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.


Ramelli’s Le Diverse et artificiose machine ...

26 March 2001

One of 194 full-page engraved plates from a 1588 first of Ramelli’s Le Diverse et artificiose machine..., a study of the science and technology of machines in the Renaissance and one of the more famous illustrated books of the 16th century.

Carolus Linnaeus’ Systema naturae...

26 March 2001

Pictured here is the title page of one of the more important publications in the history of science – Carolus Linnaeus’ Systema naturae... of 1735, which laid the groundwork for the systematic classification of plants and animals.

Hevelius’ Selenographia...

26 March 2001

Sold at $75,000 (£51,725), at the Freilich sale which took place at Sotheby’s New York on January 10 and 11, was a superb copy of the first complete lunar atlas, Hevelius’ Selenographia... of 1647.

Histoire naturelle ... Règne Minéral

26 March 2001

One of eight colour printed and hand-finished plates from the only known copy of a work that Fabien Gautier D’Agoty issued in 1777, apparently as a prospectus for his Histoire naturelle ... Règne Minéral.

‘Lost’ Michelangelo – appeal fund launched with £1/2m gift

19 March 2001

UK: A ‘LOST’ drawing by Michelangelo could be saved for the nation if a £7.5m appeal, launched this week, succeeds.

Aldine editio princeps of the works of Aristotle

19 March 2001

US: BOUND in late 17th century French red morocco gilt, this is the five-volume Aldine editio princeps of the works of Aristotle, the 1497-98 first edition in Greek and, in the amount of research and editing that went into its creation, let alone the fine typography, the greatest printing project of the 15th century.

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre

19 March 2001

UK: IN THE original greyish purple ribbed and blind-stamped cloth bindings, this 1847 first edition of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre brought a bid of £30,000 from an American dealer, who may or may not have been that same, un-named West Coast dealer who bought some of the Jane Austens described above, and who also paid £7000 for a three vol. 1853 first of Charlotte’s Villette in the original greyish-olive morocco cloth.

The Prince of Wales’s fine blow for a fine bow

19 March 2001

This 91/2in (24cm) long silver bugle was conceived not as a musical instrument but for quite a different purpose – as a prize for archery and is fascinating for the insight it gives us into a late 18th century revival of the skill.

Sotheby’s first to show pain of fines

19 March 2001

Christie’s report record sales as rivals lose market share

Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and Emma

19 March 2001

UK: IN THE original grey-brown paper boards with printed paper labels on the spines, these first edition copies of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, four vols. 1818, and Emma, three vols. 1816, sold at £19,000 and £22,000 respectively to an un-named US dealer.

The Inheritors and A Dance to the Music of Time

19 March 2001

Illustrated here are two more selections from Sotheby's English Literature & History sale held on December 14.

Mrs Henry Wood’s East Lynne

19 March 2001

UK: THIS elaborately gilt violet cloth binding on an 1861 first edition of Mrs Henry Wood’s East Lynne was identified by Sotheby’s as Carter’s B ‘Presentation Binding’ but their view on the value of this copy – which had all edges gilt but was fragile at the hinges and partially split in Vol. III – was a modest £600-800.

Nibbling at Defoe’s verse…

19 March 2001

UK: WRITTEN in Daniel Defoe’s characteristically neat hand, this is one of only nine recorded examples of his autograph verse, and though small creatures have nibbled into this copy of his poem, Of resignation, seven of those other verse specimens are in the celebrated Defoe notebook in the Huntington Library and the other is in the Portland Collection at the University of Nottingham, leaving this as the only example still in private hands.

More from the Ronald Segal Collection

19 March 2001

UK: ILLUSTRATED here are three more selections from the recent sale of the Ronald Segal Collection at Sotheby's English Literature & History sale held on December 14.

Red Harvest, The Man Who Knew Too Much and Death on the Nile

12 March 2001

UK: THREE more selections from the Ronald Segal library which was auctioned off in Sotheby’s English Literature & History sale held on December 19.

The Informer and The Invisible Man

12 March 2001

UK: TWO more selections from the Ronald Segal library which was auctioned off in Sotheby’s English Literature & History sale held on December 19.

From Romney Pringle to Morse – detectives are right on the case

12 March 2001

UK: THREE more selections from the Ronald Segal library which was auctioned off in Sotheby’s English Literature & History sale held on December 19.

Apad Plesch’s Himalayan Plants are rediscovered in Nottingham...

12 March 2001

UK: ARPAD PLESCH, born in 1890 in Budapest, was a member of an old Hungarian family who counted many doctors among their ranks. Arpad Plesch too became a doctor, though of law not medicine, but family traditions and his national heritage undoubtedly influenced him in the accomplishment for which he is best remembered in botanical and bibliographical circles – the assembly of a magnificent botanical library, the Stiftung fur Botanik of Vaduz in Liechtenstein.

Sotheby’s expect new record for Turner watercolour

12 March 2001

UK: Sotheby’s are hoping one of the most important watercolours by J.M.W. Turner to come to the rostrum will smash all previous auction records for the artist when it comes under the hammer in London on June 14.

The Ronald Segal library of detective fiction

12 March 2001

UK: DETECTIVE fiction is the theme of the first of my much-delayed reports on the English Literature & History sale held by Sotheby’s on December 19 – though there have been several cross-references to items from this sale in earlier issues – and it takes the form of a largely pictorial selection of books from the relevant section of the Ronald Segal library.

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