Buyers and Sellers are requested to read carefully the explanations of cataloguing practice and conditions set out below which contain terms on which Hermitage Fine Art (“Hermitage” or “the auctioneer”) conducts sales and handles other related matters.
All auctions held in the Principality of Monaco take place under the supervision of a Monegasque official known as the Huissier, who draws up the certified record of the sale, and who, as the representative of the Monegasque Authorities, is responsible for all legal matters relative to the sale.
BIDDING PROCEDURES AND THE BUYER 1.1. Bidders are required to register their particulars (providing satisfactory proof of identity, as well as his/her bank references) before bidding, and to satisfy any security arrangements before entering the auction room to view or bid. 1.2. Each Bidder shall receive a paddle number after completing a registration form. 1.3. If a Bidder wishes to Bid on behalf of a third party, the Bidder shall expressly notify Hermitage Fine Art before the Auction begins, stating the name and address of the party the Bidder is representing, as well as submitting a written power of attorney recently granted. 1.4. The maker of the highest bid accepted by the auctioneer conducting the sale shall be the buyer at the hammer price, and any dispute about a bid shall be settled at the Huissier’s and the auctioneer’s absolute discretion by reoffering the Lot during the course of the auction or otherwise. The auctioneer shall act reasonably in exercising this discretion. 1.5. Bidders shall be deemed to act as principals. 1.6. Hermitage Fine Art’s right to bid on behalf of the seller is expressly reserved up to the amount of any reserve, and the right to refuse any bid is also reserved. 1.7. Hermitage Fine Art shall reserve the right to refuse the participation of the third party.
ABSENTEE BIDS / BIDS BY INTERNET 2.1. Bids by Bidders who are not present shall be made by telephone, or by fax, or by e-mail and shall be deemed received by Hermitage Fine Art: a) upon delivery if delivered by hand; b) within 2 hours following the transmission if sent by fax or by email. 2.2. Bids made in writing – If several Bids of the same amount have been made in writing for one and the same Lot, the Bid which Hermitage Fine Art received first will be accepted unless a higher Bid has been submitted or is made. If several Bids are received on the same day, the Bid awarded shall be decided by Lot. Each Bid in writing generally deemed a maximum Bid shall only be utilized by Hermitage Fine Art in protecting its interests to the extent that it is necessary to outbid another offer. 2.3. Bids made by telephone – Bids made by telephone are carried out for the Bidder by Hermitage Fine Art. Hermitage Fine Art may record any telephone conversation. The Bidder consents to such recording automatically by applying to Bid by telephone. 2.4. Hermitage Fine Art will not be responsible for any errors or omissions in connection therewith. 2.5. Hermitage Fine Art uses the services of external online platforms. Therefore, the Bidder will have the possibility to Bid through those platforms. 2.6. Hermitage Fine Art declines responsibility for - but not limited to -negligence, lost profits or any special, incidental, or consequential damages that result from the use of, or the inability to use, these platforms.
COMMISSION BIDS Whilst prospective buyers are strongly advised to attend the auction and always responsible for any decision to bid for a particular lot and shall be assumed to have carefully inspected and satisfied themselves as to its condition, Hermitage will if so instructed clearly, and in writing, execute bids on a buyer’s behalf. Neither the auctioneer nor Hermitage’s employees or agents shall be responsible for any failure to do so save where such failure is unreasonable. Where two or more commission bids at the same lever are recorded we reserve the right in our absolute discretion to prefer the first bid so made.
INCREMENTS Bidding increments shall be at the auctioneer’s sole discretion
THE PURCHASE PRICE 5.1 The Buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon as part of the Purchase Price. 5.2. Hermitage Fine Art’s premium is calculated as follows: • 27% of the Hammer Price (32.4% VAT included) of the Lot up to and including 250,000,00 euros; • 21.5% of the Hammer price (25.8% VAT included) of the Lot between 250,001,00 euros and 2,500,000.00 euros; • 12.5% increased by VAT (15% VAT included) of the Lot above 2,500,001.00 euros. 5.3. Any Lot purchased through the online platform of Hermitage Fine Art or any other sales and auction platforms (such as Invaluable, Drouot live, Auction.fr, Bidspirit etc.) will be subject to an additional premium of 3% (5% for Invaluable) of the Hammer Price (VAT included). Extra fees may vary. The Buyer is obliged to verify the amount with each particular platform.
TEMPORARY IMPORTATION 6.1. Any Lot marked with a symbol “plus (+)” are “free port” and are subject to import tax. The Buyer intending to import the aforesaid Lot into the European Union should be aware that an import tax will be due on the Hammer Price. This import tax shall be paid to Hermitage Fine Art in addition to other fees (e.g.: 5.5% for antiques and works of art in Monaco). 6.2. Any other Lots are in free circulation within the European Union. 6.3. The Buyer shall be responsible for checking and fulfilling all the conditions for the transportation of the Lots to their destination, including, but not limited to, checking the import status of the Lots, and the regulations for importation at destination.
PAYMENT 7.1 Before bidding on a lot a buyer must: a) give to Hermitage proof of identity, and b) sign a bidding form, but even if no such form is signed, the buyer will be bound by the terms set out in the catalogue and/or which are announced by the Huisser or the auctioneer before or during the sale and, c) on purchasing a Lot must pay to Hermitage the total amount due in euros. 7.2. Any payments made by a buyer to Hermitage may be applied towards any sums owing by the buyer to Hermitage on any account whatever, without regard to any direction of the buyer or his agent.
TITLE AND COLLECTION OF PURCHASES 8.1. The fall of the hammer and the pronouncement of the word ‘adjugé’ by the Huisser will indicate the conclusion of the purchase contract between the seller and final bidder, now considered to be the buyer. 8.2. The buyer shall at his risk and expense COLLECT any lots that he has purchased and paid for from Hermitage’s premises not later than 5 working days following the day of the auction or upon the clearance of any cheque used for payment (if later) after which the buyer shall be responsible for any COLLECTION, storage and insurance charges. 8.3. Payments have to be made by wire transfer to Hermitage Fine Art’s bank account. 8.4. Payment by cheque will only be accepted if the cheque is issued by a bank located in Monaco or in France, and even then collection of the lot will only be possible once the amount of the cheque has been credited to Hermitage Fine Art’s bank account. 8.5. Payment by cash will be possible below 30,000.00 euros if the payment is made in Monaco. 8.6. The Seller can give Hermitage Fine Art the right to grant, at its sole discretion, the possibility for the Buyer to pay the total of the purchase price by wire transfer to Hermitage Fine Art’s bank account within a period of 5 working days after the Auction. 8.7. No purchase MAY be COLLECTED AND WE SHALL NOT RELEASE ANY LOT TO YOU OR YOUR AGENT until it has been paid for in full.
TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP The transfer of ownership of a Lot in favour of the Buyer shall take place only after full Payment, and receipt, of the Hammer Price and the Hermitage Fine Art Premium.
REMEDIES FOR NON-PAYMENT OR FAILURE TO COLLECT PURCHASES 10.1. If any Lot is not paid for in full and taken away in accordance with these Conditions or if there is any other breach of these Condition, Hermitage Fine Art, as agent for the seller and on its own behalf, shall at Hermitage Fine Art’s absolute discretion and without prejudice to any other rights we may have, be entitled to exercise one or more of the following rights and remedies: (i) to proceed against the buyer for damages for breach of contract; (ii) to rescind the sale of that lot and/or any other lots sold by Hermitage to the buyer; (iii) to resell the lot (by auction or private treaty) in which case the buyer shall be responsible for any resulting deficiency in the total amount due (after crediting any part payment and adding any resale costs). Any surplus so arising shall belong to the seller; (iv) to remove, store and insure the lot at your expense and, in the case of storage, either at our premises or elsewhere; (v) to charge interest at a rate not exceeding 1.5% per month of the total amount due to the extent it remains unpaid for more than 5 working days after the sale (vi) to retain that or any other lot sold to the buyer until the buyer pays the total amount due; (vii) to reject or ignore bids from the buyer or his agent at future auctions or to impose conditions before any such bids shall be accepted; (viii) to apply any proceeds of sale of other Lots due or in future becoming due to the buyer toward the settlement of the total amount due and to exercise a lien (that is a right to retain possession of any of your property in our possession for any purpose until the debt due is satisfied). 10.2. Hermitage shall, as agent for the seller and on its own behalf pursue these rights and remedies only so far as is reasonable to make appropriate recovery in respect of breach of these conditions.
THIRD PARTY LIABILITY All members of the public on Hermitage’s premises are there at their own risk, and must note the lay-out of the accommodation and security arrangements. Accordingly neither the auctioneer not its employees or agents shall incur liability for death or personal injury (except as required by law by reason of Hermitage’s negligence) or similarly for the safety of the property of persons visiting prior to or at a sale.
WARRANTY OF TITLE AND AVAILABILITY The seller warrants to the auctioneer and to the buyer that the seller is the true owner of the property consigned or is properly authorized by the true owner to consign it for sale and is able to transfer good and marketable title to the property free from any third party claims.
AGENCY 13.1. The auctioneer normally acts as agent only and disclaims any responsibility for default by sellers or buyers. 13.2. Hermitage Fine Art will not be responsible in the event of any Buyer or Seller failing to fulfil their respective agreements.
TERMS OF SALE The seller acknowledges that lots are sold subject to the stipulations of these Conditions in their entirety, and on the Terms of Consignment as notified to the consignor at the time of the entry of the lot.
DESCRIPTIONS AND CONDITIONS (a) Whilst Hermitage Fine Art seeks to describe lots accurately, it may be impractical for Hermitage Fine Art to carry out exhaustive due diligence on each Lot. Prospective buyers are given ample opportunities to view and inspect before any sale and they (and any independent experts on their behalf) must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of any description applied to a Lot. Prospective buyers also bid on the understanding that, inevitably, representations of statements by Hermitage as to authorship, genuineness, origin, date, age, provenance, condition or estimated selling price involve matters of opinion. Hermitage undertake that any such opinion shall be honestly and reasonable given. Neither Hermitage Fine Art, nor its employees or agents nor the seller accept liability for correctness of such opinions, and all conditions and warranties, whether relating to description, condition or quality of lots, express, implied or statutory, are hereby excluded. All lots are sold “as is”.
FORGERIES Notwithstanding the preceding Condition, any lot which proves to be a deliberate forgery (as defined) may be returned to Hermitage by the buyer within 21 days of the auction provided it is in the same condition as when bought, and is accompanied by particulars identifying it from the relevant catalogue description and a written statement of defects. If Hermitage are satisfied by accepted experts from the evidence presented that the lot is a deliberate forgery Hermitage shall refund the money paid by the buyer for the lot including any buyer’s premium provided that (1) if the catalogue description reflected the accepted view of scholars and experts as at the date of sale or (2) the buyer personally is not able to transfer a good and marketable title to Hermitage, the buyer shall have no rights under this Condition. The right of return provided by this Condition is additional to any right or remedy provided by law or by these Conditions of Sale.
GENERAL Hermitage shall have the right at its discretion, to refuse admission to its premises or attendance at its auctions by any person.
18.1. Any right to compensation for losses liabilities and expenses incurred in respect of, and as a result of, any breach of these Conditions and any exclusions provided by them shall be available to the seller and/or the auction house as appropriate. 18.2. Such rights and exclusions shall extend to and be deemed to be for the benefit of employees and agents of the seller and/or of the auction house who may itself enforce them.
Any notice to any buyer, seller, bidder or viewer may be given by first class mail or email in which case it shall be deemed to have been received by the addressee 48 hours after posting.
Special terms may be used in catalogue descriptions of particular classes of items in which case the descriptions must be interpreted in accordance with any glossary appearing in the catalogue.
Any indulgence extended to bidders, buyers or sellers by Hermitage notwithstanding the strict terms of these Conditions or of the Terms of Consignment shall affect the position at the relevant time only and in respect of that particular concession only, in all other respects these Conditions shall be construed as having full force and effect.
EXPORT OF PURCHASES 22.1. In view of the Customs Union existing between France and Monaco, any exports outside the Principality of Monaco are subject to the rules and regulations applicable in France. 22.2. Any Lot coming from the Customs Union or benefiting from a temporary importation, if it remains in the Customs Union, may be removed upon presentation of a proof of payment of the Purchase Price. If the Buyer intends to export the Lot outside of the Customs Union, it will be up to him to perform all the necessary procedures and formalities required by the applicable law. Under no circumstances shall Hermitage Fine Art or the Huisser be pursued for non-compliance or non-completion of the said formalities.
ARTIST RESALE RIGHTS (OR DROIT DE SUITE) According to the European Union’s Artist’s Resale Rights Directive, which has been adopted by the EU, living artists and artists who died within 70 years prior to the date of the sale are entitled to receive a resale royalty each time their art work is sold by an art market professional in the European Union, subject to certain conditions. Hermitage Fine Art will collect the resale royalty due to the artists or their estates from buyers of lots with a hammer price (excluding buyer’s premium and excluding VAT) in excess of €1000. Any purchaser of a lot to which Artist’s Resale Right applies will be charged the amount of the resale royalty, which will be added to the invoice.
LAW AND JURISDICTION. The General Conditions are regulated by and constructed in accordance with the laws of the Principality of Monaco. Any legal action or dispute arising out of or in connection with these Terms and Conditions shall be settled by the Courts of Monaco.