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.


Results point to more job cuts

23 August 2001

AS Sotheby’s announced their plans for Billingshurst, they also revealed disappointing worldwide results for the second quarter of the year that showed profits halved ($14.3m compared to $30m for 2000). They predicted a loss for the year as a whole.

Sotheby’s reposition Billingshurst as supplier to Olympia

20 August 2001

UK: SOTHEBY’S have announced their intention to reorganise their Summers Place, Billingshurst, West Sussex operation to “take advantage of the new Olympia saleroom”. The restructure involves ending all general sales at the end of November and specialising in garden statuary, in which the rooms have established a leading reputation, and modern and vintage sporting guns and rifles.

As Sotheby’s hold the last high-value picture show, the Hague school revival gets under way

20 August 2001

After 15 years of holding picture sales at Billingshurst, Sotheby’s (20/15/10% buyer’s premium) will, from December this year, be holding all their mid-range art auctions in their new saleroom at Olympia.

It was cheaper in the 1930s...

14 August 2001

Probably written within a generation of the death (in 1279) of the author, Conrad of Saxony, a charming and almost perfectly preserved manuscript containing his Speculum Mariae Virginis and other sermons or texts in praise of the Virgin was another of the highlights of the manuscripts from the Ritman collection sold at Sotheby’s – and one with a distinguished provenance.

Sporting sale at Sotheby's

13 August 2001

Sotheby’s (20/15/10% buyer’s premium) offered buyers two sporting sales last month, on July 18 and 19, with the first day devoted to a large golfing section plus a mix of other sports, while the subsequent session comprised 200 lots of pictures, objects and ephemera devoted to equestrian sports.

Sotheby’s Olympia – first impressions…

13 August 2001

UK: THE Antiques Trade Gazette has been given an exclusive preview of Sotheby’s new saleroom at Olympia. With 120 men a day working onsite to meet the September 3 deadline, prior to the first sale on September 18, one can see it is going to be very impressive indeed.

Summer is set fair as Bailey rolls out carpet within tent

06 August 2001

ESSEX organiser Robert Bailey holds his main South of England summer fair at, appropriately, Sotheby’s South, one mile north of Billingshurst in West Sussex, from August 17 to 19.

Favrile glass and bronze dogwood cone chandelier

06 August 2001

Tiffany Favrile glass brought the biggest money at Sotheby’s (20/15/10% buyer’s premium) 407-lot 20th Century Works of Art, June 5. Foremost was a privately consigned Favrile glass and bronze dogwood cone chandelier, 3ft 4in (1m), with chains, ceiling cap and verdigris patina.

Novelty appeal of well known collection

03 August 2001

UK: Sotheby’s horological sales always incorporate a section on mechanical music. Their latest event featured material from a well known, leading figure in this trade: the late Jack Donovan, the Portobello Road dealer in tinplate toys, automata and musical boxes, who died in 1998.

Food for thought in butcher’s bill

03 August 2001

Not quite in the same league as Dutch Old Master fish stalls, Victorian butchers’ models still elicit the same puzzled question in our squeamish age – why did anyone go to elaborate lengths to compose such a gris(t)ly display?

P is for the Potters – Beatrix and Harry

27 July 2001

THERE WAS no competing with Harry Potter in the Sotheby’s sale of July 10, and bidding rose to £75,000 for Thomas Taylor’s original illustration for the the book that launched those wizard tales in 1997, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, but Beatrix Potter did her bit too, as did Edmund Dulac, Kay Nielsen, W. Heath Robinson, E.H. Shepard, Lawson Wood, Ronald Searle, Dr Seuss and others.

Munnings preparatory sketch makes £62,000

27 July 2001

UK: SIR Alfred James Munnings proved as great a magnet as ever at Sotheby’s South’s Billingshurst rooms on July 18 when a watercolour sketch for one of his oil paintings fetched a hammer price of £62,000, more than double the low estimate.

The Eumaeus episode, an early draft from Joyce’s Ulysses manuscript

27 July 2001

A previously unknown and early draft of one of the key closing chapters of James Joyce’s Ulysses, the Eumaeus episode, was offered at Sotheby’s on July 10, and it was one of two committed private buyers who took the lot to £780,000, just short of the low estimate.

£220,000 for unique Klinger silver cast

23 July 2001

UK: The highest and arguably most unexpected result in the 19th century section of Sotheby’s July 11 Works of Art sale came with the piece pictured here, a 3ft 7in (1.1m) high silvered statue of Galatea by Max Klinger which sold for £220,000. The subject is a characteristically symbolist work showing the sea nymph seated on a mottled grey marble throne carved with dolphins and is perhaps inspired by Gustave Doré’s painting shown at the 1880 Salon, and by Huysmann’s novel A Rebours.

The Hours of Albrecht of Brandenburg number £2.7million

19 July 2001

UK: This article looks at a magnificent Book of Hours illustrated for one of the wealthiest prelates and patrons of the arts in 16th century Europe, Cardinal Albrecht of Brandenburg.

Magnum force…

19 July 2001

“Everyone’s looking over their shoulder and being careful not to overstock at the moment,” says Stephen Mould of Sotheby’s (10% buyer’s premium), whose June 27-28 single-owner sale of Finest and Rarest Wines The Great Collection nonetheless took £2.4m, the fourth highest total ever achieved for a single-owner wine sale.

Moas, the Rodrigues Solitary and poor old Martha…

09 July 2001

BOUND in contemporary half morocco, one of 300 signed copies of the 1907 first edition of Rothschild’s Extinct Birds, containing 49, mostly chromo plates after Keulemans, Lodge, Grönvold, Smit and Frohawk, went at £3000 to a collector in the Sotheby’s sale of June 5.

A home-grown market for bonsai

06 July 2001

Garden statuary is now an accepted part of the antiques market, but what about plants and trees? Auctioneers are prepared to sell anything that can remotely be classified as collectable these days, but there is a genuine case for admitting bonsai trees – works of art organic and antique – to the salerooms.

Colour sketch for the painting Flaming June by Lord Frederic Leighton

04 July 2001

Illustrated is one of Lord Frederic Leighton’s most famous compositions Flaming June. This 41/2in by 41/4in colour sketch for the painting was understandably one of the sensations of Sotheby’s dispersal of the Leverhulme Collection at Thornton Manor, Merseyside, on June 26-28.

Sotheby’s (almost) in Paris

04 July 2001

FRANCE: A trio of Paris summer high season auctions which Sothebys are staging jointly with Paris auctioneers Poulain Le Fur got off to a Fr64m (£6.2m) start last week with the sale of the contents of the Monaco apartment of the Italian collectors and dealers M et Mme Luigi Laura on June 27.

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