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Arete Art
Room 85-86, Colchester Centre
Hawkins Road
United Kingdom
020 39165866



Arete Art Limited, is a UK auctioneer dedicated to offering wide range of Chinese works of art through regular exhibitions and auctions as well as our online shop.
We specialise in Chinese jade, early ceramics, bronzes and paintings. Arete, meaning excellence and moral virtue in ancient Greek, is a perfect description to the ancient Chinese works of art which combined wisdom, creativity and unparalleled craftmanship.
Today, Arete Art Limited collects best quality Chinese works of art from around the world and offers to global clients who share the same enthusiasm.


Introduction. The following notes are intended to assist bidders and buyers, particularly those that are inexperienced or new to our auctions. All of our auctions are governed by our Terms and Conditions for bidders (primarily applicable to bidders and buyers) and any notices that are displayed in our salerooms or announced by the auctioneer at the auction. Please make sure that you read our Terms & Conditions carefully before bidding in the auction. If your bid is successful, you will be obliged to comply with our Terms & Conditions.

Methods of Payment. Lots must be paid in full amount before they are collected. Methods by which we accept payment are bank transfer, online debit or credit card payment, and these should be paid within the week upon receiving the invoice.

Collection and storage. All lots should be paid for and collected within a week upon receiving the invoice. Absentee bidders should check the success of their bids and arrange payment and collection within this time. Please note concerning collection and storage, items not removed within a week of the sale may be removed at the purchaser’s expense and storage charges of £10 as an administration fee and £5 per lot per day may be charged (plus VAT).

Collection could be booked with us after lots been paid in full. Our shipping agent will arrange collection, packing and shipping upon your request. We could also arrange shipping via UK post office for smaller items which are not overly fragile. For any shipping inquiries, please email:

Agency, as auctioneers we usually act on behalf of the seller whose identity, for reasons of confidentiality, is not normally disclosed. If you buy at auction your contract for the goods is with the seller, not with us as auctioneer.

Estimates, are designed to help you gauge what sort of sum might be involved for the purchase of a particular lot. Estimates may change and should not be thought of as the sale price. The lower estimate may represent the reserve price (the minimum price for which a lot may be sold) and will not be below the reserve price. Estimates do not include the buyer’s premium or VAT (where chargeable). Estimates are prepared some time before the auction and may be altered by a saleroom notice or announcement by the auctioneer before the auction of the lot. They are not definitive.

Buyer's Premium. The Terms & Conditions oblige you to pay a buyer's premium at 25% on the hammer price of each lot purchased. In addition, VAT is charged on the premium (see below).

VAT. Items in our catalogue may be marked with a asterisk * or double asterisk **, which indicates that VAT is payable by the buyer on the hammer price and the buyer’s premium at either the standard rate (currently 20%) or a reduced rate (currently 5%), depending upon the legal requirements relating to that lot.

Lots which do not have either of the above symbols have no VAT payable on the hammer price. This is because such lots are sold using the Auctioneers' Margin Scheme. The VAT included within the premium is not recoverable as input tax.

Inspection of goods by the buyer. As we act on behalf of the seller, we are dependent on information provided by the seller about their goods. We may inspect lots and will act reasonably in taking a general view about them. However, we are normally unable to carry out detailed examinations of lots to check their condition in the way a buyer would do. You will have ample opportunity to inspect the goods. You must inspect and investigate lots that you might wish to bid for. Please note carefully all lots are sold AS IS

Condition Reports. We may be able to assist buyers unable to view by emailing a condition report, but these are based solely on our own opinion and are for guidance only and no responsibility is accepted for their accuracy. Intending buyers are strongly encouraged to view. Condition reports cannot be prepared on the day of the sale.

Export of goods. If you intend to export goods you must find out:

whether an export licence is needed; and

if there is a prohibition on importing goods of that character e.g. because the goods contain prohibited materials such as ivory.

Bidding. Bidders will be required to register with us before the auction starts. We reserve the right to impose a deadline prior to the auction by which you must register or by which we must receive a commission bid. If you wish to bid on high value lots this deadline may be several days before the auction in order to allow us sufficient time to carry out the necessary checks. Lots will be invoiced to the name and address on the registration form. You will need to provide us with proof of your identity in a form acceptable to us and such other information as we may require. Please enquire in advance about our arrangements for online bidding. Please note that we may refuse to register you if you do not provide us with all the information and documentation that we ask for or at our discretion.

Absentee bidding. You may leave absentee bids with us indicating the maximum amount to be bid against a lot (excluding the buyers' premium and/or any applicable VAT). We will execute absentee bids as economically as possible having regard to the reserve (if any) and competing bids. If two buyers submit identical absentee bids we may prefer the first bid received (where this can be reasonably ascertained). We recommend leaving absentee bids online or email us. All absentee bids should be received at least 30 minutes before the auction commences; we cannot guarantee to execute absentee bids received after this time.

Online Bidding. Any lots purchased via a live online bidding service could be subject to an additional commission charge on the hammer price payable by the bidder. The charges using a 3rd party bidding platform will be payable to us on top of the hammer price and the buyer’s premium.

(2). Bidding Procedures and Conduct of the Auction
(a) Bidders are required to register their particulars before bidding and to satisfy any security arrangements before entering the auction room to view or bid. Any bidder who refuses to provide the requested identification may be refused permission to bid.
(b) The auctioneer has discretion at any time to refuse any bid, withdraw any lot, re-offer a lot for sale (including after the fall of the hammer) if they believe there may be error or dispute, and take such action as they reasonably thinks fit.
(c) Subject to condition 2(b) the contract between the buyer and seller is concluded on the striking of the auctioneers hammer whereupon the buyer becomes liable to pay the purchase price.
(d) Any post auction sales of lots offered at auction shall incorporate these conditions as if sold in the auction.
(e) Our right to bid on behalf of the seller is expressly reserved up to the amount of any reserve and the right to refuse any bid is also reserved.
3. Increments, bidding increments shall be at the auctioneer’s sole discretion.
4. The Purchase Price. The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 25% (30% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.
5. VAT Value Added Tax on the hammer price is imposed by law on all items
affixed with an asterisk or double asterisk. Value Added Tax is charged at the appropriate
rate prevailing by law at the date of sale and is payable by buyers of relevant Lots.
6. Payment
(1) Immediately a Lot is sold you will:
(a) give to us, if requested, proof of identity, and
(b) pay to us the total amount due by bank transfer or online debit / credit card payment or in such other way as is agreed by us.
(2) Any payments by you to us may be applied by us towards any sums owing from you to us on any account whatever without regard to any directions of you or your agent, whether express or implied.
7. Title and Collection of Purchases. The ownership of any Lots purchased shall not pass to you until you have made payment in full to us of the total amount due.
(a) You shall at your own risk and expense take away any lots that you have purchased and paid for not later than 5 working days following the day of the invoice.
(b) No purchase can be claimed or removed until it has been paid for and payment has cleared.
(c) Invoices will not be split or title transferred to another person(s). Invoices must be paid in full before any lots can be removed.
(d) Purchased lots must be collected within the allocated time as stated in the Terms & Conditions, storage charges are applicable thereafter. Purchased lots are at the Buyer’s risk (and therefore their sole responsibility for insurance) .Until risk passes Arete Art Limited will compensate the buyer for any loss or damage to the lot up to a maximum of the purchase price paid.
8. Remedies for Non-Payment or Failure to Collect Purchases
(1) If any Lot is not paid for in full and taken away in accordance with these Conditions or if there is any other breach of these Conditions, we, as agent for the seller and on our own behalf, shall at our absolute discretion and without prejudice to any other rights we may have, be entitled to exercise one or more of the following rights and remedies:
(a) to proceed against you for damages for breach of contract;
(b) to rescind the sale of that Lot and/or any other Lots sold by us to you;
(c) to resell the Lot (by auction or private treaty) in which case you shall be responsible for any resulting deficiency in the total amount due (after crediting any part payment and adding any resale costs).
(d) to remove, store and insure the Lot at your expense and, in the case of storage, either at our premises or elsewhere;
(e) to charge interest at a rate not exceeding 1.5% per month on the total amount due to the extent it remains unpaid for more than 5working days after the sale;
(f) to retain that or any other Lot sold to you until you pay the total amount due;
(g) to reject or ignore bids from you or your agent at future auctions or to impose conditions before any such bids shall be accepted;
(h) to apply any proceeds of sale of other Lots due or in future becoming due to you towards the settlement of the total amount due and to exercise a lien (that is a right to retain possession of) any of your property in our possession for any purpose until the debt due is satisfied.
(2) We shall, as agent for the seller and on our own behalf pursue these rights and remedies only so far as is reasonable to make appropriate recovery in respect of breach of these conditions
9. Third Party Liability. All members of the public on our premises are there at their own risk and must note the lay-out of the accommodation and security arrangements. Accordingly neither the auctioneer nor our employees or agents shall incur liability for death or personal injury (except as required by law by reason of our negligence) or similarly for the safety of the property of persons visiting prior to or at a sale.
10. Lots will be purchased by the Auctioneer on behalf of the commission bidder for the lowest price allowed by other bids and/or reserves if any, up to and including their maximum bid amount recorded. The Auctioneers cannot accept responsibility for any neglect or default in executing or failing to execute commission bids whether through the auctioneer or through any online bidding software, or where a bidding slip has been completed incorrectly. We urge commission bidders, to ensure that the correct lot number(s) and price(s) are recorded on their bidding forms.Where two or more commission bids at the same level are recorded we reserve the right at our absolute discretion to prefer the first bid so made.
10. Agency. The auctioneer normally acts as agent only and disclaims any responsibility for default by sellers or buyers.
11. Description and Conditions
(a) Whilst we seek to describe lots accurately, it may be impractical for us to carry out exhaustive due diligence on each lot. Prospective buyers are given ample opportunities to view and inspect before any sale and they (and any independent experts on their behalf) must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of any description of a lot. Buyers are welcome to make an appointment to view any lots listed on an online only auction. Prospective buyers also bid on the understanding that, inevitably, representations or statements by us as to authorship, genuineness, origin, date, age, provenance, condition or estimated selling price involve matters of opinion. Subject to the foregoing neither we the auctioneer nor our employees or agents nor the seller accept liability for the correctness of such opinions and all conditions and warranties, whether relating to description, condition or quality of lots, express, implied or statutory, are hereby excluded.
(b) Condition Reports. Reports on the condition of any lot are offered by the Auctioneers as a statement of opinion only, and not of fact. Arete Art Limited is not liable for any errors or omissions contained therein. The buyer must satisfy themselves to the condition of any given lot prior to bidding. Arete Art Limited 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.
(c) Where the term (a/f) is used this refers to a lot being ‘as found’, it is used for guidance only and indicates 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 Arete Art Limited is not liable for the omission of this term.
(d) Private treaty sales made on these premises under these Conditions are deemed to be sales by auction for the purposes of consumer legislation.
15. Forgeries. Notwithstanding the preceding Condition, any Lot which proves to be a deliberate forgery (as defined) may be returned to us by you within 14 days of the auction date provided it is in the same condition as when bought, and is accompanied by particulars identifying it from the relevant catalogue description and a written statement of defects. Arete Art Limited may require the buyer to obtain at the buyer’s cost the reports of two independent and recognised experts in the field, mutually acceptable to Arete Art Limited and
the buyer. If we are satisfied from the evidence presented that the Lot is a deliberate forgery we shall refund the money paid by you for the Lot including any buyer’s premium provided that (1) if the catalogue description reflected the accepted view of scholars and experts as at the date of sale or (2) if you personally are not able to transfer a good and marketable title to us, you shall have no rights under this condition. The right of return provided by this Condition is additional to any right or remedy provided by law or by these Conditions of Sale.
16. We shall have the right at our discretion, to refuse admission to our premises or attendance at our auctions by any person.
17. Where a member of the public causes damage to a lot (or part thereof) the Auctioneers reserve the right to:
(a) sell the aforementioned without reserve and to hold that specific individual liable for the amount of any difference between the hammer price and the reserve or low estimate;
(b) hold that specific individual liable for the cost of restoration where appropriate;
(c) hold that specific individual liable for the full amount of the reserve price or lower estimate as applicable.
18 (a) any right to compensation for losses liabilities and expenses incurred in respect of and as a result of any breach of these Conditions and any exclusions provided by them shall be available to the seller and/or the auctioneer as appropriate.
(b) Such rights and exclusions shall extend to and be deemed to be for the benefit of employees and agents of the seller and/or the auctioneer who may themselves enforce them.
19. Any notice to any buyer, seller, bidder or viewer may be given by first class mail or email if provided in which case it shall be deemed to have been received by the addressee 48 hours after posting.
20. Special terms may be used in catalogue descriptions of particular classes of items in which case the descriptions must be interpreted in accordance with any glossary appearing at the commencement of the catalogue.
21. Any indulgence extended to bidders buyers or sellers by us notwithstanding the strict terms of these Conditions or of the Terms of Consignment shall affect the position at the relevant time only and in respect of that particular concession only; in all other respects these Conditions shall be construed as having full force and effect.
22. English law applies to the interpretation of these Conditions.
These terms and conditions are based upon recommended conditions of sale by SOFAA (the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers) and RICS (the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors)
We partner with Mailboxes etc for UK and international shipping arrangements. Customers are also welcome to use their preferred shipping agent.
Customers who choose to collect from us directly, please email: to book an appointment.
We could also arrange shipping through UK post office for smaller items which are not overly fragile.

For any collection / shipping inquires, please email:

Legends Through 5000 Years Arts of China

by Arete Art
Legends Through 5000 Years Arts of China
2nd July 2024 from 1pm BST