There are various ways to learn about specific works that Walker's is offering at our auction sales, well in advance of our previews.
Just look at the Calendar on our home page to find an upcoming auction that interests you. Click on the blue Auction Catalogue button to enter the on-line catalogue that describes and illustrates each lot. You can browse the lots in numerical order, look for a specific lot number, or use the search function to find an artist, item or subject of interest. Many lots are photographed from several angles to give you the best possible opportunity to examine the works from afar.
Our major art auctions (Canadian & International Fine Arts, Inuit Art, and Works on Paper) also have printed and PDF catalogues. We pride ourselves on the beautiful photography, handsome design and meticulous research that make Walker's catalogues worth keeping and collecting. Printed catalogues are mailed to interested clients about three weeks before each art auction. Each of these catalogues is also available in a downloadable PDF version. Just click on the relevant Catalogue PDF button on our home page Calendar.
If you have questions about any of the works in one of our catalogues, please feel free to contact Walker's by email or telephone.
The auction preview is your opportunity to examine the works we offer first-hand, and your best chance to compare one piece with another. It is also your opportunity to speak with one of our experts, to ask questions and get advice about specific works, art styles, or art and antique collecting in general. Think of an auction preview as an exhibition that gives you the opportunity to learn and the chance to take your favourite piece(s) home!
The preview is also your opportunity to register as a bidder for the auction, to pick up a catalogue, and to let our staff know if you have any questions about the auction process.
There's nothing quite like the excitement and fun of attending a "live" auction. Many people have fond memories of attending auctions as children; attending an auction can be an entertaining night out with family or friends. If you are planning to attend a Walker's auction, we would encourage you to arrive at least forty-five (45) minutes before the auction begins in order to complete the bidder registration and receive a "paddle" with your personal bidding number. Many seasoned auction veterans make a point of arriving early in order to allow themselves plenty of time to register and preview the lots which will be offered. Walker's staff will ask you to provide your name, address and telephone number. If you qualify for a tax exemption, you will be also be asked to provide applicable information such as PST and GST identification numbers, and/or an embassy number.
Once the auction begins, the auctioneer will look for an opening bid on each item. Bidding usually starts at half of the low pre-auction estimate. When you want to bid on an item, raise your paddle and wait for the auctioneer to acknowledge your bid. When someone else raises their paddle after you, the auctioneer will acknowledge them as the current high bidder and their bid amount will stand until another interested party raises the bid. Bids may come from the "floor," from a registered absentee bid, from the telephones or over the Internet. This process continues until one bidder stands unchallenged. The auctioneer will then give fair warning of his intention to sell the item to the final bidder. This is your final chance to bid, so don't be shy! If no further bids are forthcoming, the auctioneer declares the item sold and asks the successful bidder for their bidding number.
Should the item have a "reserve" (a minimum price that the seller has indicated will be acceptable) which is not met, the auctioneer will advise that the item has not been sold and may indicate this with the word "pass".
If you can't make it to the auction in person, there are still several bidding options available to you: absentee bidding, telephone bidding, and Internet bidding.
An absentee bid is your written instruction directing Walker's to bid for you on one or more lots - up to the maximum amount that you specify for each lot. Walker's staff will strive to obtain each item for you, for the lowest possible amount, based upon competing bids and any reserve prices.
IMPORTANT: Our forms include a "PLUS ONE" column which authorizes Walker's representatives to place one (1) additional bid in excess of your specified "TOP BID". If you do not wish to be bound by this additional bid , write "NO" in the "PLUS ONE" column, for each applicable lot.
We require that Absentee/Telephone Bid requests reach our offices at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the auction. Please view Frequently Asked Questions.
We are also happy to be able to offer you the convenience of live telephone bidding. During the auction, a Walker's representative will contact you by telephone shortly before the lot in which you have indicated your interest is coming up for sale. The Walker's representative will immediately relay your bids to the auctioneer during the bidding on your lot. If you are interested in more than one lot you will receive multiple phone calls during the course of the auction.
You can arrange for a telephone bid by completing our bid form supplied for you on our home page. These forms can be faxed, scanned and emailed, mailed by post, or presented at the Registration Desk prior to the start of the auction. You may also telephone our offices with your instructions.
We require that Telephone Bid requests reach our offices at least twenty-four (24) hours in advance of the auction.
You may wish to consider an "Emergency Back-Up" bid which is a pre-arranged bid amount that a Walker's representative may execute on your behalf in the event that you cannot be reached by telephone when your item comes up for auction.
Please note that since telephone lines are limited, telephone bidding will be agreed to at the discretion of Walker's. Once the maximum number of telephone bids has been reached for a given lot, we cannot accept additional telephone commitments. In this case we might suggest an alternative bidding option.
Keep in mind that the Walker's representative will be speaking to you from a noisy, bustling auction hall. Please speak loudly! If you cannot be heard, you could miss a bidding opportunity.
Walker's makes every effort to contact telephone bidders with sufficient time and warning, however, due to unforeseen circumstances such as faulty telephone connections, overloaded cellular networks, or close proximity to a previous telephone bidder, bidding might already be underway by the time we reach you. So be prepared to jump right in!! Please view our Frequently Asked Questions.
At some Walker's auctions you have the additional option of placing bids via the Internet. The type of auction determines which of the two different bidding platforms will be used. Please remember that bids placed via the Internet are contractual and are made by bidders in accordance with the posted terms of sale for that auction. We look forward to introducing Internet Bidding to our "Discovery Auction" clients soon. For the time being, however, please continue to submit either Absentee or Telephone bid requests for this type of auction if you are unable to attend in person.
At all of our live auctions you can bid interactively on-line through our website. Just click the 'Register To Bid' tab associated with the live auction catalogue and complete the required
registration steps. If you are a new on-line bidder registrant, you might have to wait for credit approval and bid limit authorization prior to placing bids during the live auction. We therefore strongly recommend that you register at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the start of the auction. You will need a VISA or MASTERCARD credit card to register.
The buyer's premium charged to online bidders is 3% higher than the posted "Live Auction" premium because of fees levied by our auction bidding service provider ( www.hibid.com ).
This type of auction is geared to Internet bidding only, and so differs from our live auctions because it is "virtual." You may personally inspect all lots during posted preview times at the Walker's offices in Ottawa, but registration and all bidding is conducted directly through www.walkersauctions.com.
Once an "On-line Only" auction is open for bidding, simply click the "Auction Catalogue" button on the homepage of www.walkersauctions.com and the catalogue window will open with the auction details including terms of sale, buyer's premium, and the anticipated closing (finish) time. From that same screen you must login with your unique password and username chosen for that specific auction. Competing on-line bids are placed and accepted through this catalogue, and continue until the finish time or, in the case of very active bidding, until a period of time has elapsed in which no further bidding advances are received.
When you register for any one of our auctions, Walker's automatically sets up a "purchase account" in your name. Payment on your purchase account will be processed by our staff soon after the auction, using the credit card details provided by you during registration.
Please bear in mind that in addition to the successful bid amount, the buyer is required to pay a buyer's premium and applicable sales taxes. Shipping costs are also the buyer's responsibility.
We invite you to contact our offices for more information.
Shipping, packing and insurance fees are charged separately from your purchase account, and must be arranged either through Walker's own shipping department or with a shipper of your own choosing.
Detailed information on shipping, packing and insurance can be found by clicking on the Services button. You are also invited to contact our offices for further assistance.We strive to make your buying experience at Walker's interesting, rewarding, educational, hassle-free and fun! This page outlines the various stages of buying at auction, as well as the various bidding options available to you. Please feel free to contact us to discuss which option is right for you.