Buying at Auctions

We offer you several ways to bid.

  1. Live Bidding in our Gallery at our exciting and fast-paced auctions.
  2. Online Bidding with Live Auctioneers – We will post a link when the next auction is ready.
  3. Phone and Absentee BiddingClick Here for Forms.PDF

Payment: We accept checks, Wire Transfers, and credit cards in-house only (we no longer accept credit cards over the phone or online).

For packing and shipping, we use Pak Mail at 303-744-6245.

For National and International delivery for larger items, we recommend Craters & Freighters of Denver at 303-393-7633.

Auction Terms Glossary

Absentee Bid
A method of bidding for those who cannot or do not wish to attend an auction. Absentee bids may be placed by filling out and submitting an Absentee Bid Form.

An evaluation of the fair market value that represents what Bruhns Auction Gallery estimates an item would bring at auction.

As Is
Bruhns Auction offers all property for sale at auction “as is,” meaning that the property is sold with all existing faults and imperfections. We encourage potential buyers to inspect each item carefully before bidding.

A trained professional presides over the auction, initiating the sale of a lot by describing the item and starting the bidding. Once the first bid is made, others may offer higher bids. Bidders may be present in the saleroom, on the phone or online. Auctioneers also place bids on behalf of absentee bidders and finally determine when the highest bid has been made. If a work sells, the auctioneer announces, “sold.

The amount a prospective buyer signals the auctioneer he/she would pay to buy the lot during bidding.

Bid Increment
The amount by which the auctioneer increases the bidding. The figure is generally rounded up or down at the auctioneer’s discretion.

Buyer’s Premium
The amount above the hammer price is paid as part of the total purchase price.  We  charge 18% on in-house bids and 21% on internet and phone bids

Information about a lot offered for sale, such as the name of the artist or maker, a detailed description of the object, the year of its creation, its provenance (history of its ownership

Condition Report
A written description of the condition of work is prepared prior to an auction.

Conditions of Business
This important text describes the terms under which Bruhns and the consignor agree to sell a lot to the purchaser. It is important to read the conditions carefully before bidding.

The owner who is transferring property Bruhns to act as agent on his or her behalf for sale.

Each lot is given a low and high estimate, representing the opinion about the range in which the lot might sell at auction. Estimates are based on the examination of an item and recent auction records of comparable pieces.  An estimate provides prospective buyers with an important preliminary guide to value and is generally the basis for establishing the reserve price.

Exhibition History
A listing of museum or gallery exhibitions in which a given lot has appeared. Inclusion in important exhibitions may impact the value of the object.

Fair Market Value
A term frequently used by appraisers referring to their judgment and opinion about an object’s likely sale price if offered by a willing seller to a willing buyer. Since the auction process is open to all bidders, a sale at auction is considered to be a measure of Fair Market Value.

Fair Warning
A warning was sometimes given by the auctioneer that the hammer is about to come down on a lot. The fair warning offers one last chance to increase the bidding. If there are no subsequent bids, the auctioneer’s hammer falls and the sale is completed.

Another name for the auctioneer’s hammer used to close the bidding.

Hammer Price
The winning bid for a lot at auction. It is the price upon which the auctioneer’s hammer falls, determining the sale price, but does not include the buyer’s premium.

An individual object or group of objects is offered for sale at auction as a single unit.

An object displaying the number assigned to a bidder when he or she registers at the auction. To place a bid, simply raise your paddle until the auctioneer acknowledges you. If you win the auction, your paddle number is recorded alongside your bid. To pay for your purchase, you will need to bring your paddle to the Payments counter.

Terms used by the auctioneer when an item fails to reach its reserve at auction.

Every work that goes to auction is photographed for documentary and promotional purposes. Photographs appear in our online and print catalogs and are an important way for buyers to identify lots that they wish to acquire.

Presale Exhibition
Generally the day before an auction.  Bruhns Auction staff will be available to answer all questions about lots in the auction.  Exhibitions are free and open to the public.

An important part of the authentication process, provenance establishes the chain of ownership back (if possible) to the date an item was created. Provenance can significantly impact the value of an object.

Reserve or Reserve Price
Never formally disclosed, the reserve price is the confidential minimum price agreed upon between the consignor and Bruhns Auction. Reserves must be set at or below the low estimate, and if bidding ends before the reserve is reached, the property will not be sold.

Following every auction, results are posted online

Seller’s Commission
A commission paid by the consignor to Bruhns Auction is deducted from the hammer price.

An expert in a specific field of collecting

Telephone Bidding
Many buyers prefer to bid via phone, using a representative who is present at the auction to relay bids to the auctioneer on their behalf.

A detailed description and the current value of the property. Valuations Differ from auction estimates and are used for a variety of needs, including charitable contributions, collateral loans, estate taxes, estate planning, and insurance.

For more information please call us directly at 303-564-9196