A.H. Wilkens hosts a variety of auctions: fine arts and decorative auctions, general estate auctions, and antique auctions. We offer beautiful items for auction such as silver, art glass, ceramics, Moorcroft pottery, furniture, Chinese, Japanese and Korean arts, Canadian and international fine art and vintage costume and estate jewellery.
How to Buy at an Antique, Estate or Art Auction
To find that special antique or vintage item that you’re looking for, sign up for our Auction e-flyer in the sidebar. You’ll be notified of all upcoming auctions.
Attend the Auction Preview
We highly recommend attending our public preview in advance of each auction. In Toronto we preview auction items and lots the Monday prior to an auction from noon to 7 PM and on the day of the auction from 9-11 AM. And in Oakville, we preview items and lots the Friday and Saturday prior from 12 to 5 PM and on the day of the auction from 10-1 PM.
Hours for our Fine & Decorative Arts Auctions are scheduled according to each auction.
Every auction has a list to accompany it; catalogue auctions will have photographs, detailed descriptions and estimates listed on our website well in advance of the public preview so that buyers can familiarize themselves with the lots.
Speak to an A.H. Wilkens Auctions’ Specialist Before the Auction
Once you have selected your pieces of interest, we recommend that you speak with one of our specialists. They can answer your questions. Remember that condition and provenance are important.
Consider Your Bid Before the Auction
Consider what you are willing to pay for each item before the auction begins; remember to add on 17% for the buyers premium (below $50,000 per lot and 13% above $50,000 per lot) and 13% in tax to the price you are willing to pay (or hammer price). Tax is not paid by the purchaser if it is being shipped out of the country with appropriate shipping receipts. Buying at auctions means it is a final sale so do your homework ahead of time.
If you are considering an antique piece of furniture, be sure to take down measurements to ensure it fits your specifications.
Ways to Enter a Bid
All bidders must register in order to participate in the auction. We always recommend that our customers attend an auction at our convenient Toronto location if at all possible. This is the best way to purchase. Being present at the auction will give you an overall sense of the room, the crowd, the auctioneer and how the auction is progressing.
If you can’t attend a live auction, you can bid:
- via the internet
- over the telephone
- by leaving an absentee or advance bid
Telephone, internet or absentee bidding must be arranged in advance of an auction. To bid over the telephone or as an absentee/advance bidder, the buyer must fill out a bid form. This form can be found at our office, on our website or by fax – just request a form. Fill out the appropriate information and return it to the office at a minimum of two hours before each auction.
Online bidders can register to bid through the LiveAuctioneers website at www.liveauctioneers.com and clicking on the A.H. Wilkens upcoming auction icon.
Telephone bidders will be phoned by the auction house approximately five minutes before the lot of interest comes on the block. Our staff will help guide the buyer through the process of bidding.
To bid in the room, participants must
- Fill out a bidder registration form with contact information and signature
- Return the form to our reception desk and pick up an assigned paddle
- Raise your paddle when your item (or items) of interest come up for sale. When the auctioneer acknowledges your paddle it means that she has accepted your bid.
- At the end of the auction bring your paddle to our cash desk for a print out of your final bill