Absentee Bid

A client's instruction directing Spink to bid on one or more lots up to the maximum amount that the client has specified for each lot. Absentee bids are also called written bids, commission bids and order bids.

Absentee Bid Letter

A letter sent from Spink to an absentee bidder with the results of his bids in a particular auction.


See Saleroom Announcement/Notice .


A formal written valuation for estate, tax or insurance purposes.


A public sale in which property or items of merchandise are sold to the highest bidder.

Auction Estimate

A preliminary estimate of the amount an item may sell for at auction.


The person who conducts an auction. The auctioneer introduces each lot offered for sale, acknowledges bids and announces whether lots are sold or unsold, their final bid prices, and the paddle numbers of successful bidders.

Auctioneer's Book

The official record of the auction, with the auctioneer's notations of paddle numbers of successful bidders and final bid prices for each lot.


The offer to buy property at a specific price.

Bid Clerk

See Sale Clerk.


An individual or entity offering to purchase property at auction.


See Pass.


The highest bidder acknowledged by the auctioneer.

Buyer's Premium

A percentage of the final bid price that the buyer pays to Spink.


An illustrated record of property to be offered for sale in a particular auction. Catalogues are available in printed form and on the Spink web site.


Charges paid by the seller.

Commission Bid

See Absentee Bid.

Condition Report

A written description of condition prepared as a service to prospective bidders upon request to the specialist department. Information is provided in accordance with the Conditions of Sale/Conditions of Business and Limited Warranty.

Conditions of Sale/Conditions of Business

The terms that cover the buying and selling of property at Spink. This information is printed at the back of every catalogue.

Consignment Agreement

A contract with the consignor to sell property. The consignment agreement includes Spink's terms and fees for services, such as insurance, shipping and illustration.


The individual or entity on whose behalf Spink is auctioning property.

Covering Bid

See Emergency Bid.

Emergency Bid

A pre-arranged absentee bid left by a telephone bidder if that bidder cannot be reached during the auction. Also called a covering bid.


A price range printed in the catalogue that reflects the opinion of our specialists of the price expected at auction, excluding premium and taxes. Estimates are based on the property's condition, rarity, quality, provenance and recent auction prices of comparable property. Prepared well in advance of the auction, estimates are subject to revision.

Final Bid Price

See Hammer Price.


The small mallet or hammer used by the auctioneer to signal the end of bidding on each lot.

Hammer Price

The final bid price, whether property is sold or unsold, announced by the auctioneer when the gavel falls. This price does not include the buyer's premium.

Limited Warranty

The terms and conditions upon which Spink guarantees the authenticity of property offered for sale. Detailed information for each sale is found in our printed and online catalogues.


An object or group of objects offered for sale as one unit.

Order Bid

See Absentee Bid.


A numbered plastic card assigned to a particular bidder registered at an auction. The paddle is raised to bid, and the auctioneer calls out the paddle number of the successful bidder as each lot is sold.


A term used when the bidding for a lot does not reach its reserve. The lot remains the property of the consignor. Other terms used are "return to owner," "withdrawn," or "bought in."


See Buyer's Premium.


See Viewing.

Price Realised

The sold price, including the hammer price plus the buyer's premium. In addition, buyers pay any sales, use or value added taxes (VAT) that may be due.


Information concerning a lot's current or prior ownership. Provenance may affect a lot's value.

Purchase Price

See Price Realised.


The process of providing bidder information, including identification, billing name and address, and credit reference in order to bid. At an auction, registered bidders receive a numbered bidding paddle for that sale.


The minimum price the consignor is willing to accept and below which a lot will not be sold. This amount is confidential and will not exceed the low estimate. Unless otherwise indicated, property sold at Spink is offered subject to a reserve.

Sale Clerk

Staff member at the podium who assists the auctioneer in spotting bidders, recording successful bid amounts and paddle numbers, and executing absentee bids. Also called bid clerk.

Saleroom Announcement/Notice

A notice read by the auctioneer at the auction and/or posted at the sale location. Saleroom announcements may amend information in the catalogue in accordance with the Conditions of Sale/Business. It is the bidder's responsibility to find out about this information by contacting the specialist department. Also called catalogue addendum.


See Consignor.

Telephone Bid

A bid with a staff member who telephones a client from the saleroom to bid on particular lots and relays the client's bids to the auctioneer during the bidding on those lots.


Scheduled exhibitions of property held in advance of the auction. Pre-auction viewings are open to the public and may be attended at no charge. Also called previews or exhibitions.