Terms Dictionary


a service offering professional advice on the purchase of works of art (not only those offered by DESA Unicum). It is a perfect solution for people who are not sure what they should buy or what is the value of a given item. The advisor helps to choose an item from a rich auction, gallery and antique offer that will meet the aesthetic and investment expectations of the customer.

a term used in the DESA Unicum application when bidding on an object. It indicates the last opportunity to increase the bid before the final gavel strike and the end of the bidding.

public sale of objects in an organized form, where the person who offers the highest price becomes the buyer. The object of the auction includes works of art or collectors' items which can be viewed in advance at a pre-auction exhibition. The auction is conducted by an auctioneer, who is responsible for compliance with the sales regulations. The auction is conducted in Polish, but at the special request of the auction participant, some of the auctions can be conducted in English and German at the same time. You do not have to pay a deposit to participate in the auction. DESA Unicum organizes the largest number of auctions in Poland-over 200. Including: old art, contemporary art, young art and thematic art (e.g. works on paper, design, photography, comic strips and illustrations, jewellery, artistic graphics, sculpture). We also conduct charity auctions, collection auctions and auctions on behalf of private entities.

a unique number assigned to each auction in DESA Unicum. This helps to distinguish previous and subsequent auctions. The auction code appears e.g. in every auction catalogue and on the online auction website.

this is a fixed percentage that covers all the services of DESA Unicum auction house, an intermediary in the sale. This amount is added to the hammer price, is part of the final price of the item and amounts to 20%. If an item has not been sold as part of the auction, the auction fee shall also apply in the post-auction sale.

an exhibition that takes place a few days before the auction that allows the customers to see all the items put up for auction. The exhibition is free of charge and available to the public. During the exhibition, we encourage you to contact our experts who will be pleased to address any concerns and shall provide detailed information concerning particular items.

a binding price for the item offered by the bidder during the auction. It is signalled to the auctioneer by raising the number plate.

collected sales quotas for all auctioned items including the hammer price and the auction fee. The auction results are published immediately after each auction on the desa.pl website.

the person who conducts the auction. The auctioneer begins the auction by announcing the starting price and decides on subsequent increment amounts. After the initial offer has been made, participants can offer higher prices. The auctioneer indicates the bidders, announces the end of the auction and indicates the winner. The strike of the gavel and the words “sold” announce the end of the auction of a given object. The auctioneer has the right to freely separate or combine items and to withdraw them from the auction without giving reasons. Descriptions in the auction catalogue may be supplemented or changed by the auctioneer or a person indicated by the auctioneer prior to the commencement of the auction.

a formal proposal to buy the item submitted by the bidder during the auction. The offer to purchase the item is binding after it has been accepted by the auctioneer.

it is a bidding platform of DESA Unicum thanks to which you can take part in the auction via the Internet. Customers can bid online in real time on the auctioned objects using their computers. After registering on the auction portal, you should wait for our employee to contact you. After verifying the data, our employee accepts the customer to participate in the auction. To take part in an auction via the bid.desa.pl platform you must register no later than 12 hours before the start of the auction.

a person or entity actively participating in the auction. Bidders can be present in the auction room, but they can also bid by telephone or online. The bidder who offers the highest amount accepted by the auctioneer shall be deemed as the auction winner. During the auction, the bidder takes personal responsibility for the payment of the auctioned objects.

selling objects on the auction. Bidding takes place at a rate of 60-100 objects per hour. Bidding always takes place “upwards” by increments.

bidding for an item indicated by the customer to a specified price by a DESA Unicum employee. Using the form available on the website, in our auction house or in the auction catalogue, the customer indicates the maximum amount he/she wishes to pay for the item. Our employees shall make every effort to ensure that the customer purchases the selected item at the lowest possible price, but not lower than the guaranteed price. If the limit is lower than the guaranteed price, a conditional transaction shall be concluded. In the case of two or more offers with the same limit, the order of the offers is decisive. The described service is free of charge and confidential.

a structured list of objects put up for bidding within a specific auction. The catalogue contains detailed photographs and presents basic data, i.e. the artist's name, title, time of creation, provenance, main exhibitions and publications they appeared in. Additionally, all objects are provided with detailed descriptions. The catalogue is available in printed and electronic form. The e-catalogue in a pdf file can be downloaded from desa.pl website.

items presented in the auction catalogue. Equipped with illustrations, professional valuation and reliable description made in the utmost good faith using the experience and expertise of our employees and experts cooperating with us. Descriptions included in the auction catalogue may be completed or modified by the auctioneer or a person designated by him/her prior to bidding commencement.

a document specifying the conditions of putting the consignor’s item for sale. It specifies the minimum selling price, the percentage of commission and the amount due to the owner. The conclusion of an agreement is necessary for the item to be qualified for auction with a specified minimum selling price. If during the bidding the selling price increases in relation to the price originally agreed in the agreement, the amount due to the consignor shall increase proportionally.

see “conditional transaction”. A conditional contract of sale within an auction or within the so-called off auction sales.

an agreement concluded at a time when the auction fails to reach the guaranteed price level. A conditional transaction shall be considered as a binding item purchase offer sold at the hammer price. We undertake to negotiate the price with the consignor, however, we do not guarantee the possibility of purchase at the hammer price. The agreement shall be regarded as concluded, provided that during the negotiations the customer decides to raise the offer to the guaranteed price or the highest bid has been accepted. An item shall be considered as unsold if the negotiations fail to reach positive effects within five business days from the date of the auction. During this period, we reserve the right to accept offers for conditionally sold items, after the auction, which are equal to the guaranteed price. Upon receiving such offer from a different bidder, the customer who conditionally purchased an item shall be informed of such a fact. In this case, the customer has the right to raise their offer to the guaranteed price, and thus shall be entitled to a priority purchase of the item. Otherwise the conditional transaction shall not be effective and the item may be sold to another bidder.

a fee charged by DESA Unicum to the consignor for the sold item.

i.e. the right of an artist and his/her heirs to receive a remuneration for professionally resold original artwork. Objects covered by this right are subject to an additional fee based on the rates set forth in the DESA Unicum auction sale rules. Objects which are subject to this fee are marked with the “clover” symbol in the catalogue.

auction transactions shall be concluded in PLN, however, estimates in the auction catalogue may be provided in EUR, British pounds or USD. They reflect the approximate price at the current exchange rate for foreign customers. The currency exchange rate on the day of the auction may differ from that of the catalogue printing date, therefore the information shall only be regarded as indicative.

also called the estimation price. This is an estimate of the value the object can achieve at the auction. The estimation is determined by the auction house specialists on the basis of the condition of the object, its uniqueness, quality, provenance, as well as the recent prices that similar works of art have achieved on the art market. Estimates are usually provided for each object in the auction catalogue. Bidding that ends within the estimate range or above the upper estimate threshold constitutes a final transaction. Estimates do not include the auction fee or any additional fees.

a person with many years of experience in valuing and confirming the authenticity of works of art, a specialist in specific fields of art.

used by the auctioneer during an auction. The gavel strike performed by the auctioneer shall be equivalent to accepting the highest bid and concluding a sale agreement between DESA Unicum and the buyer.

this is the lowest amount for which the item can be sold without an additional consent of the seller. The guaranteed price is between the starting price and the lower estimate limit. The amount is confidential information. Each item may or may not have a guaranteed price. If during the bidding the guaranteed price is not reached, the end of the auction shall result in the conclusion of a conditional transaction. This fact shall be announced by the auctioneer by hitting the gavel.

the final bid amount for an item at the auction. The auctioneer symbolically hits the hammer (gavel) which announces the sale and end of the bidding of a particular item. The hammer price does not include the auction fee, therefore it is not the actual amount.

these are the amounts by which the price of the item changes during the bidding. The auctioneer announces subsequent increments based on the increment table. The auctioneer, at his/her own discretion, may decide on other increment amounts depending on the course of the auction.

an item put up for auction at DESA Unicum (by the consignor). It may be a work of art or a collector's item.

an individual number for each auction item in DESA Unicum.

nazwana imieniem niemieckiej artystki aktywnej na początku XX wieku, nagroda Käthe Kollwitz jest przyznawana każdego roku od 1960, artystom mieszkającym i pracującym w Berlinie, za całokształt ich dorobku artystycznego. Konkurs jest organizowany i fundowany przez Akademie der Künste wraz z Cologne Kreissparkasse. Laureaci otrzymują jako nagrodę 12 tysięcy Euro oraz szansę na zorganizowanie monograficznej wystawy wraz z publikacją. Laureatami konkursu na przestrzeni lat były, m.in.: Mona Hatoum i Adrian Piper.

nagroda przyznawana co roku przez francuską organizację ADIAF (Association pour la Diffusion Internationale de l'Art Français) artystom mieszkającym na terenie Francji. Zwycięzca konkursu otrzymuje nagrodę w wysokości 35 tysięcy Euro, oraz fundusze w wysokości do 30 tysięcy Euro, aby zorganizować swoją wystawę w Centre Georges Pompidou w Paryżu. Pierwszym laureatem nagrody w roku 2001 był Thomas Hirschhorn, a w roku 2021 została ona przyznana Lili Reynaud-Dewar.

a term referring to the objective, maintained market value of the item dictated by auction records.

you can also participate in every auction via the Internet. Live online bids can be made via the DESA Unicum bidding platform https://bid.desa.pl and the portal www.invaluable.com. These portals also allow you to monitor the auction process live without previous registering.

a term signalling that the object has not been sold at the auction. A pass shall be announced by the auctioneer when the bidding of a specific item fails to reach the guaranteed price level and the transaction, as part of the auction, is not concluded.

direct, active participation in the auction held in the DESA Unicum auction house. To take part in an auction in person it is necessary to fill in the registration form and collect the number plate. After the auction is concluded, the plate with the number must be returned at the registration point, and in case of purchase, the confirmation of the transactions concluded should be collected.

a plate with an auction number assigned to a specific bidder, which must be collected at the registration point before the commencement of the auction. The person taking part in the auction uses it to bid, and the auctioneer reads the plate number each time the price is raised, and when a given person wins the bid.

the right of registered museums to purchase monuments first, directly at the auction for the amount auctioned plus the auction fee.

information about the origin of the item or its previous owners. This documentation helps to confirm the authorship of the work and to determine its value.

also called the actual price. This is the final price that the buyer is obliged to pay for the object. It consists of the hammer price, auction fee and additional fees resulting from the catalogue designations of the object.

międzynarodowa niemiecka nagroda wręczana w zakresie wzornictwa i projektowania użytkowego, organizowana przez Red Dot GmbH & Co. KG. Nagrody wręczane są co roku od 1955, w kilku kategoriach: projekt produktu, projekt komunikacji oraz projekt koncepcyjny. Zwycięskie produkty są dołączane do kultowego muzeum – Design Zentrum Nadrenia Północna-Westfalia w Essen. Jednym z parunastu laureatów z Polski na przestrzeni lat, był m.in. Oskar Zięta i jego autorskie Zieta Studio.

a document prepared by DESA Unicum, which must be filled in by all persons who want to take part in the auction.

a person with a thorough knowledge of a given field of art and a professional knowledge of the art market.

i.e. the first increment. This is the price from which the auctioneer starts the bidding. All items are auctioned upwards, i.e. the bidding may end at an amount higher than or equal to the starting price. The starting price is determined by the auctioneer just before the auction, depending on the interest in the object.

the current condition of the item. Basic information about the state of preservation of an item is contained in catalogue descriptions, however, they do not always present its full condition. Absence of such information does not mean the item is free of defects and damage. Therefore, it is recommended that the prospective buyers of a specific item perform a thorough inspection at the pre-auction exhibition as well as consult a professional conservator to be recommended at an explicit request. At the customer’s request, we may provide a detailed report on the state of preservation of the item.

bidding by telephone through one of the employees of DESA Unicum. Our employee shall reach out to the customer before the start of the auction of a given item and bid the item on behalf of the customer up to the indicated amount. This service is free of charge and confidential. The order must be placed using the form available on the website, at our auction house or in the auction catalogue at least 24 hours prior to the auction. A person who wishes to participate in a telephone bidding is obliged to indicate the numbers of objects he/she intends to bid and the telephone number for the DESA Unicum employee to call during the auction.

nagroda przyznawana od 1984 roku przez muzeum sztuki brytyjskiej Tate Britain. W konkursie mogą wziąć udział artyści mieszkający na stałe lub urodzeni w Wielkiej Brytanii, którzy nie przekroczyli 50. roku życia. Nagroda skupia się wokół ostatnich osiągnięć artysty bardziej niż na ich całym dorobku artystycznym. Laureat nagrody otrzymuje 25 000 funtów brytyjskich. W 2021 laureatem był kolektyw artystyczny Array Collective.

official analysis and estimation of the value of a given item. It is also the basis for the estimation. In DESA Unicum the valuation of the object determined by the Commission is free of charge if the work is put up for auction. In the case of written valuations, provided as a service independent of the transfer of the item to us for sale, the cost is determined individually.

a term used in the DESA Unicum application when bidding on an item. It signals the first confirmation of the price by the auctioneer and the approaching end of the auction. Thanks to the warning all interested bidders have a fair chance of winning the bid by highlighting the last opportunity to increase the offer.

a term referring to an item which, due to lack of offers or failure to reach the minimum price, remains unsold and is withdrawn. It remains in the possession of the consignor. The auctioneer has the right to withdraw an item from the auction without giving reasons.