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Related to Auction houses: Bonhams, Online auctions


a (normally public) sale of property usually conducted by competitive bidding where the item auctioned is sold to the person who makes the highest bid. It is conducted by an auctioneer, who is deemed to be the agent of the seller until the hammer falls and he announces the completion of the sale in favour of the highest bidder. Many auctions now take place on the Internet whereby the auctioneer provides the site upon which the goods are advertised.


Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

AUCTION, commerce, contract. A public sale of property to the highest bidder. Among the Romans this kind of sale, was made by a crier under a spear (sub hasta) stuck in the ground.
     2. Auctions are generally held by express authority, and the person who conducts them is licensed to do so under various regulations.
     3. The manner of conducting an auction is immaterial; whether it be by public outcry or by any other manner. The essential part is the selection of a purchaser from a number of bidders. In a case where a woman continued silent during the whole time of the sale, but whenever anyone bid she gave him a glass of brandy, and when the sale broke up, the person who received the last glass of brandy was taken into a private room, and he was declared to be the purchaser; this was adjudged to be an auction. 1 Dow. 115.
     4. The law requires fairness in auction sales, and when a puffer is employed to raise the property offered for sale on bona fide bidders, or a combination is entered into between two or more persons not to overbid each other, the contract may in general be avoided. Vide Puffer, and 6 John. R. 194; 8 John. R. 444; 3 John. Cas. 29; Cowp. 395; 6 T. R. 642; Harr. Dig. Sale, IV.; and the article Conditions Sale. Vide Harr. Dig. Sale, IV.; 13 Price, R. 76; M'Clel. R. 25; 6 East, R. 392; 5 B. & A. 257; S. C. 2 Stark. R. 295; 1 Esp. R. 340; 5 Esp. R. 103 4 Taunt. R. 209; 1 H. Bl. R. 81; 2 Chit. R. 253; Cowp. R. 395; 1 Bouv. Inst., n. 976.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
"With Skeleton, auction houses have the possibility to increase their market share and improve their long-term competitiveness.
We use a rich sample stemming from the universe of auctions of paintings by Italian artists held in fine art auction houses in Europe, Australia, and the United States from 1990 to 2008.
According to the auction house, the building could be converted into a number of residential units, either apartments or townhouse-style homes, or mixed use with the inclusion of commercial units, all requiring the necessary planning consent from the local authority.
If you're worried about this, get someone to bid for you, or bid by proxy, where you authorise the auction house to bid on your behalf up to a specied limit.
If you're successful, you'll have to exchange contracts and pay a deposit (usually 10% of the purchase price) and a fee to the auction house immediately.
If you're the successful bidder, you'll have to exchange contracts and pay a deposit - usually 10 per cent - and a fee to the auction house immediately.
Despite the drop, these are still considerable sums, and the desire of auction houses to grow their private sales business shows no sign of abating.
Having grown to become Germany's biggest auction house in less than three years, with revenues of EUR 35.7m (USD 39.7m) in the first half year 2015, the company is pursuing its track towards market leadership in Europe.
It is important to view Thwaytes in the context of this line of consignor and buyer cases to see how, if at all, it advances our understanding of the standard of care owed by auction houses to consignors and buyers when making fine art attributions.
Going forward, anyone who purchases a work of art will have to pay 25% of the purchase value to the auction house. For prices above $200,000, the rate will be 20%, and if it is beyond $3 million, the fee will be 12% of the auction value.
Art Works for all collectors, Auction Houses Fill in Vacuum in Art Selling Scene