Glossary

Glossary of Auction terms used at Mealy's


Absentee Bids
Absentee bidding includes commission bidding and telephone bidding. Such methods are intended for those who cannot attend an auction but would like to bid on items therein. Commission bidding, also known as “written,” or “order” bidding is executed by filling out and submitting an Absentee Bid Form for receipt on or before the deadline for acceptance of same.
     
Appraisals
A formal evaluation of the value of a given property. Fair market value represents what Mealy’s believes an item would bring at auction. Insurance value reflects what Mealy's believe it would cost to replace an item. Our Valuations department conducts appraisals by comparing your piece with similar, recently sold works, but no appraisal is definitive. You do not need a formal written appraisal in order to obtain a presale auction estimate.
     
Artist Resale Rights (or Droit de Suite)
According to the European Union’s Artist’s Resale Right Directive, which has been adopted by Ireland,  living artists are entitled to receive a resale royalty each time their art work is sold by an art market professional in the European Union, subject to certain conditions. Mealy’s will collect the resale royalty due to the artists from sellers of lots with a hammer price (excluding buyer’s premium and excluding VAT) in excess of €1000. Any vendor of a lot to which Artist Resale Right applies will be charged the amount of the resale royalty, which will be deducted from the proceeds due.
     
"As Is"
Mealy’s offers all property for sale at auction “as is,” a term meaning that the property is sold with all existing faults and imperfections. We strongly encourage potential buyers to inspect each item carefully before bidding.
     
Auctioneer
An auctioneer is a trained professional who conducts the auction, initiating the sale of a lot by identifying the relevant lot and inviting bids. In relation to our terms & conditions, the term Auctioneer refers to Mealys Fine Art Limited, trading as Mealy's.
     
Bid
The hammer price amount in Euro that a prospective buyer signals to the auctioneer he/she would pay to buy the lot during bidding.
     
Bid Increment
The amount by which the auctioneer increases the bidding. On average, an auctioneer will request bids of approximately 10% higher than the previous bid, e.g. if the bidding opens at €10,000, subsequent bids of €11,000, €12,000, €13,000, etc. would follow. However, the figure is rounded up or down wholly at the auctioneer's discretion.
     
Bought-In
If there are no bids on a lot, or if bidding does not reach the reserve price, the lot is “bought in,” meaning it is left unsold and remains the property of the owner.
     
Buyer’s Premium
The amount above the hammer price that is paid as part of the total purchase price. At Mealy's, this premium is 20%+VAT.
     
Cataloguing
Factual information about a lot offered for sale, such as the name of the artist or maker, a detailed description of the object, the year of its creation, its provenance (history of its ownership), major exhibitions in which it has appeared and publications in which it has been documented. This information is published in the auction catalogue, in both the print and online editions.
     
Condition Report
A written description of the condition of a work, prepared by Mealy’s employees prior to an auction.
     
Conditions of Business
This important text describes the terms under which Mealy’s and the seller agree to sell a lot to the purchaser. It is important to read the conditions carefully before bidding.
     
Consignor
The owner who is transferring property to Mealy’s to act as agent on his or her behalf for sale.

Designation
The consignor of a lot is sometimes identified through a designation line, which appears at the beginning of a catalogue entry. The designation, which appears at the discretion of the consignor, may identify the current owner by name or through a descriptive title, such as “Property of a Distinguished Irish Collector.”
     
Estimate
Each lot is given a low and high estimate, representing the opinion of Mealy’s experts about the range in which the lot might sell at auction. Estimates are based on the examination of an item and recent auction records of comparable pieces. Published in our online and printed catalogue, an estimate provides prospective buyers with an important preliminary guide to value and is generally the basis for establishing the reserve price.

Exhibition History
A listing of museum or gallery exhibitions in which a given lot has appeared. Inclusion in important exhibitions may impact on the value of the object.
     
Expert
Another term for a Mealy's specialist who is an expert in specific fields of collecting and belongs to a department. Mealy’s specialists are often scholars with distinguished careers; many of them publish extensively in their field, lecture widely, teach or curate international exhibitions.
     
Fair Market Value
A term frequently used by appraisers referring to their judgment and opinion about an object’s likely sale price if offered by a willing seller to a willing buyer. Since the auction process is open to all bidders, a sale at auction is considered to be a measure of Fair Market Value.

Fair Warning
A warning sometimes given by the auctioneer that the hammer is about to come down on a lot. The fair warning offers one last chance to increase the bidding. If there are no subsequent bids, the auctioneer’s hammer falls and the sale is completed.
     
Gavel
Another name for the auctioneer’s hammer used to close the bidding.
     
Guarantee
In rare cases, Mealy’s will guarantee to pay a consignor for a lot, regardless of whether the bidding at auction reaches the reserve price. The guarantee may be provided by Mealy's, by a third party or jointly by Mealy’s and a third party. Third parties providing all or part of a guarantee benefit financially if a guaranteed lot is sold successfully and may incur a loss if the sale is not successful.
     
Hammer Price
The winning bid for a lot at auction. It is the price upon which the auctioneer’s hammer falls, determining the sale price, but does not include the buyer's premium.
     
Knocked Down
An auction house term for the hammer coming down and ending the bidding, as in, “The lot was knocked down at €10,000.”
     
Lot
An individual object or group of objects offered for sale at auction as a single unit.
     
Paddle
An object displaying the number assigned to a bidder when he or she registers at the auction. To place a bid, simply raise your paddle until the auctioneer acknowledges you. If you win the auction, your paddle number is recorded alongside your bid. To pay for your purchase, you will need to bring your paddle to the Payments counter.
     
Pass/Unsold
Terms used by the auctioneer when an item fails to reach its reserve at auction.
     
Photography
Many items that go to auction are professionally photographed by Mealy’s for documentary and promotional purposes. Photographs appear in our online and print catalogues, and are an important way for buyers to identify lots that they wish to acquire.
     
Presale Exhibition
Generally, Mealy’s put all lots from its sales on public display on the days immediately preceding an auction. Entry is by catalogue only and generally takes place from noon to 5pm. Please see our Auctions section for dates, times and locations.

Provenance
An important part of the authentication process, provenance establishes the chain of ownership back (if possible) to the date an item was created. Provenance can significantly impact on the value of an object.
     
Reserve or Reserve Price
Never formally disclosed, the reserve price is the confidential minimum price agreed upon between the consignor and Mealy’s. Reserves must be set at or below the low estimate, and if bidding ends before the reserve is reached, the property will not be sold.
     
Results
Results of our auctions are typically posted online 5 working days after the sale. Customarily, results include the hammer price excluding the buyer’s premium.
     
Sale Reference
Every auction at Mealy’s is given a unique number to distinguish it from previous and subsequent sales of similar properties. The sale number appears in every e-catalogue and on the cover of print catalogues, among other places.
     
Seller’s Commission
A commission paid by the consignor to Mealy’s, which is deducted from the hammer price.
     
Specialist
An expert in a specific field of collecting who advises on descriptions, attributions and estimates of specialised items in our sales.
     
Telephone Bidding
Many buyers prefer to bid via telephone, using a Mealy’s representative who is present at the auction to relay bids to the auctioneer on their behalf.
     
Valuation
A detailed description and current value of property prepared by Mealy's staff. Valuations, which differ from auction estimates, are used for a variety of needs, including charitable contribution, collateral loans, estate taxes, estate planning and insurance.

    

Glossary of Cataloguing Terms used at Mealy's

Terms used in our Catalogue have the meanings ascribed to them below:

Paintings, Prints, Works of Art, Furniture, etc.
The first name or names and surname of the Artist or Craftsman – In our opinion a work by the Artist of Craftsman.

Attributed to -
In our opinion probably a work by the Artist or Craftsman, but less certainty as to authorship is expressed than in the preceding category.

Studio of -
In our opinion a work that was executed in part by the artists hand, but is all likelihood amended and/or completed by artists working in his/her studio

The initials of the first name(s) and the surname of the Artist of Craftsman -
In our opinion a work of the period of the artist or craftsman and which may be in whole or in part the work of the artist or craftsman.

The surname only of the Artist of Craftsman -
In our opinion a work of the school or by one of the followers of the artist or craftsman or in his style.

School of - / Cirle of -
In our opinion a work of the school or by one of the followers of the artist or craftsman or in his style.

The surname of the Artist or Craftsman, preceded by “After” -
In our opinion, a copy of the work of the artist or craftsman.

Signed - Stamped -
Has a signature, which in our opinion is the signature of the artist or craftsman.

Bears Signature or Stamp:
Has a signature or stamp, which in our opinion may be the signature of the artist or craftsman.

Dated:
Is so dated and in our opinion was executed at about that date.

Bears Date: -
Is so dated and in our opinion may have been executed at about that date.

O.R.M. -

Of recent manufacture

R.V.O. -
 
Remote viewing only - i.e. the item cannot be physically viewed at our galleries, but additional images and condition reports are available. In some cases, video remote viewing may be available. Such items can be located anywhere in the world but shipping assistance is provided in relation to RVO items.