FAQs: Online Auctions

How do I view the lots?

All lots for sale are featured in this auction catalogue. The number listed next to each image is the lot number and should be used as a reference during bidding or for any information requests. The lots in this sale may be viewed through any of the following:

i. Previews and Viewings – Details listed in the Sales and Enquiries section of the printed catalogue

ii. The online auction catalogue available on

iii.  The printed auction catalogue

iv. The mobile auction catalogue available for download on your mobile device

What do you mean by ‘Condition of Lots’?

All lots will be shipped out in an ‘as is’ condition, meaning that the item is sold with all existing faults and imperfections. Saffronart encourages all potential buyers to inspect each item carefully before bidding and to not rely on an illustration of any item given in the catalogue. Condition reports for all lots are available as a free service, online or upon request by email, fax, or telephone.

What are special lots?

Lots marked as "Art Treasures" and/or "Antiquities" and/or “Non Exportable” under the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 cannot be exported outside India. Buyers are solely responsible for meeting the requirements of the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972 or any related state legislation.

What are Price Estimates?

Each lot has a price range listed. These estimates are based on characteristics of the lot such as condition, quality, rarity, provenance. These estimates are provided only as a guide for buyers and do not include buyer’s premium or applicable taxes. If applicable there is a link for pricing achieved for similar art works at auction available next to the lot in the online catalogue. Price estimates may be subject to revision.

What is a Reserve Price?

Unless stated otherwise, all lots offered in the auction are subject to a reserve price, which is the minimum price that the lot may be sold for. No lot will be sold below its reserve price and the reserve price will not exceed the low price estimate. Reserve prices are confidential and will not be disclosed.

How do I register to bid?

Bidders are advised to register at least 24 hours in advance of the sale. Bidders may choose to register online or send in their details to Saffronart and we will process the details for you. Saffronart requires the following details from a first time bidder to register and process an approval to bid:

i. Name

ii. Address

iii. Telephone Number

iv. Email Address

v. Know Your Customer (KYC) documents

vi. Credit card information/financial references/deposits

In some cases, Saffronart may request for a bidding limit value which is a per lot limit based on your current bid value.

If you have bid or been approved to bid with us before, please use your Saffronart login and password to accept the Conditions for Sale online. Please note the invoicing details provided at the time of registration cannot be changed after the sale.

How do I Bid?

i. Bidding Online: Once you have identified the lot that you would like to bid on, click on "Bid Now" and enter either the bid amount for regular bidding, or a maximum price for proxy/automatic bidding. Regular bidding is the method by which you actively participate in the bidding process by entering the next valid bid (or one of a higher value) each time you are outbid. Your screen will display the next (minimum) valid bid, based on a predetermined increment. You may enter a bid at that exact value only. You may also view the entire bid history prior to making your decision. After you enter your bid, it is advisable to view the bid history to verify that your bid has been recorded. Please note that bidders may be contacted during the auction for bid verification in order to protect all bidders and maintain the efficacy of the process.

ii. Bidding on the Phone: Saffronart accepts requests from bidders to place bids on the phone with our staff depending on availability. To avail of this service, you must be registered as a bidder. Please note that the number of telephone lines available for telephone bidding may be limited and this facility is provided at Saffronart’s discretion.

iii.  Bidding on the Mobile: Bidders may download a software application from Saffronart onto their eligible mobile device and use it to place bids during the sale. To avail of this service, you must be registered as a bidder. Download the app from the iTunes App store and the Google Play store.

iv. Absentee/Proxy Bids: Bidders may place bids prior to the sale either online or in writing by submitting the absentee/proxy bid form. See the Absentee/Proxy Bid Form available at the back of the printed catalogue, or on the website.

What are bid increments?

Any new bid must be greater than the current highest bid by a minimum increment. The next valid bid amount is the current highest bid plus the minimum increment value. The auctioneer may vary the increments during the course of the auction at his or her discretion. Online bids however, are accepted only at the next valid bid based on the minimum increment. Please refer to the bid increments printed at the back of the catalogue (on the reverse of the Absentee/Proxy Bid Form).

Can a bid be cancelled?

Once the auction has started, bids may not be cancelled by a bidder. Absentee/Proxy bids may be altered prior to the start of the auction. Absentee/Proxy bids placed online may be lowered if the bidder has not reached their proxy (maximum) value. Saffronart reserves the right to cancel a bid at its discretion if it considers it necessary to do so.

What is the currency of bidding?

Bids may be placed in US Dollars (USD) or Indian Rupees (INR). However, only buyers in India may pay for their purchases in INR at the close of the auction. All other buyers must complete payment in USD. Certain lots have been marked with the sign . These lots are not situated in India and therefore, may only be bid for and purchased in USD. Persons residing in India wishing to bid in USD must be eligible under the various foreign exchange regulations to make payments overseas. Please contact Saffronart for further details. Please see the exchange rate section in our Conditions for Sale online.

What is an Opening/Start Bid?

The opening/start bid is the value at which the auction house starts the bidding on a particular lot.

Absentee/proxy bids received before the start of the auction will be recorded as follows:

i. If the absentee/proxy bid is less than the opening bid value it will be recorded and displayed below the opening bid value at the time of the start of the auction in the bid history for that particular lot.

ii. If the absentee/proxy bid is greater than the opening bid value and is less than the next valid bid for that lot (based on the minimum increments) it will be recorded and displayed as the current highest bid above the opening bid value at the time of the start of the auction in the bid history for that particular lot. The next valid bid in this case will be greater than the current highest bid by a minimum increment, which applies to that bid value.

iii.  Multiple absentee/proxy bids received on a particular lot before the start of the auction will be recorded and displayed in the bid history of the lot according to the values with the highest bid being the current valid bid at the time of the start of the auction. Absentee/proxy bids received at the same value will be prioritised based on the time of receiving the bids and will be shown in the bid history of the lot.

How do I track my bids?

Under ‘My Bids’ on the page "My Auction Gallery", bidders can keep track of their bids. For ease of tracking bids, bidders are advised to assign bidding nicknames to themselves when prompted.

The most updated bid values shall be shown only when the page on the website containing the information on bid values is refreshed, which shall happen either automatically at regular intervals (indicated at the top of the page), or when a bidder clicks on the "click to refresh immediately" link on the page, or on the "refresh" or "reload" button on his/her internet browser. After the values on the page have been refreshed, any changes in bid values shall not be visible to the bidder until the values are refreshed again whether automatically or by the bidder.

We encourage bidders to set absentee/proxy bids for lots they are interested in well in advance of the closing time for a lot.

When does a lot sell? What are closing and winning bids?

The closing bid for a lot is the highest bid at the time a particular lot’s bidding has ended. No further bids can be made at that point. The closing bid is considered a winning bid, only if the bid equals or exceeds the reserve price. If the closing bid on a particular lot is below the reserve price, it will not be considered a winning bid and the lot will be deemed unsold. However, if the closing bid belongs to a proxy bidder and is below the reserve price, but the proxy bidder’s maximum bid price exceeds or equals the reserve price, then the lot will be sold to the proxy bidder at the reserve price. The winning bids for all sold lots will be posted on the website after the close of the auction.

Groups of lots are scheduled to close at different times on the last day of the auction. The bid closing schedule for each auction is listed online, and at the back of the printed catalogue. Pre-determined groups of lots will close according to the bid-closing schedule unless a bid is recorded within a span of 2 minutes prior to the lot’s scheduled closing time. In this case, the lot closing time will be extended to 2 minutes after the time of the last bid. If this time extension takes place, bidding on any lot will only end if there is no bid recorded for a continuous period of 2 minutes. Bidders are advised to click on the "click to refresh immediately" link on the website page being viewed by them, or on the "Refresh" link if bidding on a mobile, at regular intervals for updates on latest bids and time extensions if any.

What is Buyer’s Premium?

In respect of each sale at the auction, Saffronart shall charge a Buyer's Premium calculated at 20% of the winning bid value on each lot up to and including USD 1,000,000; 15% of the winning bid value in excess of USD 1,000,000 up to and including USD 1,600,000; and 12% of the Winning Bid in excess of USD 1,600,000. For lots being shipped from India, a service tax on the Buyer's Premium shall be to the account of the Buyer. This is applicable for deliveries within India as well as overseas.

How will I be invoiced?

If you win a bid, you will be sent an email after the close of the auction, containing an invoice for the winning bid plus additional charges (shipping, handling, duties and taxes as applicable) and the Buyer’s Premium plus service tax at applicable rates. The invoicing details provided at the time of registration will be used to raise the invoice and no changes will be accepted after the sale.

You may review acceptable modes of payment described in the section below. If you are the winning bidder, you are legally bound to purchase the item from Saffronart. Please note that purchases will not be shipped out until payment has been received and cleared.

What are additional charges?

All post-sales expenses, including packing, insurance, shipping or handling charges, are borne by the buyer. Shipping will be charged on courier rates and are determined by the value, origin and destination of the package. Local deliveries will be charged at actuals.

You may choose to make your own arrangements for shipping and handling. However, all documentation requirements must be complied with. Please contact us for further details.

What are the Duties and Taxes applicable on my purchase?

All duties and taxes applicable shall be borne by the buyer and will depend on the value, origin and destination of the package.

i. Deliveries in India for lots originating in India:

  Any sale of lots originating from India to an address in India is subject to a 13.5% VAT on the winning bid value and a 15% Service Tax on the Buyer’s Premium. A CST of 2% instead of the 13.5% VAT will be applicable on the winning bid value only if the purchasing entity is a business; the delivery location of the lot is outside the state of the location of the sale as mentioned in the Sales and Enquiries section of the catalogue and the Buyer provides the necessary documentation required by the Sales Tax authorities. The final charges will be determined at the close of the auction and will be sent by email to the winning bidder.

ii. International shipments for lots originating in India:

For lots originating from India, a 15% Service Tax on the Buyer’s Premium is applicable. There may be duties and taxes levied depending on the delivery destination which typically will be on the total of the winning bid and shipping and handling values. Depending on the shipping address, these duties and taxes vary according to customs regulations in the destination country. Any shipments to EU countries will be charged an additional VAT as applicable. Please contact Saffronart for further details.

     For imports, the terms of sale are Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU). It is the Buyer’s responsibility to pay all international duties, customs charges, taxes and tariffs to the respective authorities. Normally, the couriers we contract will pay import duties on behalf of the buyer and get reimbursed at the time of delivery.

iii. Shipments and Deliveries for Lots originating outside India (lots marked with the symbol  )

These lots are located outside India. Persons residing in India can bid on and pay for in USD by complying with the appropriate foreign exchange regulations for making overseas payments. There are import duties applicable on artworks shipped into India. Please contact Saffronart for further details.

In the event that the lot is to be shipped internationally, additional charges for international shipments mentioned in the above section shall apply.

Please Note: Lots may require permits for import or be subject to import restrictions to certain countries. Potential buyers are advised to check import regulations prior to making a bid decision.

How do I make payment?

Buyers will be required to complete payment within a period of 7 business days from the receipt of the invoice via email. If you have not received your invoice within 48 hours of the close of the sale, please contact us.

For Buyers in India

Payment can be made in INR only by the following acceptable modes of payment:

i. Cheque/Demand Draft: To be made in favour of Saffron Art Private Limited

ii. RTGS/NEFT: Details will be included with the invoice and available upon request

iii.   Credit card: up to INR equivalent of USD 5,000

For Buyers outside India

Payment can be made in USD only by the following acceptable modes of payment:

i. Cheque: To be made in favour of Saffron Art Private Limited

ii. Direct wire transfer: Details will be included with the invoice and available upon request

iii. Credit card: up to USD 5,000

iv. Payment from an NRE account: The invoice will be raised in USD based on the winning bid value, and the buyer will have to transfer an equivalent INR amount at the bank exchange rate

When will my purchases be delivered/can I collect my purchases?

Purchases shipped out within 10 - 15 business days of the payment being cleared are insured under the terms of Saffronart’s insurance policy (please note that frames are not insured). If there is an expected delay in dispatch, the buyer will be informed of the delay via email, unless the buyer has indicated an alternative preferred mode of communication.

Buyers may choose to collect their purchases from the Saffronart office in Mumbai. In such cases, buyers are requested to make an appointment to collect purchases within 10 - 15 business days of completion of all payments and documentation formalities. Buyers who have completed payment formalities and have not taken delivery of their lots from Saffronart within 30 days of the completion of payment formalities will be charged storage and insurance at applicable rates.

What documentation will I receive with my purchases?

Upon confirmation of delivery or receipt of shipment, we will send you the invoices for your purchases along with any relevant documentation for the lot that has been mentioned in the lot details. Please note that Saffronart does not issue any authenticity certificates and does not provide artist authenticities either.

What if my shipment reaches damaged?

All purchases from this sale are final. In the unlikely event of your receiving a damaged product, please notify Saffronart directly within five days of receipt of the lot. Please call or email us at any of our locations mentioned in the Sales and Enquiries section. If Saffronart does not receive any notification within 7 business days of delivery, it shall be assumed that the lot has been received in good condition, and no claims will be entertained.

How do I participate in your next auction?

If you would like to register to bid or consign to any of our upcoming auctions please contact any of our locations listed in the Sales and Enquiries section.

If you would like to stay informed of Saffronart’s upcoming events, please register with us online at

Need help? Please check our guides on How to Bid. Auction Tips and FAQs.Email [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] Tel: +91 22 6855 4100 / 6855 4155 (Mumbai), (212) 627 5006 (New York), 44 (0) 20 7409 7974 (london), (91 11) 2436 9415 (New Delhi)