Buying and selling at auction is simple and entertaining

An auction is a public form of sale in which potential buyers compete with one another to acquire an item. As it is well-known, sales through auctions are the preferred method of sale in the art world where items pass ownership at the fall of the auctioneer’s hammer.
In this type of auction, the auctioneer prompts the bidding by declaring a lower price than its true value and waits for potential purchasers to compete by bidding higher and higher until no further offers are made and the auction is concluded.
If the offers made attain or exceed the reserve price – i.e. minimum sale price confidentially agreed beforehand with the seller – the lot is assigned to the highest offer, otherwise the lot remains unsold.


1. Select the lots that interest you
• The catalogue – The lots entered for auction are photographed and described on our website and in our catalogues that are available at our offices or mailed upon request. As a rule, the two prices quoted correspond to minimum and maximum values.
• The preview – Pre-auction viewing is open to the public, free of charge, several days prior to the auction. Lots to be sold by on-line auction can only be viewed upon request.

2. Various ways of participating
• Auction room participation (in person or by proxy) – This is the most traditional way of taking part in the auction.
• Online participation – This is the newest method for taking part in an auction: sitting in front of your computer watching the live transmission of the auction and being able to make your bids via internet in real time.
• Telephone participation – It is also possible to take part in the auction by telephone, assisted by a member of our staff who will keep you updated on the bids and also communicate your offer to the auctioneer. This is a free service that must be booked at least 24 hours prior to the auction either at our offices or by forwarding to Bertolami Fine Arts the form published at the end of our catalogue.
• Absentee Bids – It is possible to place a written absentee bid (which is the maximum price you are willing to pay for the lot). In this case, Bertolami Fine Arts will attempt on your behalf to achieve the lot at the lowest possible price. Absentee bid forms are available through our website or at the end of the catalogue and are to be submitted duly completed.

3. Registration
Only those registered may bid. Those taking part in the auction room are to register by completing a short form and providing a photocopy of an identity document.

4. Checking auction results
Auctions results are published within five working days after the conclusion of the sale, and can be consulted on the Bertolami Fine Arts website.

5. Final price 
The final price of the lots sold includes the successful bidding price plus auction charges (buyer’s premium). Final sales are subjected to local tax charges. (In Italy IVA (vat) is added).
Auction charges are calculated on a percentage basis that vary according to pre-term agreements, described in the Conditions of Sale published at the end of the catalogue.

6. Payment terms
All lots purchased at the auction must be paid in full no later than ten days from receipt of invoice. The purchases may be paid for in the following ways:
• Personal or Cashier’s check
• Wire transfer
• Credit card
• Paypal

7. Delivery and transport 
If the client does not wish to collect his purchase personally, he may use the delivery service which includes packing, shipping and insurance. Before shipment, the charges for this provided service should be approved by the client.

8. Export / import permits
The Italian law states that exporting items of cultural interest that regard works of art of deceased artists and that have been created over 50 years ago are subject to relevant export licenses. Bertolami Fine Arts can assist buyers or sellers in submitting the applications to obtain the appropriate export licenses. For information concerning service costs and details, please contact the service department pertaining to the item for which is intended such certification. The denial or delay in obtaining any export license shall not justify or permit the buyer neither annulment of the lot sold nor delay in making full payment.


1. Evaluation of items you wish to offer for sale 
If you own paintings, sculptures, art works, archaeological finds, coins or medals and are considering tosell them in an auction, the first step is to verify their value by contacting our experts.
In order to make a free preliminary evaluation by our experts, we require the following:
• Photo of front and back and of any signatures or trademarks;
• Size and description of item;
• Any history and/or specifications regarding ownership or acquisition;
• Copy of any publications /expertise or evaluations made.

2. Sales mandate contract
If you wish to engage us to sell your items by auction, the terms and conditions of our agreement shall be contractually established in a sales mandate.
The sales mandate contains the following:
• Description of objects for sale;
• Reserve price indications, i.e., the minimum price at which the vendor is willing to sell the items. This information is strictly confidential and safeguarded by the auctioneer during the bidding session;
• The commission due to Bertolami Fine Arts in case of concluded sale;
• List of costs charged to the client including the resale rights, if applicable, for which Bertolami Fine Arts is obliged to pay on behalf of the seller to SIAESocietà Italiana degli Autori ed Editori

3. Resale rights
Law decree no.118 dated February 13th, 2006 introduced into Italy the specified resale rights, i.e. payment rights due to the authors for their works and manuscripts and to their heirs in relation to any subsequent sale of the original work. Such payment is due on sales of Euro 3000 (three thousand euros) and over, and must be paid to SIAE by Bertolami Fine Arts on behalf of the vendor.

Post-Auction communications
Following the auction, we shall inform you of the outcome of the sale. All unsold lots shall be available for your withdrawal.

4. Settlement
Bertolami Fine Arts will proceed to pay the vendor upon due issue of an invoice stating commission details and other charges, after 45 days of the auction date, provided that the items sold have been paid in full by the purchaser.