Glossary of Terms

Common terms and phrases are used in describing musical instruments that are included in Ingles & Hayday’s catalogues and website.

Below is a list of the most common terms and phrases. If you are uncertain as to the meaning of any term, please contact us for further
clarification at or +44 (0)20 7042 7337.

Common Terms


The bidder is any person considering, making or attempting to make a bid, by whatever means, and includes Buyers.



The buyer is the person who makes the highest bid or whose offer is accepted by the auctioneer, and includes such person’s principal when bidding as agent.


Buyer’s Premium

The buyer’s premium is the commission payable by the buyer on the hammer price at the rates set out in Useful Information for Buying at Auction. The buyer’s premium will be added to the hammer price of each lot and is payable by the buyer as part of the total purchase price. The buyer’s premium is 20% of the hammer price.



The estimate is always presented as a low and high estimate, which represent the range in which the auctioneer expects the final hammer price to fall. Bidding may exceed the high estimate.


Hammer Price

The hammer price is the sale price of the instrument at the point when the auctioneer’s hammer falls, or in the case of a post-auction sale, the agreed sale price.


Purchase Price

The purchase price is the hammer price and applicable buyer’s premium and VAT.


Reserve Price

The reserve price is the (confidential) minimum hammer price at which the seller has agreed to sell a lot. It will never be higher than the low estimate but may be lower. If the bidding does not reach the reserve price then the lot will remain unsold.



The seller is the person offering a lot for sale (including their agent, other than Ingles & Hayday), executors or personal representatives.



VAT is UK Value Added Tax at the prevailing rate. Further information is contained in Useful Information for Buying at Auction.


Condition Report

As a courtesy, condition reports are available for most of the instruments offered for sale and are prepared as accurately and comprehensively as possible, however, Ingles & Hayday are not professional restorers and buyers may wish to consult a restorer or violin maker before the sale for an independent condition report.

Ingles & Hayday encourage prospective buyers to inspect the instruments before bidding in an auction or puchasing by private sale. The instruments are available to be viewed by appointment at our premises at 77 Great Titchfield Street before the pre-auction exhibitions. During the pre-auction exhibition, all of the instruments are available to be viewed at Sotheby’s premises. All instruments are offered for sale in the condition they are in at the time of the auction or private sale.


Pre-sale Estimate Prices

The estimates published in Ingles & Hayday’s catalogues have been determined by Ingles & Hayday’s specialists and are based upon authorship, condition, quality of example, rarity, and provenance. Estimates are intended to reflect past auction prices and current market trends and are a guide for prospective buyers. Any bid between the low and high pre-sale estimates would, in our opinion, offer a chance of success. However lots can realised prices above or below the pre-sale estimates.

Pre-sale estimates printed in the auction catalogue or presented on Ingles & Hayday’s website do not include the buyer’s premium or VAT.

As a courtesy to bidders, currency conversions for the estimates are provided in the online catalogue. These estimates are for approximation purposes only, however, and all bids, consignor reserves, invoicing, and payments will be conducted in Pounds Sterling.


Attributions & Authorship

Please read carefully the terms of the Authenticity Guarantee and the Conditions of Business for Buyers, in particular Conditions 3 and 4.


1. Jean Baptiste Vuillaume (b Mirecourt, 1798; d Paris, 1875)

The instrument is in our opinion the work of the named maker. This category also includes instruments which were originally sold under the name of a particular dealer which were made especially for that dealer by a maker or workman who is in many cases unknown or unidentifiable.


2. Ascribed to Jean Baptiste Vuillaume

The instrument is believed to be by the named maker in the opinion of the author(s) or the authorities whose literature or certificates are referred to in the footnote to the lot. In our opinion the instrument is not necessarily the work of this maker or from the period of this maker.


3. Attributed to Jean Baptiste Vuillaume

A traditional attribution as to the identity of the maker or date of manufacture of an instrument with which we do not necessarily agree.


4. Workshop of Jean Baptiste Vuillaume

In our opinion, the instrument was probably executed by an unknown hand on the premises of and under the direct supervision of the named maker.


5. Circle of Jean Baptiste Vuillaume

In our opinion, the instrument was executed by a contemporary of the named maker and exhibits his characteristics.


6. Follower of Jean Baptiste Vuillaume; and School of Jean Baptiste Vuillaume

In our opinion, the instrument bears the characteristics of the named maker but may not be from the period of this maker.


7. Labelled or stamped or inscribed

These terms are descriptive only and are not used by us to indicate our opinion as to the authorship, attribution, origin, date, age or provenance of an instrument. Unless a contrary opinion is expressed by us in the written description of a lot, potential buyers are advised to assume that an instrument which is labelled, stamped or inscribed with the name of a maker is not by that maker and may be a later copy or modelled after that maker.

Biographical details in Ingles & Hayday’s catalogues are drawn from: The New Grove Dictionary (sixth Edition); von Lütgendorff Die Geigen –und Lautenmacher von Mittelalter bis sur Gegenwart; William Henley Universal Dictionary of Violin & Bow Makers, and other standard sources. No assertion is made to the accuracy of these details.