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On Sale (Bo/s) Books



On Sale (Bo/s) Books



Archive reference number



On Sale Books (NGA27/3/1-9) and Cards (NGA27/3/10) contain details of artworks (including pictures, drawings, etchings, engravings, sculptures and minatures) which were bought on consignment and assigned an 'On Sale' (o/s) number. Consignment was often a preferable choice for sellers of artworks; as payment would only take place if sold, and unsold works would be returned to the original owner. O/s numbers were usually, but not always, prefixed with a letter indicating the location of sale:

- Bo/s, Bond Street, London On Sale

- Lo/s, Liverpool On Sale

- Mo/s, Manchester On Sale

- Wo/s, Waterloo Place, London On Sale

Bo/s numbers are the most common, and by the second volume, On Sale Books were often referred to as Bo/s Books. These numbers were recorded in volumes up till 1981, but from 1981-1987 the information was entered into a card catalogue. Once a number was assigned, the following information was recorded within the volumes, and (after 1981) the card index:

Date received / On Sale number / Artist / Title / From whom purchased / Cost price / Description (medium) / Sale estimate / How disposed of / Date / Sale price / Notes


- Prefixes are not always consistent and further volume-specific information can be found within the descriptions of individual On Sale Books.

- The Windsor Castle Engravings and On Sale Book contains references to the associated day book series.

For more general information about the Agnew's archive as a whole, refer to the description at NGA27.

Record type


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