Valuations are by appointment only. However, you no longer need an appointment for viewing or attending our auctions.

Buying at Toovey’s Auctions

Buying Fine Art, Antiques and Collectables

Buying at auction is a very simple process. Toovey’s friendly team of experts are always willing to discuss items entered in the auctions with potential purchasers, offering honest and helpful advice in addition to condition reports and additional photographs. All members of our dedicated team are here to help should you need any assistance. Please note that all items purchased are subject to our standard terms and conditions.

How to Find a Lot

ViewingYou can visit our salerooms during the viewing periods where items are on display, you may handle and inspect them and our experts are on hand to answer your questions. You can also take advantage of our café, open throughout sale week serving beverages, cakes and light lunches.

CataloguesWe also produce a full colour catalogue for each sale. You may take out an annual subscription for the printed catalogue, which makes a good present for those interested in antiques, or view the online catalogue. Catalogue subscription costs vary depending on your specific collecting requirements and may be ordered at our auction house or by calling 01903 891955. The online catalogue has a user-friendly search facility or can be browsed by section.

Specialist buyersIf you are interested in a specialist field of collecting, i.e. a particular artist or ceramic maker, you can create saved search alerts via this website.

How to Bid

Condition reportsIt is strongly recommended that anyone wishing to leave a bid, who has not viewed in person, obtain a condition report from one of our experts, these can be provided by phone, fax or email. On occasions our descriptions do draw attention to condition problems, however, the absence of such advice does not imply that a lot is in good or entirely original condition. Additional photographs can also be provided for lots within the sale by email.

BiddingNew customers wishing to bid at the Spring Gardens saleroom will need to register for a paddle number at Toovey’s main office. Customers will be required to fill out a registration card and provide two valid forms of identification: Photo identification, i.e. driving licence or passport, and Official proof of your address, i.e. utility bill, council tax bill, header from card or bank statement, or driving licence if this has not already been used as photo identification.

Commission biddingAlso known as absentee bidding this is a way of bidding for an item when you cannot make a sale, commission bids can be left in person, by telephone, by fax or via this secure website, certain details will be required for leaving a commission bid and thus we do not recommend sending them via email. The auctioneer will carry out a commission bid on your behalf and endeavour to purchase a lot or lots at the lowest price possible against any other bids or reserves. In the instance of identical commission bids, the first bid placed will take precedence.

Telephone biddingThis service is offered subject to availability of telephone lines and arrangements must be made at least one day before the sale. Telephone bidding is only available on lots carrying a lower catalogue estimate of at least £300.

Internet biddingThis service is offered via a third-party website, An additional surcharge is payable for bidding live over the internet. Please ensure that you are approved to bid online well in advance of the sale, as registering on does not give you automatic approval to bid at Toovey’s.

How to Pay & Collect

Buyer’s PremiumIs calculated at 24.5% plus VAT (29.4% including VAT) of the hammer price, on the commission at the current rate, where appropriate. This will be charged on the hammer price of each lot purchased.

PaymentSuccessful bidders will need to pay for the items by the Wednesday following the sale. Payment can be made by cash, cheque (cheque clearance takes eight bank processing days from the day of paying-in), debit or credit card. Please make sure we can accept your card before bidding with us.

Collection & TransportationOnce items have been paid for in full and if necessary funds have cleared, items can be released to the purchaser. We do not provide postage or packaging services but we can recommend specialist carriers if you wish to have items delivered. For smaller items many people use ATD Shipping (07483 353934/01903 742233,, Mailboxes Etc: Guildford (01483 453131, or Brighton (01273 706020,, Part & Parcel (01252 545611), Pack & Send (01483 338799,, and Jentel Packing (01268 776777, For larger items please contact our offices for our recommendation.

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