Art Auction Primer

Auction Terms: A-B

C-I | K-Z

Term Definition
Appraisal A formal analysis of the value of an object or property usually resulting in a written document used for tax and insurance purposes. The value can be assessed in terms of the price the art might receive at auction (see Fair Market Value) or the cost to replace the item (see Insurance Value).
As Is The property is sold with all existing faults and imperfections and buyer loses most recourse against the auction or seller.
Attribution The artist assignation of a piece of art. If an attributed piece of art is not authenticated, it may carry the description "attributed to."
Auctioneer The individual who presides over the auction, initiating the sale of a lot by describing the item and starting the bidding
Authentication Documented proof or expert opinion confirming the authenticity of an item of art.
Authenticity The art is genuine and produced by the artist to whom it is attributed.
Authorship Used in auction catalogs to identify the creator of an object.
Bid A price offered by an individual when he/she want to buy a lot.
Bid Increment The amount by which the auctioneer increases the bidding.
Bought In Bought In If a lot does not receive any bids or does not meet the reserve price, the lot will be returned to the original owner or consignor. When this occurs, the phrase "brought in" will be listed in catalogs and buyer's lists. Often times in this case, the name of the auctioneer will be listed as the buyer of the lot. The item could also be listed as "Passed" or "Withdrawn."
Buy-in Fees The fee the consigner must pay for a piece does not sell. The range can be 3-6%.
Buyer's Premium An additional amount added to the Hammer Price of a lot paid to the auction house for its services. The Price List will note whether or not the price includes the Buyer's Premium. The Buyer's Premium is included in the Price Realized.
Conditions of Business Special conditions under which an item is offered for sale. These conditions will effect the right of the buyer.