Mystery Masterpiece Auction – acclaimed artist or talented amateur?

Broadway Arts Festival is giving the public the chance to snap up original artwork by internationally renowned and emerging artists for as little as £25!

The festival is showcasing British painters, illustrators, printmakers and photographers, while helping to raise funds for the Broadway Arts Festival in 2025, school outreach programmes and local student arts bursaries.

  • Maybe you’ll spot a future rising star and get hold of a great investment?                                              
  • Which will see the greatest interest and get the highest bids? Professional or amateur?
  • This is an opportunity for emerging artists to be discovered…

The online auction is taking place on our website, with 80 small artworks donated anonymously by talented professional and emerging artists.

The opening bid for all these pieces is just £25 when the bidding opens on March 1st. This is an exciting opportunity to purchase a piece of original art, a mini ‘mystery masterpiece’ with all works being approximately A4 in size, or smaller (unframed).

Once bidding closes at 8pm on the 17th March 2024, all will be revealed when the artists’ names are published alongside their work on the website.

Those bidders who have won individual auction items will receive an email from Broadway Arts Festival letting them know and asking them to arrange prompt payment (within 1 week) to help us distribute items efficiently. We can post your masterpiece to you for a flat fee of £7.50 within the UK.

A huge thank you to the artists who have so generously donated so many wonderful pieces of art!

How does the online auction work?

Over 50 donated small artworks. These pieces are unframed 2D pieces- approximate size A4 or smaller. Monies raised will support the 2025 Festival Programme, schools outreach programmes and annual art student bursaries. Both professional and emerging artists have donated pieces.

You’ll need to register for an account on this site in order to take part in the online auction. If you try to bid for an item you’ll be asked either to Logon or to Register if you don’t already have an account.

When you click Register you get asked for your email address and you’ll get an email from Broadway Arts Festival giving you your user name and a temporary password. You’ll be given a link to your Dashboard where under Account Details – you can edit and update your password.

In addition here, if you want to remain anonymous in the auction you can update your Display Name which is how your name will appear on the site. Please note: your User name will remain the same but this is not visible to others bidders.

Whilst you can update other details on your dashboard here too- essentially you’re now ready to get going!

First of all you need to make sure you’re logged into your Account using your User name or email address and your password. You can then go through to the Online Auction pages. When you find a piece of art you’re interested in you can click on Details and then make your bid using the + and – signs to increase or decrease your bid. Then click Bid.

The start price for all items in the Online Auction is £25. The minimum incremental bid for this auction is £5. This is preset on the page but you can then increase your bid amount in £1 increments.

You’ll get an email from us confirming your bid has been received- unless your bid is immediately outbid by someone’s maximum bid.

You can also ask for the item to be added to your Watchlist here which means you’ll get an email when someone else bids on the same item.

When someone else places a bid that beats your current bid, you’ll get an email from Broadway Arts Festival telling you this. This will have a link to the auction item where you’ll be able to see all the detail under Auction History. From here you’ll also be able to consider increasing your bid.

Sometimes you may find that your bid is immediately beaten- automatically. This is because someone else has placed a higher Maximum Bid which beat your latest bid. When this happens you’ll get the following messages on the auction page to tell you this ‘Your bid was successful but you’ve been outbid‘ and across the top you’ll see ‘You were outbid. Try Again!‘. You can again consider whether you want to increase your bid.

See ‘How does Maximum bid work on the site?‘ for more information.

To save you having to manually keep an eye on individual item bidding you could decide at any point that there is a Max Bid that you’re prepared to go to. This means that the system will automatically place incremental bids, up to this level, if other bidders outbid you. The benefit is that you don’t need to keep such a close eye on the bidding.

All you need to do is place a bid that is the maximum you’re prepared to go to. Take care to only place this type of bid if you really are prepared to pay this price!

The maximum bid system will ensure that you ‘outbid’ any other bids by the minimum incremental bid upto the level of your Max bid. In others words, if there’s no need to pay your Max bid to win the auction you won’t- you’ll just pay the minimum amount required to win the item.

An example of how Max Bid works:

  • Auction opening price is £25 (minimum incremental bid £5)
  • Bidder 1 places a bid of £40 which becomes their Max bid (not visible to others), Current bid becomes £25 ie the minimum amount required to win the item.
  • Bidder 2 places a bid of £35 to beat the Current bid. They are told their bid was ‘Successful but they’ve been Outbid’. The Current bid becomes £40- Bidder 1 is winning.
  • Bidder 2 places another bid of £45. This bid becomes £45 as the Current bid as it outbids the Max bid of Bidder 1. Bidder 2 is now winning the auction with a Maximum Bid of £45.
  • The auction ends and Bidder 2 wins the auction and has to pay £45 as the winning bid.

Please note: if your bid is exactly the same as another person’s Maximum bid then the other person’s bid will automatically win as this was placed first.


From your Dashboard you can click on My Auction Activity. Here you’ll be able to see any pieces you’ve placed an active bid on. You can click on the item to make another bid. On each item you’ll be able to see the Auction History which will show you all the successful bids that have been placed.

You’ll be able to see the Current Bid which is the bid price that is currently winning the auction (this may not be yours!). If you’ve place a Maximum bid ie the price you’re prepared to bid upto, you’ll also see this on this page.

In addition, if you’ve added the item to your Watchlist , you’ll get emails to tell you if anyone else has bid a higher bid than you.

Generally speaking it is not possible to retract a bid. However, if you accidentally bid the wrong amount it may be possible to correct this. For example, you meant to bid £40, not £400. In this case, you should contact us as soon as you become aware of the error at Broadway Arts Festival will make a decision depending on the current state of play in the auction and the timing of your request.  We will always aim to assist where a genuine mistake has been made.

TIP- when bidding always double check that you’ve entered the correct amount especially when making a last minute bid!

When the Auction ends – if you are the winner you’ll get an email from Broadway Arts Festival letting you know with payment details. You’ll need to give us your postal address, email and phone number. Here you can let us know (in the Notes) that you would like to collect your piece in person from Broadway rather than have it posted to you.

So that we can distribute auction items efficiently after the auction closes at 8pm on 17th March 2024, we’d ask all winners to pay promptly within 1 week. Postage and packaging within the UK is charged at a flat rate of £7.50.

If payment is not received within 1 week, Broadway Arts Festival reserve the right to either re-auction the item or to take the appropriate bid that would have won the auction, had the person who didn’t pay, not enter the auction process.

So that we can distribute auction items efficiently after the auction closes at 8pm on 17th March 2024, we’d ask all winners to pay promptly- ideally within 1 week.

If payment is not received within 1 week, Broadway Arts Festival reserve the right to either re-auction the item or to take the appropriate bid that would have won the auction, had the person who didn’t pay, not enter the auction process.

Email reminders will be sent asking you to make payment.

Any unsold work can be reclaimed by the artist after the auction.

You can view the Terms and Conditions for the online auction here