Sotheby's

Sotheby’s have been holding auctions since 1744.  Founded in London, where they moved into salerooms on Bond Street in 1917, Sotheby’s expanded to New York in 1955 and now have salerooms and offices around the world.

Sotheby’s offer specialist sales in over 70 different categories though four major salerooms, six smaller ones and through their online bidding platform BIDnow.


Double whammy for astute vendor

11 October 2002

After the spectacular HK$37m (£3,394,495) price bid for the Yongzheng (1723-35) peach vase in Sotheby’s Hong Kong May 7 sale, their New York rooms had high hopes for this yellow ground famille rose double gourd vase, Qianlong period (1736-95), consigned by the same private US vendor, in their Chinese outing on September 19. They were not disappointed by the outcome.

Ploughed up and given away, sculpture sells for $600,000

11 October 2002

The extensive press coverage given over to the conflict in Afghanistan may have helped re-focus collectors’ attentions on the magnificent Gandharan sculpture produced in this troubled region in the second and third centuries AD.

Star lot strikes too late, but sale is in chime with demand

08 October 2002

Clocks, Watches and Wristwatches: There was a solid performance for the 288 lots of Clocks, Watches and Wristwatches offered by Sotheby’s Olympia (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) on September 19 marred only by the failure of the potential best seller, the 18th century English musical and automaton clock attributed to James Cox, London.c.1775.

Fruits of the earth yield top prices

08 October 2002

With the antiquities market suffering from high prices and criminal scandals and a shortage of good material, it is no real surprise that collectors have turned to natural, as opposed to man-made, artefacts of greater age and, arguably, equal beauty.

Annigoni’s majestic appeal goes worldwide

03 October 2002

THE Italian painter Pietro Annigoni (1910-1988) is forever associated in English minds with his dramatic 1955 portrait of The Queen, which now hangs in The National Portrait Gallery and which still has plenty of admirers, including HM herself.

The leader of the pack

23 September 2002

With the government still dithering over whether and when it should put a bill banning hunting with dogs in England to the vote in the House of Commons, it could hardly be a more ironic time for Sotheby's to be auctioning the only known portrait of the 'Father of Foxhunting' and the founder and first Master of the Quorn Hunt.

Syonara to an architectural antique dynasty

10 September 2002

WHEN Tom Crowther founded Crowther of Syon Lodge dealing in antique chimneypieces in 1876, the prevailing design trends were moving from Gothic Revival to Aesthetic, and over the next 125 years the Middlesex firm have serviced every subsequent design trend.

Dutch practising the art of Brinkmanship…

10 September 2002

Dutch designer and architect Anne Paul Brinkman is a well known name in interior decorating circles. He opened his first Antiek Curiosa shop in 1972 at the tender age of 15 and over the next 30 years established himself as the creator of what he terms Gesamtkunstwerke – total interiors combining architecture, antique and modern works of art with a sympathy for the original surroundings.

At £7500, the skirl of the pearl

10 September 2002

Les Ecosses have always had a certain cachet in France and it was the Parisian jewellers Chaumet who, in the 1950s, made this brooch, right, in the form of bagpipes, the naturally dimpled baroque pearl used imaginatively as the bag, the pipes adorned by single cut diamonds and turquoise stones. At Sotheby’s Gleneagles sale it sold to a Scottish private bidder at £4000.

Mark Twain rents a kitten or three as company for the summer vacation in New Hampshire…

04 September 2002

A presentation set of The Writings of Mark Twain offered as part of the Sotheby’s New York sale of June 18, a 1903 ‘Hillcrest’ edition, lacked one of the 23 volumes and some of the spines and labels were darkened.

Green bags the top shot at Gleneagles

03 September 2002

This large Highland hunting landscape by John Frederick Herring Senior proved to be the highlight of Sotheby’s annual auction series held last week at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, when it sold for £470,000 (plus 19.5/10% premium) to London dealer Richard Green Fine Art bidding on the phone.

Patchy results for summer’s sports

28 August 2002

The extraordinary prices realised for football memorabilia such as the £140,000 bid at Christie’s South Kensington for Pele’s Brazilian 1970 World Cup Final shirt reflect sporting collectors’ current obsession with the beautiful game.

Bernini traits win backing at £1.9m

27 August 2002

This muscular terracotta modellino of a moor, Il Moro, 2ft 75/8in high (80.5cm), attributed to Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), wrested the top slot from a powerfully modelled pair of 16th century bronzes in Sotheby’s (19.5/10% buyer’s premium) 174-lot European Sculpture and Works of Art 900-1900 auction on July 9.

Rare way to keep a wild boar at arms length

27 August 2002

The schwein-degen, or boar sword, is a rare beast. Good examples can elude collectors for decades, and the cobwebbed halls of schloss- dwelling aristocrats are a favourite hiding place. So there was plenty of excitement when an example broke cover at Sotheby’s sale of arms and armour in London on July 10.

Forthcoming attractions…

14 August 2002

BUDDING interior designers will find no shortage of dates for the diary in the salerooms next month. On September 30 Sotheby’s Olympia launch their first in a new series of interior decorator sales with a multi-property selection featuring material billed as “of great visual impact to appeal to the professional designer and discerning collector alike”.

Sotheby’s get a better grip on costs but still face uncertainty

12 August 2002

SOTHEBY’S chief executive Bill Ruprecht is bullish about the company’s second quarter performance, reporting a 25 per cent increase in net income on the same period last year.

Oriented on London

07 August 2002

AT a convivial press lunch at Sotheby’s last week, scribes and dealers mingled to officially welcome the fifth Asian Art in London celebrations, scheduled for November 7 to 15.

Goethe’s Longing and Napoleon’s lost linen

07 August 2002

TOP LOT in this comparatively modest sale of Continental books and manuscripts at Sothebys on June 11, at £52,000 to a European dealer, was an autograph manuscript of one of Goethe’s more celebrated poems, Sehnsucht, (Longing) dated to c.1802-03.

Top-notch price for deluxe model

30 July 2002

This month has seen a crop of antique arms and armour offered in the London rooms with Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Bonhams all holding sales in July. Pictured here is the most expensive item of the summer series, a rare cased Colt belt revolver of c.1840, which made £200,000 at Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) sale in their Bond Street rooms on July 24.

Taubman loses appeal

29 July 2002

A US federal appeals court has upheld the conviction of former Sotheby’s chairman A. Alfred Taubman who had been found guilty of conspiring with rival auctioneer Christie’s International to fix commission fees.

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