Buying at Arthur Johnson

Our auctions bring you a huge array of antiques, vintage items, collectables, furnishings and other items every week. Many customers imaginatively mix antiques with contemporary furnishings in their homes by buying from our various salerooms.

In particular, our Modern Interiors auction can offer excellent discounts compared to buying from standard retailers.

The auction atmosphere is unique and we make the buying process as easy as possible. You certainly don't have to be an auctions expert - in fact, most of our buyers are members of the general public. And of course, we’re always on hand with friendly advice.

We understand that the idea of buying at auction can seem daunting, but we’re sure that you will find it both enjoyable and rewarding. There’s a particular feeling of excitement and achievement in putting in that first winning bid that you’ll never forget. 

Information for Buyers

Auction Times

Please note that our auctions run simultaneously. The starting lot numbers in each saleroom are as follows:

Saleroom 1
 Starts at Lot 1
 @ 09.30am
Saleroom 2
 Starts at Lot 601 
 @ 09.30am
Saleroom 3 & 4
 Starts at Lot 1301
 @ 9.30am
Saleroom 5 
 Starts at Lot 2001
 @ 9.30am
Saleroom 6
(when operating)
 Starts at Lot 3001
 @ 09.30am


There is ample car parking on our premises for collection of items and during viewing days.


Viewing in person is between 9.30am to 5pm on the day before the auction. 

Bidding Online

The best way to bid in our auctions is right here on our website through our AJ Live bidding platform. See here for full details:



Absentee Bids

If you are unable to bid live online you can leave an absentee bid through our website or by completing one of the special forms which are available at our accounts office or in the salerooms. You should fill in the lot number, description and the maximum price you are prepared to pay. Please ensure that the lot number is correct and that you have given us your full address with at least one contact telephone number. We will use our best endeavours to buy the lots for you as cheaply as possible allowing for other bidders and any reserve prices. Conditions under which we accept commission absentee bids are set out on the absentee bid form. A member of our staff will be pleased to advise you of the approximate time which a lot may be sold and we recommend that you telephone us to establish whether you have been successful thereafter. Alternatively you can register for the auction on our website, visit the lot you are wanting to leave an absentee bid on and enter the maximum bid you would like us to bid on your behalf. 


You will receive an invoice via email after the auction. Please pay this invoice by online card payment or bank transfer before collecting your items.


Collection Times

You may collect your auction purchases at the below times. 

Saleroom 1 - Antique and Vintage Furniture

Saturday (day of sale) until 2pm

Monday 9.00am to 4.45pm

(If Bank Holiday Monday - Tuesday 9.00am to 4.45pm )

Saleroom 2 Antique and Vintage Collectables

Saturday (day of sale) until 2pm

Monday from 1.00pm to 4.45pm

(If Bank Holiday Monday - Tuesday 1.00pm to 4.45pm )

Packing and Postage

If you wish to have your purchased items sent by post we offer a full in-house packaging service. If your items fit in a Jiffy bag it will cost £6 plus the cost of postage. Larger items are packed at a charge of £7 for every 10 minutes of packing time.

Please pay the amount of your auction invoice. Only then will your item(s) be packed. We will then contact you to take the postage and packing payment before shipping. Our aim is to provide this service at 'cost price'. We aim to encourage you to bid with us on a regular basis. 

Salerooms 3 and 4 - Modern Interiors

Saturday (day of sale) until 2pm

Monday 9.00am to 4.45pm

(If Bank Holiday Monday - Tuesday 9.00am to 4.45pm )


For local deliveries we suggest R.Removals who provide a friendly and efficient service - just click this link for their details. You can also obtain a quote by telephoning 07944 585318. 

Salerooms 5

Saturday (day of sale) until 2pm

Monday 9.00am to 4.45pm

(If Bank Holiday Monday - Tuesday 9.00am to 4.45pm )

Salerooms 6

Saturday (day of sale) until 2pm

Monday 9.00am to 4.45pm

(If Bank Holiday Monday - Tuesday 9.00am to 4.45pm )



For local deliveries we suggest R.Removals who provide a friendly and efficient service - just click this link for their details. You can also obtain a quote by telephoning 07944 585318.


Terms & Conditions


Buyer’s Premium

A Buyer’s Premium of 25% (inclusive of VAT) will be charged on top of the hammer price for absentee bids, telephone bids and bidding in person.

When a lot is purchased online the Buyer’s premium will be replaced with the Internet Buyer’s premium of 28.3% for AJ Live. For details of the EasyLive Internet Buyer’s Premium, please see EasyLive T&Cs



Lots are subject to VAT will have VAT applied to the hammer price. Lot descriptions will advise if lots are subject to VAT.


Internet Surcharge - lots purchased on the or i-bidder

Lots purchased online with ATG media ( may attract an additional charge.

By completing registration with the-saleroom and/or i-bidder and providing your credit/debit card details you: -

  • Authorise Arthur Johnson & Sons to charge the debit/credit card given in part or full payment for lots purchased including additional costs such as Buyer’s Premium and VAT. Any additional charges such as storage, packing and postage (if ttheir service is available) will also be charged to the card on the next working day.


  • Confirm that you are the card holder and have sufficient funds available to cover the cost of any online purchases with Arthur Johnson & Son


Purchase Price

The successful bidder shall agree to pay the purchase price which will be the aggregate of the final bid, the Buyer’s premium, VAT (if applicable) and any internet surcharge.


Removal of Lots

All purchases must be cleared by the end of the Tuesday following the sale, after which storage charges may be incurred.

Postage and packing are only available for select items in our Antique & Vintage Collectables saleroom. We would be happy to suggest couriers who may be of help with delivering lots purchased in other salerooms.

For local deliveries we suggest R.Removals who provide a friendly and efficient service. You can obtain a quote by telephoning 07944 585318.  For longer distances we suggest enquiring with online shipping providers such as



Bids are in GBP and must be whole pounds (no pence).



Invoices will be emailed to successful bidders after the end of the auction.

Payments can be made online via our website or by bank transfer.


How your bids are handled

Absentee bids are accepted via our website. We will use our best endeavours to buy lots for you as cheaply as possible, allowing for other bidders and any reserve prices. In the event of identical bids being received, the first bid placed will take preference. Arthur Johnson and Sons are under no legal obligation to execute these bids.  


Introduction to our Auctions

The Auctioneer acts only as agent for the Seller. Accordingly, Sellers need not be paid until payment is received from the Buyer, nor is the Auctioneer necessarily able to know the history of or assess the quality of lots sold on behalf of these principals.


All lots are sold as seen and are likely to have been subject to wear and tear caused by use or the effects of age and may, therefore, have faults and imperfections.

At viewing times, buyers are given opportunity at viewing times and will be assumed to have done so. In addition, condition reports are available via the ‘Ask a Question’ link on the online listing and email. Buyers must rely solely on their own judgement as to whether lots are fit for any particular purpose, and as to compliance with the description or illustrations.


Conditions of Sale


The following Conditions of Sale together with the Notice to Buyers that may be displayed in the saleroom or in any catalogue, the Seller Conditions of Sale on the reverse of the entry form and the usual Conditions of Sale on display in the auctioneers premises shall govern the sale of each Lot and any person making a successful bid shall be deemed to be bound thereby:-


1. Conduct of the Auction

1.1 The Auctioneer (which expression includes their employees) offers each Lot as agent of the Seller unless otherwise stated in the catalogue or at the time of sale.

1.2 Any Lot may be the subject of a reserve price. Should the Auctioneer in any circumstances sell any Lot under reserve price, they shall be at liberty to cancel the sale even if the Lot has been paid for and delivery given, and upon refund of the purchase price (if paid) neither the Seller nor the Auctioneer shall be under any further liability whatsoever to the Buyer.

1.3 The Seller or their representative or the Auctioneer on their behalf may bid up to the reserve price on any Lot.

1.4 The Auctioneer may at any time before the fall of the hammer withdraw or divide any Lot or combine any Lots.

1.5 The Auctioneer may sell any Lot by private sale after the auction, or prior to the auction with the Seller’s agreement.

1.6 The Auctioneer may refuse to accept any bid at their sole discretion and without being required to give a reason.

1.7 The Buyer shall be the person who made the highest bid before the fall of the hammer or such other person as the Auctioneer may declare to be the Buyer without being required to give a reason.

1.8 Unless the Auctioneer has previously acknowledged in writing that anyone bids as Agent on behalf of a named principal, every person who bids shall be taken to bid on their own behalf as principal.

1.9 If the Auctioneer has already acknowledged in writing that anyone bids as Agent on behalf of a named principal, that person warrants that he has the authority of their principal to make each bid he makes.

1.10 Neither the Seller nor the Auctioneer shall be bound by any sub-sale or assignment or split of the purchase contract and the highest bidder, and thus the Buyer shall be alone responsible for the discharge of the purchase price to the Auctioneer.

1.11 The Auctioneer may decide whether there is a dispute between bids, may summarily determine the dispute or immediately again offer the Lot for sale, in each case without being required to give a reason.

1.12 The Auctioneer undertakes that care has been taken to see that descriptions are accurate and reliable, but these are necessarily matters of opinion only and shall not be taken to be statements of fact. Neither the Seller nor the Auctioneer are responsible for the correctness of any description of any lot or its attribution in any manner to any particular originator.

2. After the Auction

2.1 Upon the Auctioneer declaring any Lot sold the Buyer shall pay:

  1. a) the purchase price for the Lot or Lots purchased
  2. b) the value as summarily determined by the Auctioneer, whose determination shall be final and binding, of all or part of any Lot or of the premises where the auction is held which has been damaged or destroyed by the Buyer or their principal or their agent.


2.2 The time for complying with Clause 2.1 shall one working day from the day of the sale or such other time as may be specified in the auction catalogue.


2.3 The Auctioneer may at any time at their sole discretion grant the Buyer an extension of time for complying with clause 2.1.


2.4 Until the Buyer has complied with clause 2.1 above:

  • The title to any Lot bought shall not pass to the Buyer
  • The Lot shall be at the Buyer’s risk
  • The Auctioneer shall have a lien over any Lot bought by the Buyer at the auction; if the Buyer effects or purports to effect a resale or any other disposition of all or any part of any Lot, the Buyer shall hold the proceeds of resale or other disposition on trust for the Auctioneer and the Seller

3.1 Removal of Lot Bought

3.1 The Buyer may not remove any Lot until they have paid in full the sums specified in clause 2.1 for every Lot that they have bought.


3.2 After paying the sums specified in Clause 2.1 the Buyer must remove the Lot by 5pm on the Tuesday following the sale.


3.3 If a Lot bought includes a motor vehicle no warranty is given that the vehicle may safely or lawfully be driven on the road.


3.4 Neither the Seller nor the Auctioneer shall be under any liability pursuant to Section 6 of the Health and Safety Act 1974 and the Buyer undertakes to carry out all necessary tests, examinations and other works to ensure so as far as reasonably practicable any Lot purchased will be safe and without risk to health and safety at all times when it is being used by any person at work.


4.1 Default by the Buyer

4.1 If the Buyer has failed to pay the sums specified in Clause 2.1 by the expiry of the time specified in Clause 2.2 or by any extension granted in Clause 2.3 or to remove any Lot by the time specified in Clause 3.2 the Auctioneer may rescind the sale of that Lot and that Lot may be resold by auction or privately.


4.2 If the Auctioneer has rescinded the sale but the Buyer has removed the Lot bought, the Auctioneer shall be entitled without previous notice to enter upon any premises where he believes the Lot to be and remove it.


4.3 If the Auctioneer has rescinded the sale and the Lot has been resold, the Buyer shall make good any deficiency in the sale price less the resale price together with the costs of and incidental to the resale.

 4.4 If the buyer fails to collect the Lot within the time specified in clause 3.2, and comply with clause xxx relating to storage of items, the auctioneer will deem the Lot to be abandoned, and dispose of it as they see fit.

  1. Liabilities and Indemnities

5.1 The Auctioneer warrants that they believe that the Seller of each Lot is able to pass good title and if the Seller is not able to do so, the Auctioneer shall use their reasonable endeavours to assist the Buyer in obtaining good title and in pursuing any remedies the Buyer may have against the Seller but the Auctioneer shall not be bound to initiate litigation and shall not be under any other obligation to the Buyer.


5.2 The Auctioneer neither has nor professes any expert or other knowledge of any Lot sold and each Lot is sold as seen with all faults and errors or mistakes of description and all written or oral representations as to description, quality or fitness are excluded. The Buyer shall be deemed to have inspected the Lot they buy and if they buy without so doing they shall do so at their own risk.


  1. Waivers

6.1 No indulgence shown by the Auctioneer shall prevent him or the Seller subsequently insisting upon their respective rights and remedies.


  1. Third Party Liability

7.1 Every person on the Auctioneer’s premises, at any time, shall be deemed to be there at their own risk. They shall have no claim against the Auctioneers in respect of any accident which may occur, or injury, damage or loss howsoever caused, save insofar as the injury, damage or loss shall be caused by the direct negligence of Arthur Johnson and Sons employees.


  1. Damage to items while in auctioneer's care


8.1 We accept no liability for any damage for any lot arising during the viewing, during the sale or after the sale. We act as agents only.


  1. Anti-Money Laundering Regulations


9.1 We are obliged to comply with Anti-Money Laundering regulations which apply to individuals and businesses in transactions with a value of or greater than €10,000 (or equivalent). 

9.2 Buyers will be requested to provide photographic ID and proof of address documentation to meet the requirements of the regulations.


  1. Export/CITES Regulations/Ivory Act 2018

10.1 CITES-restricted items and Ivory Exempt items will be accompanied by a current CITES Article 10 licence/Ivory Exemption Declaration where applicable and the licence/exemption declaration number will be displayed within the original catalogue description. Both CITES Article 10 licences and Ivory Exemption Declarations are non-transferable and Buyers must apply for a new Article 10 licence/Ivory Exemption Declaration in their name if they wish to sell to a third party.


10.2 It is the sole responsibility of the Buyer and/or contracted shipping agent to have in place the correct CITES re-export and import licences into the Buyer’s chosen country before shipping can be undertaken.

CITES regulations are given on or may be obtained from:

The Animal and Plant Health Agency
Centre for International Trade
Horizon House
Deanery Road
Bristol BL1 5AH
[email protected]
0117 372 3700

Those species that are covered by the US Endangered Species Act (USESA) or The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA): potential US bidders should check with USF&W (US Fish and Wildlife Services) for trade/possession restrictions in the US prior to bidding.


  1. Artists' Resale Rights


11.1 From mid-February 2006, living artists are entitled by law to receive a resale royalty each time their work is resold by or to and art market professional. From January 2012, the Right has been extended to include sales of works by artists who have died within the last 70 years (following the existing term of copyright). Royalties will be payable to the families and the beneficiaries of these artists.

11.2 An artwork must be resold for more than 1000 euros Hammer Price (or equivalent) to qualify for the right. The rates applicable are calculated as a percentage of the Hammer Price and are set out on a sliding scale from 4% to 0.25%. The charge is exclusive of VAT. We reserve the right to pass all the cost to the Buyer of the qualifying artwork.