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

Bid Increment

The amount by which the auctioneer increases the bidding. In general, the auctioneer will request bids of about 10% higher than the previous bid. For instance, if the bidding opens at $3,000, subsequent bids of $3,500, $4,000, $4,500, etc. would follow.


If there are no bids on a lot, or if bidding does not reach the reserve price, the lot is “bought in,” meaning it is left unsold and remains the property of the owner.



Factual information about a lot offered for sale, such as the name of the artist or maker, a description of the object and the year of its creation. This information is published in the auction catalogue.

Creation Price

The fixed price to be paid to the artist for a particular piece of artwork.



Donation Amount is the amount which will be contributed to the Register of Causes, which is the Hammer Price less the Creation Price and Processing Fee.


Fair Warning

A warning sometimes given by the auctioneer that the auction is about to close on a lot. The fair warning offers one last chance to increase the bidding. If there are no subsequent bids, timer will finish, and the sale is completed.


Guarantee Line

Set in bold type in the auction catalogue, the Guarantee Line indicates key information such as the authenticity of a work, the name of the artist or maker and the origin of the object.


Hammer Price

The winning bid for a lot at auction. It is the price upon which the auctioneer’s “hammer falls” (bid closes), determining the final sale price.


Live Bid

The online bidding process until close, leading to a final Hammer Price, conducted by Art&Co.


An individual object or group of objects offered for sale at an auction, grouped together to make the process of discovery and bidding easier at an auction.



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

Processing Fee

A fee deducted from the hammer price to cover the costs for arranging the auction.



Once the auction is closed, the results will be posted online in the currency of the auction location. It will include the final price of items sold as well as those passed upon and unsold.


Starting Price

This is the minimum asking price for any piece of art, which includes the creation price, a processing fee and the donation amount but not any shipping and handling costs.