Buying with T&S Antiques

How to Buy with T&S Antiques

Following the original lockdown in March 2020 we decided to conduct all our auctions as Timed Online only, with no live bidding. 

With all the uncertainties over physical presence at auctions, we decided to stick to this format until we can be sure that it is safe for both our staff and our customers to re-introduce live sales.

Whilst our auctions are Timed Online, we are not offering telephone bidding or accepting commission bids.

Condition Reports

In light of the above you may find it beneficial to get a condition report or additional photographs of an item in which you are interested. If this is the case please email for futher infomation.

Bidding online

Following the original lockdown in March we decided to conduct all our auctions as Timed Online only, with no live bidding. 

With all the uncertainties over physical presence at auctions, and the prospect of a second wave come the autumn, we decided to stick to this format until we can be sure that it is safe for both our staff and our customers to re-introduce live sales, i.e. until there is a vaccine.

Whilst our auctions are Timed Online, we are not offering telephone bidding or accepting commission bids.

Timed Online Auctions

What is a timed online auction, and how do I take part?
Timed Online Auctions are auctions that are conducted only online – there is no ‘live’ auctioneer.

Registering for an auction:
Find the auction you are interested in by going to our Auctions page, and clicking on the sale you are interested in.  Then click on the ‘Register to Bid Online’ button and complete the registration process. When you have been approved you will receive a confirmatory email.

When your auction registration has been approved, you can start placing bids. Please register not less than 24 hours in advance of the closing time of the auction to ensure you are approved in time.

To register for an auction, please click here.

There will be a Buyers’ Premium of 18% (including VAT) added to the hammer price of all lots.
There will be an Internet Charge of 5.94% (including VAT) added to the hammer price of all lots purchased via
There will be an  Internet Charge of 3.6% (including VAT) added to the hammer price of all lots purchased via Thimbleby & Shorland online platform.

Bidding period:
Each sale has a start time, when it is published online, and an “ending from” time.  Bids can be placed on each lot over that period (typically just over 2 weeks).  Lot 1 will close at the advertised “ending from” time, with successive lots closing at intervals thereafter (usually 20 seconds).  At the end time the highest bidder wins the lot, provided the reserve price has been met.

Placing a bid:
You can search the catalogue by word, or by lot number.  Each lot will show either ‘current bid’, or ‘opening bid’ if no bids have yet been made on that lot.  When you have found a lot that you would like to bid on you can leave your maximum bid in the appropriate box and click ‘bid’.  If your maximum bid is below the reserve, then a message ‘reserve not met’ will appear on the screen.  If your maximum bid is at or above the reserve, then the ‘current bid’ will go to the reserve.  If further bids are received your bid will be taken in increments to keep you in the lead, up to your maximum.  If that happens then you will receive an email from us to tell you that you are no longer in the lead on this lot, at which point you can decide if you want to go higher.

Alternatively, rather than placing a maximum bid, you can click on the lot to take you to a screen showing just the one lot, which allows you to place individual bids, as per the ‘next minimum bid’ button.

‘Sniping’ and lot closing time extensions
If a bid is made within the last 2 minutes of the lot closing time, the closing time of that lot will be extended for another 5 minutes.  This is done in order to prevent what is known as ‘sniping’, where a bidder deliberately places a bid as close as possible to the end time in an effort to stop other bidders being able to respond before the lot closes.

Please note that the extension of one lot’s closing time does not affect other lots’ closing times.

How to keep track of multiple lots:
With some lots not closing in succession due to extended closing time, it can be difficult to keep an eye on all the lots you are bidding on.  However, by setting your screen view to display multiple lots and in order of lots closing soonest, it allows you to see bidding activity on multiple lots and bid quickly accordingly.

To keep track of lots closing, set your screen view to display lots in order of “End date (Soonest first)”

After the auction has closed
Please note, once the lot has closed, you will not see a message on screen to confirm whether you have won the lot or not, but you will have had a message to say if you were in the lead or not as the lot closed (see above).  You will also receive an email confirming which lots you have won, and shortly afterwards a ‘Payment Request’ email, which has a ‘Pay Now’ button.  By clicking on that button, you can pay for your lots by either Bank Transfer or Debit Card (we do not take payment by credit card so please make sure you input your debit card details for payment).

Where auctions finish late in the afternoon or evening, these emails will be sent out the following day.

To register for an auction, please click here.


Methods of payment are bank transfer or debit card.

The Auctioneers will only accept payment from and permit removal of goods purchased by the successful purchaser or their duly appointed agent.  No lots will be transferred to third party invoices after the auction.

For the avoidance of doubt please note that the auction will be conducted in British pounds sterling.


Once paid for, items must be collected, or arrangements for collection made, within two weeks of the sale closing.
Please contact us on +44 (0) 118 950 8611 or email

Buyers must check the condition of a lot and that is complete before removal, as once it has left the Auctioneers’ premises it is not possible for such things to be verified and no responsibility can be accepted by the Auctioneers.

Items not collected within two weeks of the sale date will be moved into storage and fees applied at a rate of £5 per lot per week. We understand that it is not always possible to collect a lot within two weeks, please contact us if this is the case and we will do our best to help.

Items that remain uncollected after a period of three months may be sold and storage charges recovered without any further notice.

Posting, Packing & Shipping

Jewellery – for UK mainland only

We are happy to wrap and post smaller items, the following table of fees applies:

Single lots value up to £50 – Royal Mail Signed for – £12 +VAT

Single lots value up to £500 – Special Delivery – £15 +VAT

Single lots value up to £1,000 – Special Delivery – £18 +VAT


Please email at or call +44 (0)118 9508611 regarding the postage of any other items and all international postage queries.

International Postage:- Please enquire for prices.
Packing only Fee: Minimum charge £20+VAT

Local delivery available – please enquire for details.

Packing & shipping services are also available via:
– Part & Parcel – telephone 01252 545 611
– Jentel Packing – telephone 01268 776 777
– Any Van (for furniture and large packages)– telephone 02038 723 050
– Shiply – telephone 02031 372 454

Important Information

General viewing, with the exception of Jewellery, is strictly by appointment only – please check auction details for dates & times.
Social distancing rules will apply and there will be a limit to the number of people allowed to view at the same time.  Hand sanitiser will be provided, face coverings are now mandatory in the sale room.

Items not collected within two weeks of the sale date will be moved into storage and fees applied at a rate of £5 per lot per week. Items uncollected after two months will be resold and storage charges deducted.

Bidders are required to register their details before bidding.

Currently our auctions are conducted as a “timed auction”.  Bidding closes on the lots consecutively from a specific time on the last day of the auction. Please check auction details.  This means that the bidding on Lot 1 closes first, then Lot 2 at 30 seconds later, and so on.  If a bid is placed on a Lot in the last 2 minutes then the closing time of that Lot is extended for another 2 minutes, and this will keep happening until such time as there are no more bids on that Lot.

In completing the bidder registration on and providing your card details and unless alternative arrangements are agreed with Thimbleby and Shorland, you:

1.  Authorise Thimbleby & Shorland, if they so wish, to charge the card given in part or full payment, including all fees, for items successfully purchased in the auction via, and

2.  Confirm that you are authorised to provide these card details to Thimbleby & Shorland through and agree that Thimbleby and Shorland are entitled to ship the goods to the card holder name and card holder address provided in fulfilment of the sale.

Very occasionally there are lots that carry VAT on the hammer price.  This fact will be recorded in the description of that lot.

Auctioneers’ Margin Scheme
The Auctioneers’ Margin Scheme allows items to be sold without VAT on the hammer price in most circumstances.  Under the Margin Scheme, the amount equivalent to VAT at the current rate which is included in both the Buyers’ Premium and Internet Charge, is not recoverable.  The VAT element will not be shown separately on the Buyer’s invoice.

All lots have been described to the best of our ability, and from information supplied.  No liability whatsoever is undertaken in respect of faults, deficiencies or errors of description either oral or printed.

We will provide Condition Reports on request, including additional photographs and videos.  However please recognise that verbal reports on the condition of any lot can only be offered by the Auctioneers as a statement of opinion, and not fact. The Auctioneers are not liable for any errors or omissions contained therein. Condition Reports are for guidance only.  The Auctioneers will not be held responsible for any damage or defect that has not been notified to the buyer. Catalogue illustrations are for guidance only and will not convey full information as to the actual condition of lots.

Where the term (a/f) is used this refers to a lot being ‘as found’.  It is used for guidance only and indicates that in our opinion there is significant damage or repair to an item. The omission of this term does not indicate there is not significant damage or repair to an item and the Auctioneers are not liable for the omission of this term.

Electrical Goods
These are sold as “Antiques or Works of Art” only.  If you buy electrical goods for use you must ask a qualified electrician to check them for compliance with safety regulations before you use them.

Gemstone Treatment
Many gemstones on the market have been treated so as to augment their appearance, in a reversible or permanent manner.  Treatments under the present section may be but not limited to:
*  Heat treatment to enhance sapphires & rubies’ clarity & colour
*  Oil & resin treatments for emeralds applied in different ways, to enhance clarity of the stone
*  Staining
*  Irradiation
*  Coating

Estimates provided by Thimbleby & Shorland are deemed to be based on the fact that the gemstone may have been subject to any type of treatment in the past.  Thimbleby & Shorland shall not be responsible in the absence of mention thereof.

A certificate may be issued by a laboratory, providing detailed information on the condition of the gemstone & any treament applied thereto.  The Buyer must be aware that different laboratories have different approaches as to the degree or type of treatment for a particular gemstone.  If a certificate accompanies the Lot, the Buyer must be aware that it is merely a statement of the laboratory’s opinion & in no way can Thimbleby & Shorland be held responsible for any mentions therein.  Such certificates are deemed to be delivered with the Lot for information purposes only.

CITES Import and Export Restrictions – Lots marked with *
Certain goods offered for sale may be subject to laws governing export from the country where it was purchased and import into another country. It is the buyer’s responsibility to be aware of these restrictions and obtain any relevant licenses. Certain endangered species are listed in the CITES Convention. Listed specimens and any parts or products thereof are subject to issuance of an export permit when leaving Great Britain (England,Scotland and Wales).

Appendix I species are also subject to issuance of a prior import permit from the country in which the goods are to be imported. Such permits are necessary before applying for export permits and it is the Buyer’s duty to initiate the proceedings with the relevant authority. The Buyer must be aware that certain countries prohibit the import of some species or any parts or products derived thereof. For example, the United States prohibits all import of African elephant ivory, and any item containing parts that may merely resemble African elephant ivory must be accompanied by relevant documentation stating it is not. Please be aware that all Lots marked with the symbol ‘*’ are subject to CITES regulations.

Limitation of liability regarding CITES export licenses.
Where licences are required for importing or exporting outside of Great Britain, it is the Buyer’s duty to obtain them. Thimbleby & Shorland cannot be held responsible if the Buyer’s application for an export permit is unsuccessful. Subsequently, in the event of failure thereof, Thimbleby & Shorland shall not permit cancellation or rescission of the sale.

Invoices and Collection
No sale is confirmed to an online bidder until an invoice has been issued.  If the buyer cannot collect in person then please see above re packing and postage.

All lots are at the risk of the buyer from the fall of the hammer and you are strongly advised to effect insurance immediately.  All lots must be paid for immediately and removed from site as soon as possible after the auction.

Conditions of Sale for Online Auctions & Tenders


  1. At the fall of the hammer, closing of the tender sale or the on-line lot closing time, the highest acceptable bid for each lot shall be the Purchaser and, in the event of any dispute, the Auctioneers shall have absolute discretion to settle such dispute.
  2. All lots are put up for sale subject to any reserve price placed by the Vendors
  3. All intending bidders at on-line or tender sales must register with the Auctioneers prior to placing a bid. All intending bidders must make prior arrangements regarding method of payment before attending or participating in a sale.
  4. No lot or lots shall be removed from the premises until paid for, but each and every lot shall immediately at the fall of the hammer be considered as delivered and be and remain in every respect at the absolute risk of the respective Purchaser or Purchasers thereof, and shall be removed at the Purchaser’s expense after the conclusion of the Sale and taken with all faults or errors of description.
  5. The Auctioneers act only as agents for the Vendor(s) and are not responsible for any default by either Vendor(s) or Purchaser. In particular, they shall not be liable to pay the Vendor until payment is received from the Purchaser.
  6. No undertaking of the Auctioneers or their employees to take charge of any lots after the sale or to forward them to their destination shall be held to impose upon the Auctioneers any legal obligation or vitiate any of the foregoing conditions.
  7. In all cases of transfer the original Purchaser shall be held responsible for the purchase money.
  8. The Auctioneers have described the lots to the best of their ability and belief, but any statement made either in advertisements, catalogues, on-line description, photograph or other publicity are those of opinion only and are made without responsibility and shall not give rise to any action in law for damages or compensation or rescission of sale by a purchaser against the Vendor, the Auctioneers or their employees. All electrical or mechanical items are sold as un-tested, without warranties or any guarantees as to serviceability, working order or fit for purpose.
  9. Many lots offered for sale on-line are by reason of age or nature, not in first class condition. Some descriptions may refer to damage or restoration but the omission of such a statement does not imply that a lot may be free of damage or has been restored. Therefore all purchasers must satisfy themselves by physical inspection prior to making a bid as to the origin, authenticity, quality, quantity, weight, size and general description of each lot as all lots are sold “as seen” with all faults whether declared or not.
  10. The Auctioneers accept no responsibility in connection with the commissioning of their staff to bid for any lots. Reserves and commissions given verbally or by telephone are accepted at the sender’s risk and must be confirmed in writing before the Sale.
  11. THIRD PARTY LIABILITY. All persons attending the sale or viewing whether it be at the Auctioneers’ premises or other place, before, during or after the Sale shall be deemed to be at their own risk and with notice of the condition of the premises and of the method of arranging lots and shall have no claim against the Auctioneers nor their principals in respect of any injury or accident which may occur from any cause whatsoever including postponement or cancellation of the sale.
  12. If any Purchaser shall fail to comply with the above conditions or any of them, the Auctioneers shall be at liberty to recover in full the amount of the purchase money of the lot or lots bought by such Purchaser together with all interest, costs, charges and expenses, without reference to any delivery or acceptance of the lot or lots, other than the first delivery by the fall of the hammer, or to resell any lot or lots bought by such Purchasers, either by public or private sale, and the full amount of the purchase money at the present sale, or the deficiency (if any) arising from the second sale, together with all interest, costs, charges and expenses, shall be made good by the defaulter and be recoverable as and for liquidated damages.
  13. Droite de suite: This levy applies to all works of art and is levied at varying rates according to the hammer price. Items, which in the opinion of the auctioneers may be liable to the DdS levy, will be marked by a #. The absence of such a mark does not imply that the levy is not payable. Buyers are reminded that a variable surcharge of 4% is made on all works of art falling within the remit of the DdS act. For full details see the web site.