Tickets for Sitting With Jane auction sold out

On Friday, the Sitting With Jane bookbenches will be going, going, gone – and while there is still time to register to bid online, tickets to the actual auction evening have now sold out. 

A ‘Wild in Art’ event, delivered by Destination Basingstoke and in association with Festival Place, thousands of people enjoyed going around the Sitting With Jane bookbench trail between June 17 and August 30, and the popularity of the bookbenches has been reflected in demand for tickets to the auction.

On Friday, September 15, 22 bookbench lots will be up for grabs at the auction and 75 per cent of the proceeds raised will go to Ark Cancer Centre Charity – leaving a lasting legacy that will help and support cancer patients and their families as Ark is raising £5million towards a unique local NHS cancer treatment centre.

The auction will take place at The Ark Conference Centre, in Basingstoke. It is being organised by well-known fine art auctioneers and valuers Andrew Smith & Son, from Itchen Stoke, near Winchester.

While tickets to the auction are now sold out, bidders will still be able to post bids online or by telephone on the night, but in order to bid for one of the bookbenches, potential bidders must register before the event by going to Follow the link to the ‘Sitting with Jane’ auction and register to bid live online. You will have the opportunity to listen to the sale and bid in real-time. 

While ticket holders will be able to register to bid on the night in person, they need to do so before the auction gets underway. All other registration or commission bids must be with the auctioneers by noon on Friday, September 15.

So ahead of the auction, here are some useful Q and As for potential bidders:

Q: Is every bookbench unique?

A: All the benches have been individually-designed and painted by local or national artists and are completely unique. You will own the only one of that design.

Q: How do I bid for a bookbench?

A: If you are coming to the auction, you will need to complete a registration form on arrival and you will be given a paddle number. Please bring two forms of ID including a utility bill. 

The auction is a fundraising event for Ark Cancer Centre Charity. There is no Buyer’s Commission or VAT payable on the hammer price. 

Q: I cannot get to the auction – can I still bid?

A: Yes, there are two options:

1. Commission Bid – Please contact the auctioneers Andrew Smith & Son by noon on Friday, September 15, with your maximum bid either by phone + 44 (0)1962 735988 or email 

2. Log on to and follow the link to the ‘Sitting with Jane’ auction and register to bid live online. You will have the opportunity to listen to the sale and bid in real-time. The auction commences at 19.30 GMT on Friday.

Q: If my bid is successful, how do I pay for my bookbench?

A: If you are successful then you will have the opportunity to pay on the night. We accept debit cards, cash (up to the equivalent of £10,000 !) and company cheques (unfortunately using a credit card will incur an extra 2.5% on the hammer price). Alternatively, you can settle your invoice by bank transfer directly in to a secure client’s account – details will be on the invoice). Commission bidders can pay by bank transfer or cheque. 

Q: If I win, how will I get my bookbench home?

A: Your bookbench can be stored until Monday, September 18. 

We recommend Simon Frost, Easymoves, for local delivery. He can be contacted on 02380 785507 or 

We also recommend Alban Shipping for packing and delivery long distance within UK and worldwide. They can be contacted on +44 (0)1582 490147 or

Q: Can I buy a concrete plinth for my BookBench?

A: You can buy a concrete plinth separately if you plan to display your bookbench outside. They cost £150 plus delivery and weigh 600 kg

Q: What are the bookbenches made from?

A: The bookbenches are made from a mixture of Class II fire retardant laminating resin and chopped roving fibreglass over an initial brushed on layer of gel coat.

Each bookbench measures 1450 cm long x 920 cm high x 700 cm deep and weighs 36 kg

Q: Will my bookbench be insured?

A: All sculptures are covered by The Ark Conference Centre insurance until Monday, September 18. After that date, you are responsible for any insurance.

Picture caption: A total of 22 Sitting With Jane bookbench lots will be up for auction on September 15.