Please note: The Holts online catalogue is currently being updated and Lots are added at regular intervals.
Terms & Conditions
1. The Auctioneers means Holt & Company Auctioneers Limited of Modern and Antique Guns.
2. ‘Deliberate forgery’ means an imitation made with the intention to deceive as to authorship, origin, age or source, which is not so described in the catalogue and which has a value materially less than if it had been in accordance with the description in the catalogue.
Firearmas Act 1968 (As Amended)
Private buyers resident within the UK who have successfully bid on a Section 1 or Section 2 item must send by Recorded Delivery their original shotgun/firearm certificate to Holts in advance of making payment. The certificate will be checked and completed on day of receipt and returned by Recorded Delivery, at which point payment should be made. Successful bidders not in possession of a valid authority are requested to pay a deposit of 95% of the invoice total with the remaining 5% payable once the certificate has been checked and completed.
NOTE: Under UK Law you are required to inform the Home Office of possession of a deactivated firearm. A link to the Notification of Possession of a deactivated firearm form can be found on our website under licence requirements in the 'Buying' menu.
3. Whilst every care is taken in the preparation of the catalogues, the Auctioneers accept no responsibility for any inaccuracies contained therein.
4. Lots shall be held to be at the buyer’s risk upon collection by, or on behalf of, the buyer.
5. Legal title shall not pass to the buyer until the purchase price together with the premium has been paid in full.
6. Purchasers and vendors are in direct contract with one another in respect of each individual Lot.
7. All transactions to which the Auctioneers are a party shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales.
8. Holt’s trade in pounds sterling GBP
Conditions Concerning Buyers
9. Holt’s charges a Buyer’s Premium to the buyer on the hammer price of each lot sold at the following rates:
25% up to and including £50,000
22% in excess of the hammer price above £50,000
VAT at the appropriate rate is applied to the Premium.
Note: Holt's online bidding platform providers Invaluable levy a 5% charge of the hammer price of each successful live online bid which will be passed to the buyer. This charge will be collected by Holt’s and therefore included within the purchase invoice.
10. By bidding on any lot purchasers undertake that they hold the relevant licence entitling them to legal possession of that lot. Failure to hold such licence will not constitute a valid defence to breach of contract. Overseas buyers should satisfy themselves that any purchases can be legally imported into their country of residence, and that they have any relevant authorisation in that country before bidding.
11. Where buyers bid on behalf of a third party a letter of authorisation (stating the maximum bid) from that third party must be supplied to the Auctioneers in advance.
12. Commission bids will be executed free of charge but must reach the Auctioneers by 6pm on the day preceding the sale. Telephone commission bids must be confirmed in writing.
13. The buyer shall not rely purely upon the catalogue description but shall satisfy himself as to the physical condition and the description of each Lot. Please note that the descriptions of firearms in the catalogues are restricted to external examinations and the status of proof. Firearms are not stripped as a matter of course and it is recommended that any purchase is stripped and cleaned and that the firing, safety and sighting mechanisms are checked by a qualified gunsmith before use.
14. Interest calculated at 2% above the base rate prevailing at National Westminster Bank PLC shall be payable at the Auctioneers discretion on any accounts not settled within 7 days of date of original invoice. Interest received on the hammer price will be remitted to the vendor concerned.
15. Items bought in the Sale are to be collected (or shipping arrangements made) within one calendar month from the Sale otherwise storage charges at the rate of £1+VAT per Lot per day will be incurred.
16. The Auctioneers shall have the discretion to re-enter items in a subsequent Sale which have been paid for but not collected within three calendar months from the Sale. The purchaser accepts that he/she becomes the vendor and that the storage charges will also be deducted from the hammer price.
17. By bidding on any lot purchasers undertake that the lot can be legally imported into their country of residence. Failure to check relevant rules will not constitute a valid defence to breach of contract.
18. By making a bid, prospective purchasers acknowledge acceptance of these conditions.
Forgeries and Disputes
19. In the event of any dispute following the sale of a Lot, the Auctioneers, only upon receipt of a written notice of the facts within three months of the sale, will investigate the claim and may rescind the sale provided that:
20. The Lot is returned in the same condition as at the time of the sale;
21. Written proof of the forgery accompanies the Lot and the buyer demonstrates to the reasonable satisfaction of the Auctioneers that in light of the catalogue description the Lot is a deliberate forgery;
22. The general opinion of scholars and experts at the time of the sale would have indicated that the Lot was a deliberate forgery: or,
23. Scientific processes in existence at the time of the sale would be established that the Lot was a deliberate forgery.
24. The benefit of this condition is not assignable.
Conditions Concerning Vendors
1 Your Undertakings to Us
1.1 We are selling the Lot on your behalf as your agent and you therefore undertake to us that:
1.1.1 you are the owner of the Lot or, if you are not the owner of the Lot (whether or not you have notified us that you are acting as an agent for a principal), you are duly authorised by the owner of the Lot to sell it;
1.1.2 save as disclosed to us in writing, you sell the Lot with full title guarantee free from all liens, charges, encumbrances and third party claims;
1.1.3. you are legally entitled to sell the Lot and you are legally capable of conferring on the Buyer quiet possession of the Lot;
1.1.4 you have complied with all requirements, legal or otherwise, relating to any export or import of the Lot, all duties and taxes in respect of the export or import of the Lot have (unless otherwise agreed in writing with us) been paid and, so far as you and any principal for whom you act in relation to the Lot are aware, all third parties have complied with such requirements in the past;
1.1.5 you have notified us in writing of any material alterations to the Lot and provided us accurately with all information (including any concerns expressed by third parties relating to the authorship, attribution, condition, provenance, authenticity, age, suitability, quality and origin of the Lot) in relation to the Lot, or any Description of it, of which you are aware or which is in your possession or of which any principal for whom you act in relation to the Lot is aware or possesses;
1.1.6 you have notified us of all information of which you are aware or reasonably ought to be aware relating to the present or past ownerships or use of the Lot (including any association of the Lot with persons or events of note).
1.1.7 in so far as you or any principal may become aware of any information (including any concerns expressed by third parties) in relation to the Lot, or any Description of it, after this agreement has been made, you will promptly inform us of it;
1.1.8 unless you notify us in writing to the contrary at the time the Lot is delivered to us, there are no restrictions, (whether copyright or otherwise), affecting the Lot or our rights to photograph or illustrate the Lot, or reproduce (in any manner and in any media) photographs or illustrations or any text of any information or Description of, about or relating to the Lot provided by you or on your behalf.
1.2 You authorise us to give to the Buyer on your behalf the undertakings or information referred to at paragraphs 1.1.1 to 1.1.8.
2 Indemnities From You
2.1 You agree to indemnify us against all claims, proceedings, liabilities, costs, expenses and losses arising from:
2.1.1 any actual or alleged breach of any undertaking or obligation by you to us, whether by act or omission or otherwise;
2.1.2 any injury, loss or damage caused to any person by you;
2.1.3 our exercising any of our rights, powers and/or duties if we have reasonable cause for believing that:
2.1.3.i we and/or you may be or are restrained by order of the court or other competent authority in respect of the Lot, or may be or are otherwise not legally entitled to sell the Lot; or
2.1.3.ii the information about the Lot given to us by you or on your behalf is inaccurate or misleading in any fraudulent respect; or
2.1.3.iii the Lot is a Forgery;
2.1.4 our receiving or recovering (or seeking to recover where you have authorised us to do so) the Purchase Price
2.2 Whenever it becomes apparent to us that the Lot is the subject of a claim by someone other than you (or that such a claim can reasonably be expected to be made), we may, at our absolute discretion, deal with the Lot in any manner which appears to us to recognise the legitimate interests of ourselves and the other parties involved and lawfully protect our position and our legitimate interests.
3.1 The Lot will be sold Without Reserve unless a Reserve has been agreed with us or we have accepted a Reserve under paragraph 3.5 or if paragraph 3.6 applies.
3.2 An agreed Reserve or the agreement that the Lot is to be sold Without Reserve cannot be altered without our written consent.
3.3 If the Property Receipt states a figure for the Reserve, that is the agreed Reserve with which the Lot will be sold.
3.4 If the Property Receipt states that the Reserve is "zero", “AD”, “NR”, "sell" or "0" or that the Lot is to be sold Without Reserve or that there is no Reserve, it is agreed that the Lot will be sold Without Reserve.
3.5 If the Property Receipt does not contain any of the statements referred to in paragraphs 3.3 or 3.4, the Lot will be sold Without Reserve unless by written notice received by us at least 24 hours prior to the start of the Sale, you ask us to place a Reserve on the Lot at a particular figure and we accept, in writing, that figure as the Reserve.
3.6 If the figure you give for the Reserve on the Property Receipt or in a notice under paragraph 3.5 exceeds the lower figure of any Estimate for the Lot which we have notified to you, we can refuse to accept it as the Reserve. If we do so, we will give you notice of this and the Lot will be offered for sale Without Reserve unless you agree that the Lot is offered for Sale at a Reserve set by us.
3.7 All Reserves will be in the currency of the country in which the Lot is to be sold. Any Reserve placed in any other currency will be converted into that currency using the mid market exchange rate at the close of business on the day before the Sale as quoted to us by National Westminster Bank Plc.
3.8 Where the Property Receipt states that we are given "discretion" in relation to the Reserve, you authorise us if we deem it necessary in order to sell the Lot (regardless of estimate) to accept bids for the Lot at up to 10% less than the Reserve.
You authorise us to refuse a bid(s) from any Bidder, including from the highest Bidder, and whether or not there is a Reserve if such refusal is reasonable for the protection of your and/or our interests in the circumstances.
4 Charges for Unsold Items
4.1 In the event of a Lot failing to reach its reserve we shall be entitled to charge you a commission of 10% (plus VAT) of the reserve price, unless we have previously agreed to an alternate charge.
5 Withdrawal of Property
5.1. If you withdraw any Lot after the Contract has been signed, we reserve the right to recover from you any expenses incurred.
5.2 If you withdraw any Lot from sale after the Lot has been catalogued, we reserve the right to charge you a withdrawal fee of up to 35% (+ VAT) of the lower estimate (or reserve price, if there is one) plus any expenses incurred.
5.3 We retain the right to withdraw Lots at our discretion at any time for any reason.
6. Loss or Damage to Property
6.1 Unless otherwise agreed in writing, we will assume the risk of loss or damage to Property received from the Seller where possession of such is actually taken by one of our authorised representatives or one of our employees. The risk for property placed into the possession of a third party, for onward transmission to us or to one of our authorised representatives, shall not be assumed by us until the property is actually received by one of our employees or authorised representatives. Once assumed the risk shall stay with us until:-
(i) it passes to the Buyer; or
(ii) if the item is unsold, when released by us direct to the seller. Where released by us via one of our authorised representatives or via a courier instructed by us (with the charge incurred reimbursed by the seller) the risk will pass to the seller only when he is in actual possession of the property. Where, under firearms licensing laws, such release can only be made to a third party, namely an RFD holder, our assumption of risk will terminate upon actual possession by that third party. Under these provisions any claim made by a seller for non-delivery / damage must be made to us within 7 days of the date of delivery or intended delivery. We will not accept liability for any claim made after this period.
6.2 Holt’s Auctioneers shall charge reimbursement of insurance fees at the rate of 1.5% of:-
(i) the Hammer Price of the Property, if sold;
(ii) the mid estimate, if not offered for sale (or our reasonable estimate of auction value where there are no pre-sale estimates).
6.3 If damage or loss occurs whilst the Property is at our risk, the maximum amount of our liability shall be as set out in Condition 6.2(i) and (ii), as applicable, less Seller’s Commission and Expenses.
We will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by:- (i) normal wear and tear, gradual deterioration or inherent vice or defect; (ii) proofing and / or repair processes; (iii) war or radioactive contamination.
7 Residual Matters
7.1 We act as agents only and therefore shall not be accountable to you for any sum until payment has been received from the buyer. Whilst we will use our best endeavours to obtain payment from the purchaser on your behalf, we cannot accept liability if the purchaser fails to make payment.
7.2 The seller accepts that items requiring proof before sale will be submitted to the Proof House and any work reasonably required for successful proofing will be undertaken on behalf of the seller at his cost.
7.3 Whilst we take every care in the preparation of our catalogues we cannot accept responsibility for any inaccuracies contained therein.
7.4 You authorise us to deduct the sale commission (at a minimum of £11.50 per lot (plus VAT)) in addition to illustration charges from the hammer price.
7.5 We shall have discretion to enter items into any one of our sales, additionally, we have the discretion to re-enter items into a subsequent sale in the event of a lot being unsold. The seller accept that the reserve will be reduced by an appropriate margin.
We may use your data to notify you about changes to our services or to provide you with information about upcoming auctions or events which we feel may be of interest to you. We will not disclose your data to any third party. You have the right to request us not to use your information for these purposes by contacting Holt’s Auctioneers Ltd. at Church Farm Barns, Wolferton, Norfolk, PE31 6HA, or by e-mail at
“Us”, “Our”, “We”, “The Auctioneer” Holt’s Auctioneers Ltd
“You”, “Your” The Vendor
“Forgery” an imitation intended by the maker(s) or any other person to deceive as to authorship, attribution, origin, authenticity, style, date, age, period, provenance, culture, source or composition, which at the date of Sale had a value materially less than it would have had if the Lot had not been such an imitation.