Auction terms

Glossary
Antiques and Reproductions
Traditionally, antiques were generally objects pre-dating the mass production of objects in the 1830s. Today, antiques are defined as any object over 100 years old.

"As Is"
Selling the property without warranties as to the condition and/or the fitness of the property for a particular use. Buyers are solely responsible for examining and judging the property for their own protection. Otherwise known as "As Is, Where Is" and "In its Present Condition."

Auction
A method of selling property in a public forum through open and competitive bidding. Auctions are also referred to as: public auction or auction sale.

Auction Block
The podium or raised platform where the auctioneer stands while conducting the auction. Placing an item on the auction block means to sell something at auction.

Auction With Reserve
An auction in which the seller or his agent reserves the right to accept or decline any and all bids. A minimum acceptable price may or may not be disclosed and the seller reserves the right to accept or decline any bid within a specified time.

Auction Without Reserve (Absolute Auction)
An auction where the property is sold to the highest qualified bidder with no limiting conditions or amount. The seller may not bid personally or through an agent. Also known as an auction without reserve.

Auctioneer
The person whom the seller engages to direct, conduct, or be responsible for a sale by auction.

Bid
A prospective buyer's indication or offer of a price he or she will pay to purchase property at auction. Bids are usually in standardized increments established by the auctioneer.

Bid Note
A form executed by the high bidder confirming and acknowledging the bidder's identity, the bid price and the description of the property. Also known as Memorandum.

Bid Caller
The person who actually "calls," "cries or" "auctions" the property at an auction, recognizing bidders and acknowledging the highest bidder. Commonly known as the auctioneer.

Bidder Package
The package of information and instructions pertaining to the property to be sold at an auction event obtained by prospective bidders at an auction. Sometimes called a bidder packet or due diligence package.

Bidder's Choice
A method of sale whereby the successful high bidder wins the right to choose a property or properties from a grouping of similar or like-kind properties. After the high bidder's selection, the property is deleted from the group, and the second round of bidding commences, with the high bidder in round two choosing a property, which is then deleted from the group and so on, until all properties are sold.

Bookkeeper or Clerk
The person who is responsible for the accounting and paperwork at an auction sale.

Bronze
Bronze, composed primarily of copper and tin, is the oldest alloy known to man. The earliest documented use of bronze occurred in 3500 B.C. by the Mesopotamians. Our early predecessors needed to shape functional items that would be hard and durable. Another reason for its favor, which exists even today, is bronze resists corrosion and naturally weathers to a beautiful brown or green color referred to as its patina. As the protective patina forms, bronze corrodes very slowly making it virtually Timeless. "The Lost Wax Process" is the production technique used to create these quality objects D'Art. It is an art in itself, as old as the alloy it utilizes. Once the design is ready, a negative mold is made. The mold is brushed with layer after layer of melted wax to the desired thickness of the final bronze, after which it is filled with a heat-resistant mixture to stabilize it. Wax tubes are fitted by the artists to the outside of the shell, which become ducts for pouring the bronze during the actual casting. Metal pins are hammered through the shell to secure it. At this stage, the exterior of wax is completely covered with heat resistant plaster and the piece is then placed in large ovens. During the heating process the plaster dries, and the wax runs out, the molten bronze is poured through the ducts filling the void left by the removed wax. After cooling, the plaster shell is smashed away and alas the Bronze is cast!

Brushwork
The characteristic way each artist brushes paint onto a support.

Buyer Premium
A percentage added on to your bid amount. Buyer premiums are used by many auction houses as a way of spreading the cost of the event with the people who benefit most from the opportunity to purchase; the buyer. It is an amount added to the high bid in addition to the high bid and payable by the buyer. This should be in the terms and advertising for the auction. The sales tax is charged on the buyers premium, and the buyers premium is charged on the bid price.

Canvas
Closely woven cloth used as a support for paintings.

Catalog
South Atlantic Auctions catalogs are available at select auctions and help you to know the description of the items sold and also how it will be sold. There may be a quantity of the commodity in each lot being sold and they may be for all one bid or so much apiece. Auction staff will be happy to explain these differences to you and your catalog will help you follow along. This way you won't miss an item that is important to you.

Ceramics
The art making of objects of clay and firing them in a kiln.

Clerk
The person employed by the principal auctioneer or auction firm to record what is sold and to whom and for what price.

Commission
The fee charged to the seller by the auctioneer for providing services, usually a percentage of the gross selling price of the property established by contract (the listing agreement) prior to the auction.

Copal
A hard resin used in making varnishes and painting mediums.

An Estate Sale
An estate auction can involve the sale of personal and/or real property of a living or deceased person.

Etching
An impression on paper, parchment, or other material, taken in ink from an etched plate.

Gouache
A method of painting with opaque colors, which have been ground in water and mingled with a preparation of gum; also, a picture thus painted.

Grissaille
A monochromatic painting, usually in gray, which can be used under colored glazes.

Hammer Price
Price established by the last bidder and acknowledged by the auctioneer before dropping the hammer or gavel.

Heliogragh
An instrument which records the duration of sunshine and gives a quantitative measure of the amount of sunshine by the action of the sun's rays upon blueprint paper.

Heliogravure
A plate or picture made by the process of heliogravure (process of photographic engraving).

Lithograph
A print produced by a printing process in which the image to be printed is rendered on a flat surface, as on sheet zinc or aluminum, and treated to retain ink while the non-image areas are treated to repel ink. Ink is applied to this plate. The plate is then pressed onto a surface such as paper causing the inked image to transfer to that paper. A lithograph can be signed or unsigned.

Multi-property Auction
A group of properties offered through a common promotional campaign. The properties to be auctioned may be owned by one seller or multiple sellers.

Multi-Seller Auction
Properties owned by many sellers, offered through a common promotional campaign are auctioned in a single event.

National Auctioneers Association
Founded in 1948, the National Auctioneers Association (NAA) is an association of individual auctioneers united to promote the mutual interests of its members; formulate and maintain ethical standards for the auction profession; promote the enactment of just and reasonable laws, ordinances and regulations affecting auction selling; make the public more aware of the advantages of auction selling; and generally improve the business conditions affecting the auction profession. South Atlantic Auctions is an NAA member.

Offset Lithograph
The original image is photographed as a color transparency. Color separations are made from the transparency for the primary colors to be used. A metal plate is made for each of the primary color separations.

On-site Auction
An auction conducted on the premises of the property being sold.

Opening Bid
The first bid offered by a bidder at an auction.

Plate Signed
Signature cast in stone and stamped onto artwork.

Reserve
The minimum price that a seller is willing to accept for a property to be sold at auction. Also known as the reserve price.

Seller
Entity that has legal possession, (ownership) of any interests, benefits or rights inherent to the real or personal property.

Serigraph
A color stencil printing process in which a special paint is forced through a fine screen onto the paper beneath (silkscreen).

Tax Sale
Public sale of property at auction by governmental authority, due to nonpayment of property taxes.

Terms and Conditions
"Terms and Conditions" are something you will likely see at every auction you attend. They will vary a according to the type of commodity being sold and the auction company. What we are showing you here are some things that are typical and that you should know. Please be sure to check the Web site or on-site glossary for each individual auction.

Types of Payments Accepted
This can range from cash only to cashier's checks or personal checks and Visa and MasterCard credit cards, and the American Express card when available. Many times you will need identification such as a state-issued Driver's License or other government ID when you register for the first time. We only accept personal checks from customers that are known to us.

Tie Bids
When two or more bidders bid exactly the same amount at the same time and must be resolved by the auctioneer.

Volume
The space that an object or figure fills in a drawing or painting.

Withdrawal
Failure to reach the reserve price or insufficient bidding