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.


Northeastern promise

28 November 2001

Individual entries consigned to Sotheby’s and Christie’s Chinese sales were an encouraging reminder to any jaded dealer that if you look hard enough and long enough, sleepers are still to be found.

Birthday gift yields £23,000 bonus

28 November 2001

Nothing is more certain to draw buyers in their droves than modestly estimated works from private collections. A single textile entry and two conservatively estimated porcelain collections did just that at Sotheby’s Olympia (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) inaugural Chinese Works of Art on November 16.

Taubman’s defence seeks to discredit Davidge and Brooks

26 November 2001

Counsel highlights undisputed lies: The most dramatic episode yet in the trial of Alfred Taubman was played out in a New York court last week. The former boss of Sotheby’s was accused by his one-time protegé, Diana ‘Dede Brooks’, of forcing her into a criminal conspiracy with arch rival Christie’s. He denies any wrongdoing.

£80,000 double for T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf in the Frederick B. Adams sale

22 November 2001

The Frederick B. Adams Jnr. library of English & American Literature was sold by Sotheby’s on November 6 and 7. The second day was devoted entirely to Adams’ magnificent Thomas Hardy collection, but among the highlights of the general sale was an inscribed presentation copy of the 1923, first English edition of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, illustrated right, that sold at a higher than expected £80,000 to Peter Harrington.

Exceptional Ruhlmann piece that proved the exception to the rule

21 November 2001

DECO & MODERNIST FURNITURE: While much of higher-end Deco struggled to find buyers prepared to match the bullish levels seen in recent seasons, there was still some interest in this field, and the odd exception to buck the trend.

Sotheby’s results point to market fall says Ruprecht

21 November 2001

SOTHEBY’S Holdings Inc, the auction house’s parent company, have announced third quarter revenues for 2001 of $38.4m and a net loss for the period of $33m.

Davidge points finger at Taubman

20 November 2001

FORMER Christie’s managing director Christopher Davidge has told the jury in the Alfred Taubman trial that Sotheby’s ex-chairman was involved in the illegal price-fixing between the two auction houses.

US appeals delay compensation as Taubman faces the jury

09 November 2001

As Sotheby’s ex-boss Alfred Taubman faced a New York jury last week on criminal charges of fixing vendors premiums with Christie’s, there was still no sign of money owed to dealers in the related civil law suit that was settled in April. The reason? Two US appeals.

Lower estimates bring higher bids and a Parthénis record

08 November 2001

Just like the following week’s 20th Century Italian sales, Sotheby’s (20/15/10% buyer’s premium) October 18 inaugural theme sale exclusively devoted to Greek art notched up selling rates that belied the pessimism prevailing in so many other sectors of the market.

Qianlong (1736-95) mark and period dragon vase

05 November 2001

Early Qing imperial porcelain has long been the darling of the Hong Kong Chinese auctions so when a Qianlong (1736-95) mark and period dragon vase with a previously unpublished pattern came up at Sotheby’s (20/15/10% buyer’s premium), Hong Kong on October 29, sparks flew and an auction record was set for a piece of Qianlong porcelain.

Paris auctions open up at last

30 October 2001

FRANCE: After a long and frustrating delay, Sotheby’s and Christie’s finally got the official go-ahead late last week to conduct auctions in France. They were among the first four auction houses to receive a licence from the French Conseil des Ventes on October 25 and both houses swiftly announced details of their inaugural sales to be held later this year.

Rediscovered Leighton offered on sothebys.com

24 October 2001

SOTHEBYS.COM are offering a rare portrait by Frederick Lord Leighton, which has been discovered in the estate of a collector from Indiana in the United States.

Strasbourg faience quells the nightmare

24 October 2001

Sotheby’s (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) move to Olympia was accompanied by a rethink of auction selling categories. Their general ceramic and glass sales have been split into smaller specialised European ceramics, British ceramics and glass auctions each to be held tri-annually at Olympia.

First major art sales since September 11 disappointing

17 October 2001

Last week’s German and Austrian art sales, the first major test of international art market since September 11, pointed to difficult conditions ahead for Sotheby’s and Christie’s – and indeed Phillips – during the forthcoming winter season.

Sotheby’s spell out policy on backing Olympia fairs

15 October 2001

Staff briefed on avoiding conflicts of interest. Sotheby's have sent out a memo to leading members of the trade involved with fairs at Olympia to explain how they will support exhibitors.

New growth in Chicago

12 October 2001

The imminent cessation of all sales – including wine – at Sotheby’s Chicago has left a gap in the Mid-West market that newly-established wine auctioneers Edward Roberts International are keen to fill. Brainchild of Edward Robert Brooks, the much-travelled head of Christie’s and the short-lived Phillips’ North American wine departments, Edward Roberts will mount their first live sale of fine and rare wines at The Union League Club of Chicago on Saturday, November 10.

Why small is beautiful...

12 October 2001

“For the really top things there’s no shortage of buyers, but the middle ground is weaker,” affirmed Stephen Mould of Sotheby’s wine department. “If you’ve got large parcels that depend on the trade, then bidders are more cautious. But if you’ve got small quantities of the finest things there are plenty of private buyers prepared to pay good money.”

Vita’s work returns to the Observer

10 October 2001

At the end of the morning session of Sotheby’s Garden Statuary sale at Billingshurst, the National Trust took over the rostrum to offer such items for gardening enthusiasts as an avenue of 40 young limes from the Trust’s nursery in Cheshire, home visits from Trust gardening experts and so on, but the piece of trade interest was a scrapbook kept by Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst donated by her son Nigel Nicolson.

Newcastle and Clapton Orient each have their fans…

08 October 2001

Stanley Matthews’ 1953 FA Cup winner’s medal, sold for £20,000 to TV presenter and Stoke fan Nick Hancock, was the lot on which national media publicity focussed, but the Football Memorabilia sale held by Sotheby’s on September 21 – one of the first sales at the new Olympia salerooms – also contained some 150 lots of programmes, match cards, magazines and related ephemera.

Pine pair of bookcases bring puzzle over prices

02 October 2001

AUTUMN opened at Sotheby’s Sussex with a modest, but quite keenly bid for, furniture offering where the top sellers were two (7ft 6in (2.29m) William IV pine and oak bookcases.

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