Sydney Rare Book Auctions are experts in rare and antiquarian books. 

Owner and auctioneer, Paul Feain has over 40 years experience in the rare book trade. He established the Cornstalk Bookshop in 1980 and is now one of Sydney’s leading antiquarian booksellers. Paul was previously the President of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Antiquarian Booksellers (ANZAAB) and previously on the executive of the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers(ILAB). He remains a member of both organisations.

An overview of the selling process is outlined below:

  1. Please call us to discuss your books, so we can give an opinion as to whether the books are saleable to our clientele. 
  2. If your books are saleable, we arrange collection or delivery of the books to our offices in Ultimo, Sydney.
  3. The team at SRBA will catalogue the items as stand-alone lots, or as groups of books. Vendors will be sent a list of their items before the auction for review.
  4. The auction takes place at the SRBA offices in Ultimo Sydney and is also live online, with buyers joining from around the world.
  5. After buyers have paid for their items, SRBA will pay the vendors minus their commission (see Vendor’s commission below).
  6. Unsold lots may be relisted, or returned to the vendor 

All books are photographed and these are displayed online

Terms and Conditions of Sydney Rare Book Auctions

The terms and conditions set out below apply to all sales by private treaty, public auction or auction by private treaty held by Sydney Rare Book Auctions to the exclusion of other terms and conditions and no modifications will be binding unless accepted by Sydney Rare Book Auctions in writing. In this document Sydney Rare Book Auctions will be referred to as SRBA.

  1. Agent

SRBA sells by Auction, Private Treaty and Auction by Private Treaty for the Vendor and is not responsible for default by the Buyer of Vendor.

  1. Agent Discretion

SRBA has the right at its sole discretion without giving any reason therefore to; a) refuse any bid, to divide any Lot, to combine two or more lots, to withdraw any Lot from the sale and, in the event of dispute, to re-offer any Lot sale again, b) to keep secret the existence of the Reserve Price of any Lot, c) on the behalf of a Vendor or any prospective Buyer with or without disclosure, d) in the event any Lot is not sold at auction to re-offer the Lot sale for sale by Private Treaty subject to these Terms and Conditions; e) to refuse any person or persons admission to, or eject them from the premises site.

  1. The Buyer

The highest bidder shall be the buyer except in the case of a dispute. If during the auction the auctioneer considers that a dispute has arisen, the auctioneer has discretion to settle it or re offer the lot. b) Every buyer shall bid as a principal unless prior to the auction they disclose to SRBA the fact that they will be bidding on behalf of some one else and they must supply the full name and address of this person on whose behalf they are bidding with a signed written copy of their authority to bid on this person’s behalf. A copy of the digital authority will be acceptable.

4. Contract of Sale

On acceptance of bid by the fall of the hammer or by absentee bidding, or by telephone bidding or by internet bidding, a contract of sale is made between the Vendor and the Buyer. SRBA is not a party to the contract of the sale and shall not be liable for any breach by either the Vendor or the Buyer. b) Ownership of the Lot will pass to the Buyer only when the full purchase price has been received by the agent subject to clearance of funds.

5. Buyer Registration and Absentee Telephone and Internet Bidding

All Bidders shall register in a manner determined by the auctioneer from time to time. If more than one absentee bidder submits the same bid then the first bid received will be the bid accepted.

  1. Reserves

Each lot is offered for sale subject to any reserve price placed by the agent in agreement with the Vendor. The Vendor or an agent appointed by the Vendor may not bid on his own lot. However if the Vendor does bid he shall pay SRBA the buyers premium and also be charged the seller’s commission.

  1. Vendors Commission

The vendor shall pay to SRBA a vendor’s commission charged as a percentage on the final bid. The vendor’s commission includes all services to the vendor, there are no additional charges for services such as photography and advertising. 

  1. Responsibility of Buyer to Inspect

A buyer shall satisfy him/herself on the condition of the object before bidding. All goods

sold are secondhand and can have defects. All lots are sold “as is”. SRBA or the Vendor make no warranties regarding any lot. SRBA takes every care when cataloguing items and collates every item where practicable and notes any defects found. However at times defects or bibliographical points may be overlooked and buyers are advised to satisfy themselves before bidding on any lot.

  1. Rescission of Sale

If within 21 days of the completion of the sale SRBA have received from the buyer notice in writing that in their view the lot is a deliberate forgery and that this lot is returned within 7 days after such notification and the buyer returns it in the same condition in which it was delivered and that the buyer produces expert evidence that the item is a forgery and that SRBA is satisfied that such item is a forgery then all monies paid by the buyer to SRBA shall be refunded within 7 business days.

  1. Illustrations and Photography and Copyright

The copyright on all photographs and digital images in the catalogue remain the property   SRBA. SRBA acknowledges the original copyright holders. SRBA endeavours to reproduce the colour in the images as faithfully as possible but due to the technological difficulty makes no warranty on the reproduction of the colour reproduced in either the digital or printed catalogue.

  1. Removal of Lots Purchased

All lots must be picked up from the place of the auction within seven business days following the auction. The buyer shall be responsible for removal of the items. A storage charge per day of 1% of the hammer price of each lot not collected will be charged. Arrangements may be made with SRBA for postage of items in which case a postage and handling fee will be charged. The buyer shall be responsible for obtaining any export licence required by the Government. Refusal by the Government will not cancel a sale.

If the purchase price is not paid by the buyer to SRBA within 24 hours of the sale, or some other agreed time, then SRBA shall do one of the following; a) resell to the underbidder or any other interested party at a price negotiated and the buyer shall pay any shortfall. If the lot is sold for more than the original price then the buyer shall have no right or claim to the profit. b) SRBA shall have discretion to remove, store or insure the lot at the buyers expense. c) to commence legal proceedings against the buyer damages for breach of contract at the buyer’s expense.

  1. Public Liability

Every person on the premises of SRBA or on the premises where SRBA are conducting business shall be deemed to be there at their own risk and shall have no claim against SRBA, its employees or agents in respect of any accident which may occur, or injury, damage or loss howsoever caused.

  1. Law of Conditions

These conditions of business are governed by and construed in accordance with the law of the state in which the sale is conducted and all parties shall submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of that State’s Courts.