battle of Talavera in the Peninsular War.


Medical pioneer’s library sold at Bonhams New York

15 March 2021

Offered at Bonhams New York (27.5/25/20/13.9% buyer’s premium) was a first selection from the medical library of James Tate Goodrich (1946-2020).


Gold ring fitting for a de Vere

15 March 2021

Metal detectorist’s discovery linked to flamboyant earl who was a favourite of Elizabeth I


Beast from the East Midlands

15 March 2021

This Victorian silver and enamel cigarette box is decorated to the lid with humorous scene from John Surtees’ Jorrocks, Jaunts and Jollities.