GENERAL CONDITIONS OF PURCHASE
The sociétés par actions simplifiée Maurice Auction is an operator carrying out voluntary sales of moveable property by public auction (opérateur de ventes volontaires de meubles) governed by articles L. 321-4 et seq. of the French Commercial Code. In this capacity, Maurice Auction SAS acts as an agent of the seller who contracts with the buyer via Maurice Auction SAS. The relationships between Maurice Auction SAS and the buyer are subject to these general conditions of purchase which may be amended by written or oral notices prior to the auction and which are mentioned in the record of auction.
Maurice Auction's general conditions of purchase set out below are accepted as a pre-formulated standard agreement (contrat d’adhésion) by any person making a bid, whatever the means thereof.
Before the Sale
1. Indications concerning the lots
The information notices contained in the catalogue are drawn up, based on the available knowledge as at the date of the sale, with all the necessary diligences, by Maurice Auction and, as the case may be, the expert assisting the latter, subject to the notifications, representations, rectifications outlined verbally at the time of the presentation of the lot and included in the record of sale.
1.1 Condition of the lots
The lots are sold “as is”, i.e., in the condition in which they are at the time of the auction, and it is therefore the future bidders' responsibility to view each lot before the sale. Because the lots can be viewed before the sale, no claim as to their condition will therefore admissible upon the hammer having been struck. The absence of indication in the catalogue does not imply that the lot is perfectly preserved or free from damages, accidents, incidents or restorations. Only the existence of repairs, as well as of significant restorations, missing parts or additions to which the lot may have been subject should be indicated. The dimensions and weights of the lots are given for information only. Similarly, the indication of imperfections does not imply that there are no other defects. Condition or preservation reports may be drawn up upon request and for convenience with respect to any lot of a value exceeding three hundred euros. The colours of the works reproduced in the catalogue may differ from the actual colours.
1.2 Artworks and collectibles
Maurice Auction notes that the use of the term “attributed to” followed by the name of an artist guarantees that the artwork or the object was made during said artist’s production period and that serious presumptions designate the latter as the likely author. “Entourage of” means that the painting is the work of an artist who lived at the same time as the artist referred to and who was very much influenced by the master's work. The use of the terms “studio of” followed by the name of an artist guarantees that the work was produced in the relevant master’ studio but was made by students under said master's direction. The expressions “in the taste of”, “style”, “in the manner of”, “kind of”, “after”, “in the way of” do not give any specific warranty as to the artist's identity or as to the date or school of the work.
Maurice Auction notes that coloured gemstones (such as rubies, sapphires and emeralds) may have been treated to improve their look, through methods such as heating or oiling. These methods are accepted by the global jewellery trade but may make the gemstones more fragile and/or require special care over time.
All types of gemstones may have been improved by some method. Any bidder is entitled to request that a gemmological report be drawn up for any lot, if the request is made to Maurice Auction at least three weeks before the date of the auction and if the bidders agree to bear the costs thereof. Maurice Auction does not have a gemmological report drawn up for each gemstone sold at its auctions. The estimates are based on information contained in the gemmological report, or, in the absence of such report, assume that the gemstones may have been treated or improved. The identification techniques and analysis findings concerning the provenance, categorization, treatment, level of treatment or permanence of the treatment of the stones and pearls may vary from a laboratory to another and are established in light of the knowledge acquired as at the date of the gemmological report. As a result, in certain cases, a different result may be obtained depending on the laboratories which were consulted. The liability of Maurice Auction and of its experts may not, under any circumstances, be incurred as a result thereof.
1.4 Watches and clocks
Maurice Auction notes that almost all clocks and watches are repaired at some point and may therefore include parts which are not original. Maurice Auction does not give any warranty that such or such component of any watch is authentic. Watchbands described as “associated” are not part of the original watch and may not be authentic. Clocks may be sold without pendulum, weights or keys. Collectors' watches often have very fine and complex mechanisms, a general service, change of batteries or further repair work may be necessary and are at the buyer's exclusive costs. Maurice Auction does not give any warranty that a watch is in good working condition or that the condition of the frames is good. Most wristwatches have been opened to find out the type and quality of movement. For this reason, wristwatches with water resistant cases may not be waterproof and Maurice Auction recommendation to any bidder is that he/she/it should have them checked by a competent watchmaker before use.
Maurice Auction notes that the indications relating to the provenance of a lot are provided based on the seller's indications and may not incur Maurice Auction's liability. If the seller asked to remain confidential or if the former owners' identity is not known due to the lot's age, no indication relating to the provenance will be included in the information notice.
The information included in the catalogue may be amended or corrected until the time of the auction. These amendments are brought to the attention of the public by way of a statement made by the authorized auctioneer at the time of the auction and via an appropriate display in the saleroom. These amendments are recorded in the record of sale.
1.7 Lot followed by *
The lots followed by a * are sold by Maurice Auction or by an employee of the company Maurice Auction or by an expert solicited by Maurice Auction.
The contractual value of the pictures of the lots for sale included in the catalogue and on Maurice Auction's website, as well as on Maurice Auction's intermediary operators' platforms, does not exceed that of the description made in the catalogue.
Maurice Auction notes that the estimates are based on the condition, scarcity, quality and provenance of the lots and on the prices recently paid at auction for similar property. Estimates can change. The estimates are thus provided for information only and may not be considered as implying the certainty that the lot will be sold for the estimate price or even within the range of estimates. Therefore, the estimates do not constitute any warranty whatsoever. The estimates include neither the auction costs nor any other applicable taxes or costs.
Maurice Auction may, at its discretion, withdraw any lot from auction at any time prior to, or during, the sale. Maurice Auction will have no liability whatsoever to any bidder for any decision to withdraw.
For a smooth organisation of the auctions, bidders are invited to make themselves known to Maurice Auction prior to the auction, so that their personal data can be registered. Maurice Auction reserves the right to ask any bidder to justify his/her/its identity, as well as his/her/its banking details and to make a security deposit, the amount of which will be repaid within seventy-two hours following the auction if the lot has not been auctioned to the bidder. Maurice Auction reserves the right to refuse access to the saleroom to any bidder for a just cause.
The bidder is deemed to register and bid for his/her/its own account. If the bidder bids for someone else, the bidder shall inform Maurice Auction that the bidder is duly mandated by a third-party for which the bidder will provide an ID and banking details. Any false indication will incur the bidder's liability. If the bidder acts as an agent for an unknown principal, the bidder agrees to be personally liable to pay the purchase price and any other sums due.
Bids can be made by several means.
1. Bidding in-person
Maurice Auction notes that the usual bidding mode consists in being present in the saleroom, except if the auction is carried out in a fully dematerialized manner.
2. Buy orders
Maurice Auction proposes to execute the buy orders according to the absent bidder's instructions, and undertakes to do everything possible to acquire the coveted lot under the best possible conditions. In the event of several identical buy orders, priority will be given to the buy order received first. In certain cases, the taking into account of a buyer order may be subject to a security deposit.
3. Bids by phone
Maurice Auction is willing to receive phone bids provided that the potential buyer has made himself/herself/itself known prior to the sale. Maurice Auction assumes no responsibility in the event of errors, as the case may be, or failure if the call cannot go through or in the absence of answer to an attempted call. Maurice Auction reserves the right to record the communications and to retain such recordings until the payment of the potential acquisitions. In certain cases, the taking into account of phone bids may be subject to payment of a security deposit.
4. Online bids via third-party platforms
Maurice Auction can offer to bid online via any website of intermediary operators' platforms relaying the sale. These websites constitute technical platforms enabling to participate, remotely and by electronic means, to public auctions taking place in salerooms. Any user wishing to participate in an online auction via these websites shall review and accept, without any reservation, the conditions of use of such platforms, which are independent and are in addition to these general conditions of purchase, and shall notably check the application of any cost, as the case may be, for the use of these third-party websites.
Conduct of the Sale
The authorized auctioneer organises and directs the auction in a discretionary manner, the conduct of the sale follows the numbering order of the catalogue and the authorized auctioneer advances the bidding in bidding increments he/she considers appropriate. The authorized auctioneer ensures that the principles of freedom to make bids and of equality between the bidders are respected. The authorized auctioneer may, at his/her own discretion, refuse any bid, withdraw any lot from the auction and designate the successful bidder, i.e., the highest and last bidder, provided that the last bid shall be equal to, or exceed, the reserve and that the term "adjugé' has been uttered. Live bids prevail over any other bid.
During the sale, Maurice Auction can change the order of the lots, divide a lot, combine any two or more lots or withdraw any lot from the sale. In the event of a contestation at the time the lot is auctioned, that is, if it is established that two or more bidders have simultaneously made an equivalent bid, either aloud, or by a gesture, and claim at the same time this object after the word “adjugé” has been uttered, said object is immediately put up for sale again for the price offered by the bidders, and all the persons present are allowed to bid again.
The sale is expressly made in cash and in euros. Maurice Auction can nevertheless offer, for information, the transcript of the auctions in foreign currencies. Maurice Auction's liability may not be incurred in the event of an error in the conversion of currencies.
Unless otherwise indicated, all lots are subject to a reserve. Maurice Auction indicates the lots which are offered without reserve with the symbol # next to the lot number. The reserve means the confidential minimum price below which the lot will not be sold. The reserve cannot exceed the lot's low estimate set out in the catalogue or publicly amended prior to the sale, and the authorized auctioneer is free to start the auction below this price and to make bids on behalf of the seller. However, the seller cannot make any bid for his/her/its own account or via an agent.
Articles L. 123-1 and L. 123-2 of the French Heritage Code authorizes, in certain cases, the State to exercise a pre-emption right, i.e., the right for the State to be substituted to the buyer, on the artworks put up for public auction or in the context of private sales after an unsuccessful prior public auction. The State's representative present during the session delivers his/her statement to the authorized auctioneer just after the strike of the hammer. The decision to pre-empt shall subsequently be confirmed within a period of fifteen days. Maurice Auction will assume no liability resulting from any administrative decisions to pre-empt.
Completion of the Sale
The auctioning of the lot completes the transfer of ownership. Upon the auctioning of the lot, the objects become the entire responsibility of the buyer who/which must remove them as soon as possible. The transportation of the lots must be carried out at the final buyer's costs and under his/he/its full responsibility.
The sale is made in cash and in euros. No lot can be handed to the final buyers before the sums due have been fully paid.
In the event of a payment by wire transfer, the delivery of the items may be deferred until full receipt of the payment. The deposit fees are to be borne by the final buyer.
1. Seller's commission
In addition to the final price, i.e., the “hammer price”, the final buyer shall pay costs of 24%, Excluding Taxes (i.e., 28.80%, All Taxes Included), of 20%, Excluding Taxes (i.e., 24%, All Taxes Included) with respect to wine auctions, 20%, Excluding Taxes (i.e., 21.10%, All Taxes Included) with respect to book auctions. These costs can be adjusted for certain particular auctions. Additional costs may apply when the bid is made via third-party online sale platforms.
The payment of the lot by the buyer is made immediately for the full amount of the purchase price, i.e., the final price plus the costs and taxes, as the case may be. This condition also applies to the buyer who/which wish to export the lot and even in the event of the obligation to obtain an export license.
Maurice Auction being subject to the French margin tax system provided for in article 297A of the French Tax Code, it cannot deliver any document showing VAT. The lots coming from a zone located outside the European Union and which presentation is preceded by the symbol , are subject to additional costs which may be passed on to the final buyer on presentation of the custom documents for exportations outside the European Union within a period of three months. These costs are equal to 6.60%, All Taxes Included (i.e., 5.50%, Excluding Taxes) of the final price. The lots the presentation of which is preceded by the symbol are subject to additional costs of 24%, All Taxes Included (i.e., 20%, Excluding Taxes) of the hammer price. The final buyer justifying an intracommunity VAT number and a document evidencing the delivery in his/her /its member State of the European Union can obtain the repayment of the VAT on the commissions.
The allocation between the final price and the commissions may be amended by specific agreement between the seller and Maurice Auction, without any consequence for the final buyer.
The final buyer may make his/her/its payment via the following means:
● in cash: up to EUR1,000, taxes and expenses included, for the French individuals and merchants, up to EUR 15,000, taxes and expenses included, for non-merchant foreign residents upon presentation of their ID with an address abroad;
● by Visa or Mastercard;
● by wire transfer with the following IBAN, being specified that the potential additional transfer costs shall be exclusively borne by the final buyer:
FR69 3000 2004 3400 0044 6976 W09
Payments by cheques are not accepted.
The payment shall be made in the sole name of the final buyer. Maurice Auction notes that no payment may be made on behalf of a third party and that no change in the final buyer’s identity can intervene after the public auction.
Because the transfer of ownership, as well as the transfer of the risks, take place as soon as the word “adjugé” is uttered by the authorized auctioneer, Maurice Auction brings to the buyer’s attention the fact that the latter is responsible for having his/her/its acquisitions insured and assumes no liability as to damages which the item might suffer or impose should the final buyer fail to take necessary measures.
3. Default of payment
According to article L. 321-14 of the French Commercial Code, in the event of a default of payment by the final buyer, after a formal request to pay sent thereto by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt remained without effect, the item is put up for sale again at the seller’s request upon reiteration of the auction; in the absence of such a request from the seller within a period of three months as from the final sale, Maurice Auction has a mandate to act in his/her/its name and on his/her/its behalf and can: - either notify to the defaulting final buyer the automatic rescission of the sale, without prejudice to any potential damages. The defaulting final buyer remains debtor of the seller’s commission; - or request specific performance of the sale and payment of the final price and seller’s commission, for its own account and/or on behalf of the seller.
Maurice Auction reserves the right to exclude from futures sales any final buyer or representative of the final buyer who has been in default or who failed to comply with these general conditions of purchase.
Maurice Auction is a member of the Registre central de prévention des impayés des commissaires-priseurs with which payment incidents may be registered. The right of access, rectification and opposition for a just cause may be exercised by the relevant debtor with the Symev 15, rue Freycinet – 75016 Paris.
4. Delivery of the lots
Any lot can be delivered to the buyer only after full payment of the price, costs and taxes. As from the Monday following the 30th day after the sale, any lot bought, whether paid or not, which remains in the warehouse gives rise to the charging of an amount of EUR50, excluding taxes, per week and per lot, being specified that any week started is due in its entirety for storage and insurance costs.
The buyer is personally responsible for having his/her/its acquisitions insured and Maurice Auction assumes no liability as to any damages which the lot might suffer and this, as soon as the hammer is struck. All formalities and transportations remain to be borne exclusively by the buyer. Maurice Auction can recommend, upon simple request, transportation companies which then ensure the packing and transportation of the purchases made. Because the transportation companies are not employees of Maurice Auction, Maurice Auction may not incur any liability for their actions or omissions. The final buyer who/which opted for the sending of his/her/its purchases via a transportation company accedes to this service provider’s general conditions and rules out the possibility to incur Maurice Auction’s liability in the event of a damage suffered in the context of this provision of services.
Cites and Export of Cultural Goods
The export outside France or the import in another country of a lot may be impacted by the laws of the country towards which said lot is exported or imported. The export of any lot outside France or the import in another country may be subject to the obtaining of one or several authorization(s) to export or to import. Certain laws may ban the import or the resale of a lot in the country in which it has been imported. The export of certain lots in a country of the European Union is subject to the obtaining of an export license (certificat d’exportation) issued by the Ministère de la Culture’s competent department, within a maximum period of 4 months as from the request thereof.
The international regulation of 3 March 1973, known as the “Washington Convention” aims at protecting species and specimens considered as endangered. The export or import of any lot made of, or comprising a part (whatever the percentage) in, ivory, tortoise flakes, crocodile skin, rhinoceros horn, whalebone or certain species of coral and rosewood, etc. may be limited or banned. It is the buyer’ sole responsibility to seek advice and check the possibility to conform to the legal or regulatory provisions which may apply to the export or import of a lot, prior to bidding.
In certain cases, the relevant lot can be transported only if it is accompanied by a confirmation by an expert, at the buyer’s costs, of the species or age of the relevant specimen. Maurice Auction can, upon request, assist the buyer in obtaining the required authorizations and experts’ reports. These formalities are carried out at the buyer’s costs. However, Maurice Auction cannot guarantee that the authorizations will be granted. In the event of a permit refusal or delay in obtaining said permit, the buyer will remain debtor of the purchase price of the lot. Such refusal or delay may not, under any circumstances, justify a late payment or the cancellation of the sale.
Maurice Auction is the sole owner of the reproduction right of its catalogue. Any reproduction thereof is forbidden and constitutes an infringement to the detriment of Maurice Auction. In addition, Maurice Auction benefits from a derogation enabling it to reproduce in its catalogue the artworks put up for sale, even though the reproduction right would continue to be effective. Any reproduction of Maurice Auction’s catalogue can therefore constitute an illegal reproduction of an artwork exposing its perpetrator to an infringement action by the owner of the copyrights on the work. The sale of an artwork does not entail to the benefit of its new owner the right of reproduction and display of the work.
Maurice Auction is allowed to reproduce on the record of the auction and on the auction sale slip (bordereau d’adjudication) the information provided by the buyer prior to the sale. Any false information incurs the buyer’s liability. If the buyer failed to have himself/herself/itself registered prior to the sale, the buyer shall provide the necessary information as soon as the lot is auctioned. Any person who has had himself/herself/itself registered with Maurice Auction has the right to access and rectify the nominative data provided to Maurice Auction under the conditions of the law of 6 July 1978 and the conditions reminded by Maurice Auction at the following URL address relating to the bidders’ personal data: https://mauriceauction.com/politique-confidentialite
Applicable Law and Settlement of Disputes
According to the provisions of article L. 321-17 of the French Commercial Code, civil liability proceedings brought because of voluntary sales of movable property by public auction are subject to a statutory limitation period of 5 years from the date of the auction. Maurice Auction brings to its clients’ attention the existence codes of conduct which apply to voluntary sales by public auction, in this case, the Recueil des obligations déontologiques des opérateurs de ventes volontaires) adopted by the ministerial decree of 21 February 2012. This Recueil is available on the website of the Conseil des ventes volontaires. Maurice Auction also informs its clients of the option to use an extra-judicial procedure for settling litigations by referring the matter to the commissaire du Gouvernement près le Conseil des ventes volontaires, online or by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt. These general conditions of purchase are governed exclusively by French law. Any contestation relating to their existence, validity, enforceability against any bidder and buyer, and performance, shall be decided exclusively by the Tribunal judiciaire de Paris.