Terms and Conditions of Auction

1. Scope

The auctions of Auktionshaus Michael Zeller (hereinafter referred to as „Auctioneer“) are held according to the following terms and conditions, which the buyer accepts by placing a bid or issuing an absentee bid.

2. Principles of the auction

a) The auction is voluntary and public within the meaning of § 383 (3) of the German Civil Code (BGB). The Auctioneer holds the auction as commission agent in its own name for the account of the consigner, who shall remain unnamed.

b) When bidder numbers are assigned, bidders must provide their name and address and identify themselves by means of a valid identification document. The Auctioneer is legally obliged to make copies of the identification document. Bidders are obliged to disclose whether they are acting on behalf of a beneficial owner. Bids can only be made behalf of a third party upon presentation of a power of attorney and provision of the represented person‘s name and address. In the event of a knockdown for an item with a value of €10,000 or more, the Auctioneer is legally obliged to retain this information for 30 years.

c) The prices stated in the catalogue are reserve prices, not estimated values.

3. Bids, knockdown

a) The Auctioneer is entitled to exclude individuals from the auction without giving any reasons.

b) Written bids must be made using the order form enclosed with the catalogue in clearly legible writing; the Auctioneer must receive these not later than one day prior to the auction.

c) In the event of identical written bids, the earlier bid shall be accepted.

d) The Auctioneer may combine or divide lot numbers, offer them in another order than stated or withdraw them.

e) The bid calling usually starts at the specified reserve price. Bids are regularly increased by around 10% per bid. The knockdown shall be made to the highest bidder after a triple call, if no higher bid has been placed. 

f) The Auctioneer may reject a bid; in this case, the immediate preceding bid remains binding. If a highest bidder does not want the bid to stand or if there are any other doubts regarding the validity of a knockdown, the Auctioneer is entitled to repeat the knockdown or to re-offer the object. If several people place the same highest bid, the winning bid shall be decided by drawing lots.

g) With the Auctioneer‘s knockdown, a contract of sale is concluded between the Auctioneer and the bidder, which obliges the latter to collect the item and to make payment. The risk of accidental loss or accidental deterioration of the item is transferred to the buyer upon knockdown.

h) The Auctioneer can accept the bid with reserve. In this case, the purchase is concluded if the Auctioneer accepts the bid within eight weeks. Bidders are bound to their bid during this time.

i) The Auctioneer is not obliged to disclose the consigner‘s identity to the buyer.

4. Purchase price

a) A surcharge of 27% shall be added to the hammer price. This includes the statutory VAT, which is not stated separately due to the application of the differential taxation according to § 25 a of the German VAT Act (UStG).

b) The standard taxation still applies to goods that do not meet the requirements of § 25 a UStG. A surcharge of 21% shall then be levied on the hammer price and the statutory VAT will be charged on the sum (hammer price + surcharge).

c) In the cases referred to in (b), the description text ‘Rgb.’ includes the following: „Standard taxation“ = 19% VAT. „Standard taxation*“ = 7% VAT.

d) On request the invoice total may also be written out in accordance with standard taxation, as stated above in b) and c), for domestic purchasers who are entitled to preliminary VAT deduction.

e) Deliveries to third countries and also to companies in EU member states (with indication of a VAT ID number) are exempt from VAT. If buyers themselves take auctioned items to third countries, the Auctioneer shall reimburse the VAT to them as soon as it has received the customs export and the import certificates of the importing country.

f) Invoices issued during or immediately following the auction require verification; errors excepted.

g) It is not possible to re-issue invoices to another person after a bid has been knocked down.

5. Due payment and default

a) If the bid was made in person, the buyer must pay the entire amount payable no later than 10 days after the auction at the latest. If the bid was made remotely (telephone, online or written bids), payment is due within 10 days of the invoice date. No cash discount will be granted. Payment must be made to the Auctioneer without charge.

b) In case of default of payment, interest shall be charged at a rate of 5 percentage points or – if the buyer is an entrepreneur – at a rate of 9 percentage points above the base interest rate. The assertion of additional damages – e.g. in the event of recourse to legal assistance – remains reserved. In the event of default on payment, the Auctioneer is entitled to either demand payment of the purchase price or withdraw from the contract after setting a reasonable deadline. In the event of withdrawal, all of the buyer‘s rights arising from the purchase contract shall expire and the Auctioneer shall be entitled to claim damages in the amount of the lost remuneration (consigner‘s commission and surcharge) as well as other costs to be borne by the buyer in the event of the sale. The compensation can also be calculated in such a way that the item is auctioned again in a further auction and the defaulting buyer is liable for any shortfall in proceeds (in the case of hammer price, consigner‘s commission and surcharge) as well as the costs of the repeated auction, without being entitled to any additional proceeds. The Auctioneer has the right to exclude the defaulting buyer from further auctions.

c) If the buyer is in default, the Auctioneer is entitled to assign its claim for payment against the buyer to the consigner in the amount of the remuneration owed.

6. Collection, shipping, storage

a) The buyer is obliged to collect the item immediately, but at the latest two weeks after payment. The bidder is only entitled to handover and transfer of ownership of the goods after full payment of the invoice amount.

b) On request the Auctioneer may take charge of the packaging and shipping at the buyer’s own costs and risk; this may be made dependent on the advance payment of the costs thereby incurred.

c) If a CITES certificate or an export permit must be obtained for the buyer, the buyer shall bear the costs in addition to the risk of non-issuance. The Auctioneer shall charge a processing fee of €50 plus VAT per item per CITES certificate or €25 per export permit. In addition, the buyer shall bear any official fees. The Auctioneer shall charge €25 for the preparation of customs export documents for works of art over €1000.

d) If the item is not collected two weeks after receipt of payment or two weeks after default in payment occurs, the Auctioneer shall store the item at the buyer‘s risk and expense for €1 per item per day. The Auctioneer is entitled to store the items at a third party‘s premises at the buyer‘s expense and to have them insured there.

7. Warranty, liability

a) The auctioned items can be viewed and examined before the auction. The items are used. They shall be auctioned off in the condition in which they are found at the auction. The information in the catalogue is supplied to the best of our knowledge and belief, but does not constitute a guarantee on the part of the Auctioneer and does not form part of the contractually agreed quality of the items; the same applies to their description when calling. Impairments of the condition are not always indicated. Frames, pedestals and similar means of presentation do not form part of the purchase contract, but are usually supplied with the object. 

Buyer‘s warranty claims arising from any damage or defect of the auctioned item are excluded. If, however, the buyer proves the item is a forgery by means of an expert opinion within a period of 12 months after knockdown, the Auctioneer will assign its own warranty claims against the consigner to the buyer.

b) The Auctioneer‘s liability for damages, for whatever legal reason, is excluded. This exclusion of liability does not apply 

- for damages resulting from injury to life, body or health caused by a negligent breach of duty on the part of the Auctioneer or any willful or negligent breach of duty by its legal representative or its vicarious agents or 

- for other damages resulting from a grossly negligent breach of duty on the part of the Auctioneer or a willful or grossly negligent breach of duty by its legal representative or its vicarious agents.

c) Items with a reserve price of up to €100 are excluded from any warranty claims.

8. Retention of title, offsetting, retention

a) The title of ownership of the auctioned item shall only pass to the buyer upon full payment of the amounts owed in accordance with Section 4. If the buyer sells the item beforehand, he hereby assigns all claims from the resale to the Auctioneer, which shall accept the assignment.

b) The buyer may only offset against the Auctioneer with an undisputed or res iudicata claim.

c) The buyer‘s rights of retention on the basis of claims from a previous transaction with the Auctioneer are excluded.

9. Right of withdrawal on suspicion of money laundering

The Auctioneer is entitled to withdraw from the contract if a possible suspicion of money laundering arises in the course of the legally required money laundering audit.

10. Place of performance, place of jurisdiction, applicable law

a) If the buyer is a merchant, a legal entity under public law or a special fund under public law or if the buyer has no general place of jurisdiction in Germany or if his whereabouts are unknown at the time of filing the action, the place of performance and jurisdiction shall be Lindau (B). The Auctioneer may also take legal action in other competent courts.

b) German law shall exclusively apply. The UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG) shall not apply.

11. Subsequent sales

These Terms and Conditions of Auction shall apply likewise to subsequent sales to the auction. The provisions concerning distance selling shall not apply.

12. Online Live bidding

The Auctioneer is not liable for any transmission failures or the creation or maintenance of the connection during online bidding. The same applies to telephone bidding.

13. English translation

The German version is the only authoritative version of these Terms and Conditions of Auction.

Other important information:

1. Size specifications

When indicating the size of pictures, the height is stated before the width. When indicating the size of furniture etc. the order is: Height, width, depth.

2. Authenticity information

If the authenticity of a signature is convincing, paintings and original graphics are endorsed as ‘signed’ (sign.) in the catalogue, prints are endorsed as ‘hand-signed’ (hand-sign.), as opposed to the endorsement ‘marked’ (mark.)

3. Additional declaration

Provided the catalogue owners, auction participants and bidders do not state otherwise, they assure that they shall only acquire the catalogue and items from the era of the Third Reich depicted in it for the purposes of civic instructions, to repel against anti-constitutional endeavours, for purposes of art or science, research or teaching, reporting on current events or history or similar purposes (§§ 86, 86a of the German Penal Code StGB). Auktionshaus Michael Zeller and its consigners only offer and sell these items if these conditions are met.

Publicly appointed and sworn auctioneer: Michael Zeller, Auctioneer: Christine Hofstetter-Zeller