A High Standard of Service
It is our iron-clad belief that every customer should be entitled to a high standard of service: what this means to us has been outlined in the “Our Guarrantees” page.
In practice, however, it is worth noting that the holding of auctions is a relatively recent development in the Greek market. While some countries host large auction houses like Sotheby’s or Dorotheum, which have been landmarks of the artistic field for centuries now Greece has had to learn about auctions from televised “carpet shows” and eBay; as one of the premier auction houses in this country, Hellenic Auctions has organised over 20 “Greek Sales”, taking place two times a year. This is a quite respectable in a country where people first learned about auctions from watching “carpet shows” and buying on eBay: hardly suited to fine art!
This has led us to developing our particular auction format. Transparency, simplicity, and profitability all around are exactly the things we aim to achieve with our streamlined events, be they our Fine Art Auctions, our After Sales and / or our Online Auctions.
Biannual Fine Art Auctions
Our biannual “Greek Sales” usually take place around May and November in Thessaloniki, Greece. We recommend signing up for our newsletter, so as never to miss an auction.
A catalogue of the next auction’s offerings is usually made available to the public 3 to 4 weeks prior to the start of the auction, usually through this website; a print edition will also be sent to parties that have expressed an interest. This catalogue usually contains descriptions and appraisals of the listed items, as well as guide prices, which under no circumstances should be confused with “objective market value” or with the reserve price. The latter is privately agreed with the seller, and is usually close to the lower end of the guide price. A short guide meant to help individuals understand catalogue entries can be found in the Downloads Section. In the case of specific pieces, condition reports may be established about the piece.
Our sales typically proceed thusly:
2 days prior to the auction: the venue will exhibit the paintings for the next 2 days. Interested parties are encouraged to personally examine the works they are interested in.
Up to 24 hours prior to the auction: potential bidders are invited to register with secretariat. This includes registering absentee and telephone bids, signing acceptance of the Terms of Sale etcetera.
The auction then takes place in accordance with the elements outlined in the Terms of Sale; each participant is invited to use their number when bidding. Contrary to popular legend, scratching your ear at the wrong moment will not make you the proud owner of some expensive mystery item.
After the Auction: winning bidders are invited to settle their bids and collect their purchases from our offices within 5 days from the date of the end of the auction. The Terms of Sale clearly outline what happens should that fail to occur.
No payments are accepted at the auction itself.
Participants who cannot be physically present are welcome to…
- Fill in the Written Order form, which can be found at the back of each catalogue and in our Downloads Section. This form must be sent back or delivered to us prior to the auction’s start (in person or by fax or email, though regular post can do as well).
- Through submitting an Order of Tele-participation, which, as previously must either be submitted in a timely manner or declared by phone call at least 24 hours before the auction’s start. The order can also be found at the back of the catalogue or in the Downloads Section.
“After Sales” are so named because occasionally, for one reason or another, a piece of art is back on the market shortly after a sale. Some did not find a buyer; in other cases, a buyer failed to respect the Terms of Sale or decided to resell. Either way: After Sales put special, unique pieces of fine art back on the market… at knock-down prices.
We cannot predict when an after sale is coming, but you can chose to be notified of such opportunities by subscribing to our newsletter.
Online Auctions and Sales
Because of our long appreciation and respect for the process of physical auctions, we have been a little slow to join the “online auctions” bandwagon; we have for a long time felt that, like fine wine, fine art is meant to be savoured.
However, we have recently come to the realisation that the 10 million Greeks and heavens know how many philhellenes living abroad would possibly relish something slightly more electronic. As a result, we are currently launching an Online Auctions section to this website, which we hope will be to your liking. The pieces on offer here will not be exclusively pictoral, but will involve other forms or art from equally fascinating artists.