The office of expertise proposes training courses for the people avid to acquire the technical, historic and economic bases allowing to begin a collection in a given speciality. These formations have for main objective to pass on(to transmit) the knowledge necessary for the identification and for the evaluation of works of art. The complete program of the formations is available on request on the Office, 14 Street Vernier 06000 Nice or by email. Let us quote in particular the program “ classic Passion “, to discover all the paint(painting) and the decorative arts through the biggest artists, or still ” modern Passion “, formation offering a wide range of proposals around the current creation.

French auctions glossery from A to Z

To Buy
Auction sales are open to all, which means that anyone can buy. The lot is knocked down to the highest bidder who will receive a purchase slip with which he can retrieve the lot after payment. A buyer’s premium is added to the auction price: between 9 and 20%; it decreases as the bid increases (VAT of 19.6% is also added, except for books for which it is 5.5%). A V.A.T. (Value Added Tax) is also added. Legal fees (14,352 %) are charged in the case of a judicial sale.

Sold Out
The word “adjugé” (sold) ends the bidding and transfers the title of ownership to the last bidder.

After Sale
Within 15 days of the “adjudication”, it is possible to sell on agreement, with as minimum price that of the last bid or if there was none, that of the starting bid. The last bidder must be informed, if he is known.

Auctioneers may grant the seller an advance payment on the result of the sale (with no percentage limit of the sale price).

Bill for Sale
The written proof of purchase given by the auctioneer to the buyer describes the lot, its period, dimensions, catalogue number, the auction price and the buyer’s premium. The bill of sale acts as a guarantee and proof of payment and ownership in case of dispute or for insurance purpose.

Given by the sale crier at the time of the sale. It allows you to take away your purchase after payment. Do not lose it! Anyone finding it could obtain the corresponding lot.

A printed booklet in which the items are numbered following the sequential order of the sale, described, and sometimes reproduced. Catalogues often contain the list of estimates. Written either by the auctioneers, or by experts or other specialists, they are an indispensable guide to attending or following a sale. Some are also found on the internet

According to the law of December 21st 1921, the French Government has the right to purchase a work of art at auction, through the National museums, taking the last bidder’s place. Acting once the last bid is called by the auctioneer, the Government representative uses its right of preemption, under the Minister of Culture’s authority.

A price offer higher than the initial one or the preceding bids.

Price or price range that should be close to the final price. The estimate is given by a person authorized by an auctionneer’s office or Drouot-Estimations.

Crazy Bids
In rare occasions, a careless bidder may be caught up in the bidding and find himself unable to pay the price. A “folle enchère” (literally “crazy bid”) is then announced. The lot is auctioned again. If the new auction price does not reach the former one, the careless bidder will have to pay the difference!

A ten-year guarantee certifies the authenticity of the lot acquired as it is described in the official sale’s record, the catalogue and the bill of purchase.

The starting bid
The starting bid is usually half of the estimate of the lot.

Absentee bid
If you are unable to attend the sale, an absentee bid may be left with the auctioneer or his staff, indicating the maximum you want to bid. It will be carried out free of charge.

On presentation of the purchase slip, payment will be made in cash or by check. In the latter case, delivery may be held until the check is cashed if no registration has been made with the auctioneer or the expert’s office.

Reverse price
The seller, in a confidential agreement with the auctioneer, may set a minimum price under which the item will not be sold. Since July 10 2000, it cannot be higher than the low estimate made public.

Bought in
If the last bid does not reach the minimum price (“prix de réserve”) set by the seller and the auctioneer, the item is not sold and is returned to its owner. For these items, fees usually amount to 3% of the last bid.

Voluntaree sales companies
They result from the free decision of a person to sell all or part of his goods. They must be conducted by private commercial companies (owned by a person, associates or shareholders) that have been approved by the Council of Voluntary Sales and in which at least one of the managers, associates or salaried employees has an auctioneer diploma.

To put a lot up for auction, you need to contact an auctioneer. He will give an estimate. In agreement with the seller, he sets a “reserve” or minimum price after which the seller signs a sale document. The fees charged by SSV’s vary. VAT is also added. Legal fees (5%) are charged in the case of a judicial sale.