National Mercantile Bank Ltd v Rymill: CA 1881

The plaintiff was the owner of horses the subject of a bill of sale. The grantor of the bill sold the horses privately in the defendant’s auction yard and following the sale, on the grantor’s instructions, the auctioneer delivered the horses to the buyer. It was held that there had been no conversion.
Held: The auctioneer did not claim to transfer the title and did not purport to sell; all the dominion he exercised over the chattels was to redeliver them to the person to whom the man from whom he had received them had told him to redeliver them. On the evidence there had been no sale by the auctioneer. A bailee escapes liability for conversion, not only where he merely redelivers to his bailor, but where he delivers at the bailor’s directions to a third party without knowledge of any adverse claim, though with knowledge that such delivery is in pursuance of a sale or other disposition.

Bramwell LJ, Brett and Cotton LJJ
[1881] 44 LTNS 767
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedMarcq v Christie, Manson and Woods Ltd CA 23-May-2003
The claimant’s stolen painting was put up for sale by the defendant. On being withdrawn, they returned it to the person who had brought it in. The claimant sought damages.
Held: There was no reported case in which a court has had to consider . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Agency, Torts – Other

Updated: 22 January 2022; Ref: scu.182754