• Buying art

    GRISEBACH holds semi-annual auctions (spring / fall) in the areas of fine art of the 19th, 20th and 21st century, classical and contemporary photography as well as decorative arts (ORANGERIE. Selected Objects).


    There are several different ways to bid upon works to be auctioned:

    You may bid

    a)    in person
    b)    through an authorized representative appointed by you
    c)    by submitting a written bid (also online within 24 hours prior to auction) or
    d)    by telephone or

    e)    online live via internet.

    Personal Bids
    If you would like to participate in an auction in person, you must be issued a bidder number.  You may obtain this number within one hour prior to auction. Please do not forget to bring proof of identification with you (an identity card or passport). If you are bidding with our house for the first time, we ask that you provide us with the registration for first time bidders.

    Written Bids
    You may participate in the auction by placing a written bid. This bid can be executed by mail, by fax or via the internet. We hope for your understanding that bids received by e-mail cannot be accepted. If you would like to participate in the auction by placing a written bid, please fill out the bid sheet and return it to GRISEBACH at least 24 hours prior to auction. On your behalf, GRISEBACH will then execute your bid until your maximum price is reached. If you are bidding with us for the first time we ask that you provide us early with a registration for first time bidders.

    Telephone Bidding

    In certain auctions, it is possible to place bids by telephone. Please use this bidding form. Complete the form with the lot number of the work in question and your telephone number, and return it to us either by fax (+49(0)30.882 41 45) or by email (gebot(at)villa-grisebach.de).

    Grisebach will then call the client during the auction, a few lot numbers before the work in question. When the desired lot comes to auction, we will submit bids according to the client’s instructions. A telephone connection cannot be guaranteed. Telephone bidding is not possible for the “Third Floor“ auction. To place bids for this auction remotely, please use a written bid or the online live bidding service.

    Online Live Bidding

    In some auctions you can participate via online live bidding. For that please register at our partner website www.lot-tissimo.com.


    All works delivered for auction are examined and catalogued by our art historians. Works are divided into several catalogues, in addition to the special catalogues devoted to photography and ORANGERIE:

     1)    Selected Works
     2)    Art of the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries and
     3)    Third Floor – Estimates of up to 3,000 Euro
    In addition, there are special catalogues which are devoted to one artist or thematic focus (for example Contemporary Art, Emil Nolde, Karl Hofer, Max Beckmann).


    All works of art are appraised according to the customary market price before finalization of a contract.

    The price margin Villa Grisebach quotes in its catalogues as estimate represents the market’s dynamic.
    The sales price is ensured by the reserve set jointly by both parties.


    The consignor agrees upon a reserve with Villa Grisebach which may not exceed the low estimate quoted in the catalogue. If the reserve is not met, the auctioneer may knock down the work provisionally but only in exceptional cases.


    The hammer price is valid when no higher bid is offered after a bid has been called three times. The Auctioneer is not allowed to knock down a work below the reserve agreed upon with the Consignor, respectively may only knock down a work provisionally in exceptional cases (cf. also § 3.4 Conditions of Sale). 

    Provisional Sales

    If the auctioneer knocks down a work provisionally, the hammer price lies below the reserve agreed upon. Villa Grisebach will contact the consignor immediately. The bidder is bound to his offer. A knock down with reservations will only be effective if Villa Grisebach confirms the bid in writing within three weeks after the day of the auction by submitting a respective invoice. Should in the meantime a third party bid the limit, the third party will receive the acceptance of such bid.

    Purchase Price

    A work’s purchase price consists of the hammer price plus premium. Statutory value-added tax and charges may be added (see also section 4 of our Conditions of Sale).

    Buyer's Premium

    A buyer´s premium is added on the hammer price.

    – For lots without additional letter markings in the catalogues, a premium of 30% of the hammer price applies. On that part of the hammer price over 500,000 EUR, this is 25%; on that part over 1,000,000 EUR, 20%). This premium includes all lump sum fees as well as the statutory turnover tax (differential taxation pursuant to § 25a of the Umsatzsteuergesetz (UstG, German Turnover Tax Act). These will not be itemised separately in the invoice.

    – Lots marked with an “N“ in the catalogues are those which have been imported from outside the EU for sale. For these lots, in addition to the above-described premium, import turnover tax is payable at the current rate of 7% of the hammer price.

    – For lots marked with an “R“ in the catalogues a premium of 25% of the hammer price applies. On that part of the hammer price over 500,000 EUR, this is 20%, on that part over 1,000,000 EUR, 15%. Statutory turnover tax at the rate of 19% will then be applied to the sum of the hammer price and this premium (see also section 4 of our Conditions of Sale).

    Value-Added Tax

    The statutory value-added tax on regularly taxed art works, photographs, certain prints and serigraphs and collectibles is currently 19%. This tax is added to the hammer price and the premium for buyers residing within the European Union (EU). The buyer is exempt from this tax if the work is to be exported from the EU (please see also section 4 of our Conditions of Sale).

    Import Turnover Tax

    Works of art marked by the letter "N" (for Import) are works of art that have been imported from outside the EU for sale. In such event, the import turnover tax advanced, in the amount of currently 7% on the hammer price, will be charged in addition to the buyers's premium.

    Post Auction Sale

    Works not sold at auction may be purchased at the reserve price for a period of two months during the post auction sale.

    Conditions of Sale

    All parties, whether commissioning a work for sale or submitting a bid, agree to the General Terms and Conditions of Auction. They may be found on the internet, in all of our catalogues, and in the Villa Grisebach (see our Conditions of Sale).


    Villa Grisebach will organize appropriate transportation for all auctioned works (photographs, graphics and smaller pictures not framed in glass) which are insured for up to 25,000 Euro. A forwarding company will be authorized with the transport of all other works. Packing, shipping and insurance expenses will be borne by the buyer.

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