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As we prepare for out next fine art auction in Fernhurst, I continue to be astonished by the number of people who think that you have to have some sort of specialist knowledge to bid at a sale of paintings and drawings. The most important question you can possibly ask yourself about a picture or piece of sculpture coming up for auction is: Do I like it? If it’s something you think you can live with for a long time and get plenty of enjoyment out of, you have passed the vital hurdle. Next: What am I prepared to pay for it? That’s what the estimate is there for. Sometimes lots can soar over estimate, at other times they can go at a bargain price or not sell at all. In the end, only you can decide what your upper limit is – and don’t forget to account for any auction charges like the buyer’s premium.

It’s also a good idea to check out the work’s condition; these days, if you can’t attend the view, you should find most of the details about this online in the catalogue description.

Apart from that, your main consideration will be getting it home if you are successful. Can you collect it personally? Is it something you can put in the back of your car? Will you have to pay for delivery, which will mean packing and shipping costs? If so, what are they?

Follow these simple steps and you will find you are, indeed, qualified to bid. As the saying goes: come on down!