under the hammer


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under the hammer

For sale, as in These paintings and Oriental rugs must come under the hammer if we're to pay the mortgage. This expression alludes to the auctioneer's hammer, which is rapped to indicate a completed transaction. [Mid-1800s]
See also: hammer

under the hammer

BRITISH
COMMON If something goes under the hammer, it is offered for sale at an auction. The first half of the collection goes under the hammer on Friday and there are some real treasures. A portrait by Dutch master Rembrandt went under the hammer for £4.18 million at Sotheby's yesterday. These are just some of the items under the hammer at the charity auction on 30 October. Note: The usual American expression is on the block. Note: In an auction, the auctioneer shows that a sale has been made by banging a hammer on a table.
See also: hammer

under the hammer

For sale at an auction.
See also: hammer