How to buy

Buying at auction

Every auction offers a new and exciting opportunity to acquire a work of art. Bidding has never been easier or more accessible. 

All works of art are sold at an auction through bidding. In order to take part in an auction, you need to register and collect a paddle. Should you prefer to bid by the telephone, we can call you directly from the salesroom and bid on your behalf. You can also choose to use DESA Unicum's website or our mobile app if you prefer to bid online.  

Participating in an auction is free. You are only required to pay if your bid is successful.  

If you are a first-time art collector, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with our “glossary of terms" and FAQ.

Why buy at DESA Unicum

 

DESA Unicum is the largest auction house in Poland and one of the largest and fastest growing auction houses in Europe. We organise more than 70 auctions a year, offering a wide selection of diverse works of art. Our Specialists are highly qualified art historians with years of art market experience and highest standards of connoisseurship. Together with the dedicated team of DESA Art Advisors, we offer a full range of services to help you find the most desirable object. 

 

Why buy art with DESA Unicum?

 

1

Wide Selection of Items 

With over 70 auctions organized each year, we offer the most diverse selection of objects. We specialize in Old Masters and Modern Art, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Art of Emerging Artists, as well as Decorative arts, Design, Comic Strips and Illustrations and Fine Jewels. In addition, we also organize thematic auctions such as ‘New Figuration', ‘Zakopane', ‘Icons and Sacred Art'.  

2

Convenience 

We provide numerous opportunities to purchase works of art: bidding in person, telephone bidding, online bidding, bidding via our application or bidding on behalf of the customer. We like to provide the utmost convenience to everyone who chooses to bid with us.

3

Professional Advisory Services 

Our Art Advisors are here to help You acquire the best art works for Your collection. If you are looking to start a collection, our team will be happy to offer professional market advice, so that you can make the most optimal decision. We also offer the services of our Private Sales team if the object you desire is not currently available at auction. 

4

Authenticity of the items  

Each object undergoes a rigorous authentication process conducted by a team of our specialists. At the time of purchase, we will issue a certificate of authenticity for the sold object with provenance information and condition report. 

How to buy at DESA Unicum

 

1

Get acquainted with the auction offer 

Our current auction offer can be accessed via the Auctions tab. You can also familiarise yourself with it via our mobile app or by looking through the printed auction catalogues. In addition, we invite you to our headquarters at 1A Piękna Street for a pre-auction exhibition, where you can personally see the works of art that will be sold at auction.  

2

Register for the auction 

To take part in the auction, all you need to do is email us or give us a call.  Our dedicated staff will help you with the brief registration process.  

3

Select a bidding method and bid 

Our employees will help you choose the most convenient form of bidding. It is up to you whether you want to bid in person, by phone, online or via our mobile application.

4

Complete the transaction and pick up your work

Once you have won your lot, determine your preferred payment method with our Customer Service and complete the transaction by making a payment. You may then either pick up the acquired work personally or choose one of our recommended shipping companies.

Dzięki aplikacji mobilnej DESA Unicum możesz licytować w prosty i bezpieczny sposób, gdziekolwiek jesteś. Obiekty możesz kupować bezpośrednio z aplikacji, ustawiając wcześniej limity zleceń lub na bieżąco licytować interesujące Cię obiekty podczas trwania aukcji.

Let yourself fall in love with art

We know the value of art, not only as an investment, but also as an object of aesthetic and intellectual potential. Therefore, our goal is to enhance passion for art and to emphasize its emotional input. We wish to suggest that each one of us can find his or her favourite period, style or specific artist. That is why we encourage you to discover the beauty of art we present you with at DESA Unicum. Get to know the lots offered in the upcoming auctions, look at the history of our auction projects and meet people who work with art and who have shared their love for it for years.  

Didn't find what you were looking for? Let us know and we will get back to you
Contact us
Familiarise yourself with our departments
Explore departments

Financing the purchase of works of art

DESA Unicum is the only company in Poland offering a full range of services in the field of art financing. With in-depth knowledge and know-how of the international art market, we can provide a timely and accurate valuation of your item and offer you tailor-made financing adjusted to your needs.

 

Loans for buyers

  • We offer loans of up to 50% of the purchase price plus auction commission
  • Negotiated interest rate terms and conditions
  • Low administrative commission costs
  • Loan amounts starting from PLN 10,000 up to PLN 1,000,000
  • Flexible duration and repayment
  • Initial fee and interest paid monthly

Payment

Finalizing the transaction at DESA Unicum is simple. In order to acquire the item, you need to pay the final purchase price for an object, which includes the hammer price, auction house premium, and any applicable taxes. We need to receive a payment from you within 10 days of the date of the auction. Payments can be made in cash, by credit card or via a wire transfer. 

What is the final purchase price?

The final purchase price includes the hammer price, auction house premium (18% of the hammer price) and any applicable taxes. The auction premium also applies to post-auction sales. In some cases, the auction house will add a fee for “Droit de suite" (the artist's resale right fee). If a lot requires “Droit de suite," this information will be specified in the catalogue. 

Is it possible to make payments in two forms: card + cash?

Yes. You may combine payments with card and cash. We do not accept cash payments that exceed EUR 10,000. 

How much time do I have to pay for the winning bid?

Payment should be made within 10 days of the auction. 

Can you issue an invoice for the auctioned works?

Yes, we can issue VAT-margin invoices for objects purchased at auction and in private sales. 

Is it possible to pay in currencies other than PLN?

Yes. We accept payment in EUR and USD. If you want to pay in a foreign currency, please notify our Customer Service Representative in advance.  

To which account should I transfer the amount due for the auctioned objects?

Below you will find the account number and transfer details: 

DESA Unicum S.A. 

ul. Piękna 1 A 

00-477 Warszawa 

mBank S.A. 

Swift: BREXPLPWWA3 

27 1140 2062 0000 2380 1100 1002 

 

Shipping and receipt

After the payment for the lot has been posted, you should collect your item within 30 days. You can do it in person at our auction house located at 1A Piękna Street in Warsaw during  regular working hours: Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You may arrange a pick-up time by contacting our Customer Service. 

Can another person pick up the auctioned object on my behalf?

Yes. You may authorize a third party pick-up by providing a letter authorizing another person to collect the lot on your behalf. Such a document should specify the scope of activities to which a given person is authorized and include personal details as they appear in official government-issued ID for both parties. 

Can you send the item I have purchased by post or courier? Will this service be charged extra?

Yes, we can arrange shipping with an outside shipping company. This service is subject to additional fees. Details of the shipment should be discussed with one of Customer Service representatives.  

Can I pay for and pick up one of several auctioned items?

No. You need to make payment for all auctioned items before picking them up. 

Private Sale

 

We believe that every collection deserves special care and we are proud to offer customized and confidential Private Sales services. Our art historical expertise and years of experience in the art market make us a particularly well-suited for demanding collectors and large institutions. We maintain a robust network of professional relationships with prominent private collectors both within and outside of Poland. 

We encourage you to contact our Art Advisory team, who can share more details about the opportunities accessed by buying and selling using our Private Sales services. 

FAQ

How to participate in the auction of works of art?

Before you can bid we will need you to register with DESA Unicum as a buyer. We will need your application form at least 24 hours before the auction.  

Auctions take place in our auction house  at 1A Piękna Street. You should arrive no later than 15 minutes before the start of the auction and register. Upon registration, you will receive a paddle and a unique number that allows you to place bids.  

Should I pay to participate in an auction?

No. Participation is free of charge and our auctions are open to everyone. 

Can I follow the auction online? Is it livestreamed?

Yes, all of our auctions are livestreamed via our DESA Unicum mobile app available in the Appstore and the Google Play Store, or via our Facebook profile (https://facebook.com/DesaUnicumWarszawa/). 

 

When do you inform clients about upcoming auctions?

The current schedule of DESA Unicum auctions is available in the Auctions tab. Our online and printed catalogues featuring upcoming lots are usually made available several weeks before the auction. We also prepare previews of each of our auctions. The objects from auctions are exhibited 10 days before the auction date in our gallery at 1A Piękna Street. 

How to bid for works of art in person?

If you wish to bid in person you will need to register with us. You can do this no later than 24 hours before the auction by filling out the application form. Before the auction begins, you need to collect a paddle with your bidding number.   

The bidding of an artwork begins with the starting price set by the auctioneer. If you want to place a bid, you should indicate it to the auctioneer by raising your paddle. The auctioneer will announce each subsequent bid along with the current price to the audience. When there are no more bids left, the auctioneer will announce the number of the winning paddle and inform the audience of the hammer price. The successful bidder should make a payment in order to collect the auctioned object. 

  

What is telephone bidding?

If you decide to bid by the telephone you stay on the line with one of our employees, who bids on your behalf  in the auction room and keeps you informed about the current bids. That employee places bids according to your decisions. 

To take part in a telephone bidding you should complete the application form at least 24 hours before the auction and deliver it to us in person, send it to our office by post, via fax or via email. A hard copy of this form is available at the back of our printed catalogue and in our auction house offices located at 1A Piękna Street. An online version is available on our website. You may also send an email to zlecenia@desa.pl or call 22 163 66 00. One of our employees will contact you directly to discuss the details. 

I have a specified budget and I need help with the bidding. It that possible?

Yes. We offer bidding with a price limit on your behalf. In order to bid, you need to specify the maximum amount you are willing to pay for a given object. We will place bids on your behalf, guaranteeing that the selected lot will be acquired at the lowest possible price. We do not charge any fees for an auction order with a price limit. 

You may request this service by using the form available at our auction house or in the auction catalogue on our website. You can also contact us by e-mail at zlecenia@desa.pl or by telephone at 22 163 66 00. This request should be placed at least 24 hours before the auction. 

What is an online auction?

Live online bids can be made using the bidding platforms www.liveauctioneeers.com and www.invaluable.com. Bidding online requires registration. After registering, you should wait for our employee to contact you after the verification of your data. Please remember to register no later than 12 hours before the start of the auction. 

 

If an object has not sold during auction, will you still offer it for sale?

Objects that are not sold during auction generally remain as gallery consignments and may be purchased after the auction has ended.  

However, the bid submitted must not be lower than the guaranteed price (the amount below which the owner is not interested in selling). 

Regulations

Sales regulations and a sample commission agreement can be downloaded as an attachment.
DOWNLOAD