What is it about auctions that gets our juices flowing? And more important, how do auctions work? This timely illustrated volume has all the answers. Beginning with his own initiation into the auction world and the history of the institution, C. Hugh Hildesley, executive vice president of Sotheby's and an auctioneer of international renown, leads us through the ins and outs of both selling and buying. We learn how an auction house works and who creates a sale. Hildesley shows us how to pick an auction house and explains estimates and reserves. The procedures for buying, mysterious to many, are detailed along with methods of payment. Then Hildesley takes us through an auction step by step, where we learn the roles of each player. Finally, there is pertinent information on the range of services provided by auction houses from establishing market value and insurance to charity sales and benefits.