Buying Art at Lempertz

Lempertz organises over 20 auctions per year in Cologne, Brussels and Berlin. Discover the complete spectrum of art and artists from different epochs and cultures: European visual art, old master painting, sculpture, European decorative arts, jewellery, high-value editions, modern and contemporary art, photography, Asian art as well as African and Oceanic art. 

At Lempertz you can take part in painting and other auctions in a variety of ways. Whether you attend personally, submit absentee bids, or bid by telephone or online: We would like to welcome all art lovers, collectors and gallerists to Lempertz!

Points to consider before, during and after an auction can be found here:

Before the auction

Register at MyLempertz

You can participate in our auctions to purchase a work of art in one of the following ways: 

  • In the saleroom - you attend the auction in person and bid in the room.
  • As an absentee bidder – you can leave a written maximum amount to which you wish to bid up to. The auctioneer will use this bid on your behalf. You can leave absentee bids in writing in our online catalogues, or you can fill out a bidding form and send it per fax or email to the Lempertz branch in which the auction is to take place.
  • As a telephone bidder – please complete a bidding form to let us know which lots you would like to bid on and we will call you during the auction shortly before the lot is offered for sale.
  • As a live bidder online – You can find instructions for live bidding here: Guide to live bidding

Information regarding data protection can be found in our Legal Notice. For further questions please contact our staff: +49 221925729 0

How do I participate in a Lempertz auction?

With your own profile at MyLempertz, you can easily compile and manage you own list of personal favourites for upcoming auctions. Your favourite isn’t listed this time? Our Artist Alert will automatically inform you via email as soon as a lot with your favourite artist is foreseen for an upcoming auction. Register now at MyLempertz!

Registering to bid

If you wish to participate in person in an auction in one of our houses in Germany or Belgium, you will receive a bidding number at that location. If you place an absentee bid or bid on the telephone, please send a completed and signed bidding form to the Lempertz location. You can print out the bidding form as a PDF document or use the form provided in the back of your auction catalogue. Please note: all bids must be received at least 24 hours before the auction (48 hours for new customers).

Initial registration

Are you a new customer? If so, please send us the following documents:

  • A copy of your personal ID or passport
  • A proof of address (gas, electricity or telephone bill, or official correspondence)
  • If available, references from other auction houses 

You will need to send us these documents at least 48 hours before the start of the auction in order for us to carry out the registration properly. Kunsthaus Lempertz adheres strictly to data protection. Please keep us updated of any changes to your personal information.

The auction

The auction catalogues

The auction catalogues are released around three weeks prior to the sale and include all items to be sold as well as all information regarding estimates, artists, etc. You can purchase print copies of the catalogues, view them online or search and discover the work of your choice via our app. Click here for our current auction catalogues and let yourself be inspired by our exclusive and wide-ranging selection. Register for our Newsletter to receive all up-to-date information from your preferred department. If you would like to purchase a print copy of one of our catalogues or a subscription, click here.

Previews and condition reports

We exhibit all the works of art by national and international artists, photographs and editions to be sold in our German-wide auctions in the auction house or gallery in the respective city. If you are unable to visit the previews, you can request images and condition reports free of charge from our experts. You can do this either by using the function "request condition report" in our online auction catalogues or in your wish list on our website. You can also send an email directly to one of the departments.

The sale

The auctioneer calls out the lots in numerical order and accepts bids from the saleroom, the telephones and from internet bidders. The hammer falls when the highest bid has been placed, and this bidder wins the lot. You can view the results of our auctions online after the sale.

Post-auction sales

Unsold lots are offered for sale after the auction and in our online auction catalogue. Please contact the department directly if you wish to place a post auction bid, have questions regarding the price or to a particular work or artist in the auction.

After the auction: Payment and Shipping

You are the winning bidder? Congratulations!


After the auction we will send you your invoice in the post, or via email if you prefer. We must ask you to settle your invoice within ten days to allow us to pay the consignors promptly. You can settle your invoice via bank transfer, credit card, or in cash. Please note that we charge a 2.1% fee for payment by credit card.

Should you have questions regarding your auction invoice, please do not hesitate to contact our accounts department:

Ms Ursula Ludwig Tel +49-(0)221-925 72940


The type of postage used depends on the objects purchased and on your preferences. You will find a suggestion as to the best method of shipping on your auction invoice.

If you have any questions with regard to shipping your purchases, please feel free to contact:
Mrs Linda Kieven


You are welcome to collect your purchases in person during our normal opening hours. Please let us know you are coming beforehand so that we can prepare your purchases for you. For a small fee we can also transport your purchases to one of our other branches. You will find information on this process on your auction invoice.

Please note that if you wish to collect works of art, pictures and sculptures destined for outside the EU in person, you will be required to pay a deposit for the German VAT of 19% of the hammer price. This deposit will be returned immediately upon notice of export. The customs documents required for personal export will be provided for you by our shipping department.

Click here for our branches and opening hours.

Shipping via a courier/post

Costs for transport by post (in Germany or overseas) will be listed on the auction invoice and payable in conjunction with the rest of the invoice.

Shipping via a shipping company

We are happy to organise the transport of your artworks/sculptures through a professional art logistics firm. The transport costs will be calculated for you directly by this company.

Transport insurance

Packages sent in the post and items sent via FedEx are both insured up to a value of €5,000. Items sent via a shipping company are insured separately by the company carrying out the contract.


Customs clearance for countries outside the EU will be carried out by the logistics firm or courier. If you wish to collect your items in person, you will need to carry out the customs clearance yourself upon leaving the EU.

Import and export restrictions (CITES)

According to regulation (EG) No. 116/2009, an export license is necessary when exporting cultural goods out of European Community territory, depending on the type or value of the object in question.

For the purposes of wildlife conservation, it is necessary to obtain an additional export license according to regulation (EG) No. 338/97 when exporting objects made of or containing certain materials out of European Community territory. Such export licenses for objects containing or made of protected materials are only granted under stringent conditions. These protected materials include, but are not limited to, ivory, rhinoceros horn, tortoiseshell and certain types of coral.