Watsons Auctions
Burwash Road
Heathfield, East Sussex
TN21 8RA
United Kingdom
01435 862132



Much has changed since we opened our auction house in Heathfield, East Sussex in 1873, but one thing has remained unaltered: our commitment to providing a personal, professional service covering fine art, antique furniture, pictures, collectors items, general sale items, valuations (probate, insurance or sale) and a complete clearance service. We take great pride in our reputation, and the long-standing relationships we enjoy with buyers, sellers, dealers, solicitors and other clients worldwide.

We run several types of sale including a General Auction every Tuesday with up to 600 lots, an Antique Furniture & Collectables Auction three/four times a year with up to 500 lots, two Automobilia & Toy Auctions as well as seasonal Plant/Shrub and Turkey/Game Auctions.

By combining the best of today's technology with the values of a traditional family firm, we offer you the individual attention, unrivalled expertise and reassurance that have made us part of life here for more than 140 years. To keep up to date follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Bidding Terms


Our buyers premium is 20% plus VAT. Lots purchased online will incur charges at the rate imposed. All bids left will be subject to ‘one bid over’ should the bidder be ‘wrong footed’. We do not carry out telephone bidding on lots estimated at under £100.

All items must be paid for and collected within 7 days of the sale. We will notify all successful candidates by e-mail or post.

PAYMENT Cheques will only be accepted by prior arrangement or by persons known to the auctioneers. We also accept cash or bank transfers. PLEASE NOTE WE DO NOT ACCEPT CUSTOMER NOT PRESENT TRANSACTIONS. Please contact us for bank details

General Terms & Conditions

The conditions of business set out below are the terms on which Watsons’ contract, as Auctioneers, with buyers and sellers. For ease of reference, the conditions are split into four sections: Section A details general conditions and definitions, Section B details conditions relating to sellers, Section C details conditions relating to buyers, and Section D details legal information.


1. Agents and Auctioneers. In these conditions Watsons act only as auctioneers and agents for the seller. The representative of Watsons conducting the auction is called “the Auctioneer”.

2. Definitions. Some terms are used regularly in these conditions and have the following explanations:

“the buyer” means the person with the highest bid accepted by the auctioneer.

“the lot” means any item deposited with Watsons for sale at auction.

“the seller” means the person or persons claiming title to a particular lot or lots being sold by Watsons at auction.

“the hammer price” means the amount of the highest bid accepted by the auctioneer in relation to a lot.

“the reserve” means the amount below which Watsons agree with the seller that the lot cannot be sold.

3. Terms. Charges incurred by buyers and sellers at Watsons may vary from time to time and the attention of both buyers and sellers is drawn to the rates published by Watsons on receipt forms, sellers and buyers stationery, catalogues and rate cards.

4. Descriptions and Liability. Whilst Watsons make every effort to ensure the accuracy of their catalogues and the description of any Lot:(

a) Each lot as set out in the catalogue or as divided or combined with any other lot or lots is sold by the seller and bought by the buyer with all faults, imperfections and errors of description.

(b) Watsons do not accept responsibility for the authenticity, attribution, genuineness, origin, authorship, date, age, period, condition or quality of any lot unless they have been instructed in
writing by the seller to so certify, and in such case Watsons do so as agents for the seller and are not responsible for any claims then arising.

(c) All statements whether printed in the catalogue or given orally as to any of the matters set out in (b) above are statements of opinion only and are not to be taken as being or implying any warranties or representations of fact by Watsons unless they have been instructed to do so by the seller. Buyers are responsible for satisfying themselves concerning the condition of the goods and the matters referred to in the catalogue description.

5. Auction.

(a) The auctioneer has absolute discretion to divide any lot, to combine any two or more lots or withdraw any lot from the sale. The auctioneer may refuse bids, regulate bidding or cancel the sale without notice or reason, the auctioneer may bid on behalf of the seller for all goods which are being offered subject to reserve or the auctioneer’s discretion.

(b) The highest bidder shall be the buyer except in the case of a dispute, where the auctioneer may re-offer the lot. The auctioneer has absolute discretion to determine the advance of bidding or refuse a bid.

(c) Each lot is put up for sale subject to any reserve placed by the seller. Where no reserve has been placed, the seller has the right to bid personally or to instruct any other person (who may be the auctioneer) to bid on his behalf.

(d) All conditions, notices, descriptions, statements and other matters in the catalogue and elsewhere concerning any lot are subject to any statements modifying the same made by the auctioneer from the rostrum.

6. Recession. Notwithstanding any other terms of these conditions, if within five days after the sale Watsons have received from the buyer of a lot notice in writing that in his view the lot is a deliberate forgery and within fourteen days after such notification the buyer returns the lot to Watsons in the same condition as at the time of sale, and by producing evidence (the burden of proof to be upon the buyer) satisfies Watsons that considered in the light of the catalogue entry the lot is a deliberate forgery, then the sale of the lot will be rescinded and the purchase price refunded. The seller and the buyer agree to be bound by Watsons’ decision. In no circumstances will Watsons be required to pay the buyer any more than the amount paid by him for the lot concerned and the buyer shall have no claim for interest.

7. Default. Watsons disclaim any responsibility for default by the buyer or the seller. Watsons act as agents for the seller only and will not make payment to the seller until settlement is received from the buyer.

8. Telephone Instructions. Instructions given by telephone by sellers or buyers are accepted at the sender’s risk unless confirmed in writing.

9. Sale by Private Treaty. In the event of a sale by private treaty, both the buyer and the seller agree to be bound by Watsons Conditions of Business.

10. Third Party Liability. Every person on Watsons’ premises at any time shall be deemed to be there at his own risk. He shall have no claim against Watsons in respect of any accident which may occur or injury, damage or loss howsoever caused, except if the injury, damage or loss is caused by the negligence of Watsons’ employees.


11. Instructions. All goods delivered to Watsons’ premises are deemed to be delivered for sale by auction, and unless otherwise stated in writing will be catalogued and sold by Watsons without reserve. By delivering the goods to Watsons, each seller acknowledges that he has accepted and agrees to be bound by these conditions.

12. Collections. If required, Watsons will instruct a carrier on the seller’s behalf in their capacity as agents. Watsons disclaim all responsibility for loss or damage to goods or for unauthorized removal of goods or for damage caused by carriers. Unless payment is satisfactorily made by other means, the charge for carriers’ services will be deducted from the proceeds of sale.

13. Loss or Damage. Watsons disclaim all responsibility for loss or damage to goods or for unauthorized removal of goods unless caused by the direct negligence of Watsons’ employees.

14. Storage. Watsons reserve the right to store or arrange for the storage of goods delivered to them for sale either on their own premises or elsewhere at their discretion. Watsons refute any liability for loss or damage to goods, delivered to their salerooms without notice or with insufficient sale instructions and reserve the right to make a storage charge for such goods. Sellers will be charged for goods left on Watsons’ premises after two working days if the seller has been requested to remove them. If the goods are not removed within seven days of such request, Watsons reserve the right to sell the goods and recover any costs and storage charges.

15. Insurance. All goods on Watsons, premises or in their custody will be held insured against the risks of fire, burglary and damage for which Watsons will levy a charge which will be deducted from the proceeds of sale. The value of the goods so covered shall be the hammer price less charges, or in the case of unsold lots, the reserve. Where no reserve has been fixed, the basis of settlement shall be the lower auction estimate or failing this, the price which Watsons in their absolute discretion estimate to be the auction value of such goods.

16. Reserves. All goods are offered for sale without reserve unless written instructions as to reserve are received by Watsons prior to the commencement of the sale. In the event of any reserve not being reached at auction, Watsons are authorized by the seller to sell after the auction by private treaty, at not less than the reserve. In the event of such a sale, these conditions of sale will apply.

17. Indemnity. The seller indemnifies Watsons against any claims in connection with goods sold by Watsons on the sellers behalf.

18. Value Added Tax. A seller who intends to sell by auction any chattel(s) which is an asset of his business must disclose to Watsons whether or not he is a registered person or business for VAT purposes and, if so, his registered number and whether or not he intends to operate the Dealers’ Margin Scheme covering works of art etc. This information must be supplied to Watsons on or prior to delivery of the goods.

19. Deductions. The seller authorizes Watsons to deduct commission and expenses in accordance with the Watsons’ current terms of business. The seller acknowledges Watsons’ right to retain any premium payable by the buyer and waives any right to any interest that may be earned during the period from payment by the buyer to receipt of sale proceeds by the seller.

20. Photographic Rights. The seller gives Watsons full and absolute rights to photograph and illustrate any goods placed with Watsons for sale. All such photographs and illustrations shall remain the property of Watsons and may be used at any time by Watsons, whether or not in connection with the auction.

21. Withdrawals. Where a seller cancels instructions for sale, or where a lot is withdrawn for any reason other than misattribution or authenticity, Watsons reserve the right to charge a fee based on the reserve price of the lot, or, where no reserve has been fixed, Watsons’ lower end of the estimate of the withdrawn lot, together with any expenses incurred.

22. Unsold Lots. Where a lot fails to sell and a reserve has been agreed with Watsons, the seller shall make arrangements to either re-offer the lot or remove the lot in accordance with clause 14 and Watsons’ instructions. If the reserve has been imposed by the seller and has not been agreed with Watsons, Watsons reserve the right to charge a fee based on the reserve imposed by the seller, together with any expenses incurred. If not contact has been made by the seller with Watsons they reserve the right to sell the item at either auction at a figure they feel appropriate or dispose of the item.


23. Inspection. Each buyer by making a bid for a lot, acknowledges that he has satisfied himself fully before bidding, by inspection or otherwise, to all the conditions of sale, the physical condition of and description of any lot including but not restricted to whether the lot is damaged or has been repaired or restored.

24. Title and Risk. The legal title to a lot shall not pass to the buyer until the lot has been paid for in full. Watsons shall be entitled to a lien over any lot sold but not paid for, but the lot is at the sole risk of the buyer from the fall of the hammer. Each buyer shall give his full names and permanent address when required by Watsons, and shall pay for lots purchased to Watsons in accordance with clause 26. If the buyer fails to comply with any of these conditions, any lots may be re-offered for sale at Watsons’ sole discretion and the buyer will be responsible for any shortfall against the original purchase price, together with any expenses incurred.

25. Buyer as Agent. Every buyer shall be deemed to act as principal unless there is in force a written acknowledgement by Watsons that the buyer acts as agent on behalf of a named principal.

26. Purchase Price. In addition to the hammer price, the buyer must pay to Watsons a buyer’s premium at the stated rates inclusive of Value Added Tax in accordance with the Auctioneers’ Margin Scheme. VAT may also be payable on the hammer price, but only if the lot is marked to that effect.

27. Commission Bids. Watsons will execute bids on behalf of intending buyers unable to attend the sale at no charge. Watsons undertake to purchase lots as cheaply as allowed by other bids and reserves. If Watsons receive bids on a particular lot for identical amounts, it will be sold to the person whose bid was received first. Commission bids are undertaken subject to other commitments at the time of sale; Watsons cannot accept any liability for errors or omissions made in carrying out such bids. All commission bids are bound by one bid over should this be required.

28. Removal of Goods. No purchase shall be claimed or removed until payment has been received in full. All lots purchased must be paid for and removed at the buyer’s risk and expense by the end of the second working day following the sale. All lots not so removed shall remain at the risk of the buyer and be subject to a storage charge.

29. Payment and Default. If purchased lots are not paid for within (5 days) and removed (10 days) of the sale, Watsons may re-sell them by auction or by private treaty without notice to the buyer, and deduct any expenses incurred from the sale proceeds. In the event of any failure by the buyer to comply with any of these conditions, the damages recoverable from the defaulter shall include any loss arising from the resale of lots, together with charges and expenses in respect of both sales and together with interest at 4% above National Westminster Bank Plc Base Rate on any lot remaining unpaid within 5 working days of the sale. Any money deposited by the buyer in part payment shall be held by Watsons on account of any liability of the defaulter to them or to the seller.

30. Copyright. The copyright in all images, illustrations and written material relating to a lot is and shall remain at all times the property of Watsons and shall not be used by the buyer nor anyone else without Watsons’ written consent.

Online Bidding

Watsons Auctioneers offer an online bidding service via easyliveAuction for bidders who cannot attend the sale.

Please note that any lots purchased via live auction service will be subject to an additional 3% commission charge + VAT at the rate imposed on the hammer price.
Please note if you selected the Flat Fee £3 Option, then you will not be charged an additional 3% commission charge + VAT, however auction house fees still apply.


31. Notices. Any notice given under these conditions is to be in writing and, if given by post, will be taken to have been received by the addressee on the second working day after posting.

32. Severability. If any part of these Conditions of Business is found by any court to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that part may be discounted and the rest of the conditions shall continue to be valid and enforceable to the fullest extent permitted by law.

33. English Law. These Conditions of Business are subject to English Law, which applies to their construction as well as their effect. The seller and the buyer submit to the exclusive jurisdiction’of the English court.

34. Buyers Premium of 20% + VAT will be added to the hammer price.
Shipping and Collection
We do not operate a shipping or packing service. Items must be collected with 10 days or storage charges of £1 per lot per day will be implemented unless pre-agreed.

Mailboxes on 00 44 1892 510155 (e-mail: or Jentel Packing on 00 44 1268 776777 (e-mail: will be able to assist you. PLEASE NOTE ITEMS CANNOT BE COLLECTED ON A TUESDAY DUE TO OUR GENERAL AUCTION TAKING PLACE AND WE ARE CLOSED AT WEEKENDS.

Items not collected after 2 months will revert back to our ownership and sold to cover costs.

Online Collectables & Furniture Auction

by Watsons Auctions
23rd July 2024 from 9:30am BST
Heathfield, East Sussex

Toy & Transport Auction

by Watsons Auctions
15th August 2024 from 9:30am BST
Heathfield, East Sussex