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.


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.

Zambra the Detective, Unnatural Causes and The Red House Mystery

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.

...and British beauties

11 March 2001

Two weeks ago (Issue No. 1478) we reported the sale of Sigmar Polke’s re-discovered 1963-64 Untitled Doppel portrat, above left, at a record £1.05m at Sotheby’s February 7 Contemporary Art Sale in London to the German collector Friedrich ‘Mick’ Flick.

Elephant Island and a tale of Endurance ...

05 March 2001

UK: ILLUSTRATED here are just three lots from the remainder of the Sotheby’s Travel sale, representing polar voyages, English topography and Middle Eastern costume.

Spencelayh leads a gold mine’s motherlode

26 February 2001

UK: A COUPLE of weeks ago the Antiques Trade Gazette recorded the sale of the Joe Marshall Collection which put an extra sheen on the January sales at Sotheby’s South (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium). Among the goldmine of antiques veteran dealer Mr Marshall had shown Billingshurst chairman Tim Wonnacott in 1996, in a secret vault at his Blackburn shop, were a couple of oils by Charles Spencelayh R.M.S. (1865-1958) one of which was Mother shown here, which led the sale.

The Mysteries of Alchemy

19 February 2001

UK: THE English Literature and History sale held by Sotheby’s on December 19 opened in unexpectedly dramatic fashion when an English alchemical manuscript drawn up in 1624 by Leonard Smethley, miraculously transmuted an estimate of £6000-8000 into something just as welcome as the gold or silver that ancient practitioners hoped for – a huge bid of £180,000!

Judge lenient on price-fixing fine

12 February 2001

US: THE THREE year investigation into the price-fixing conspiracy between Sotheby’s and Christie’s entered its closing stages at a federal court in Manhattan last week as a federal judge formally accepted the criminal guilt of both auctioneers and no legal objections were raised to the terms of the $512m settlement in the civil lawsuit.

The sweet smell of Poésie’s success

12 February 2001

UK: ALTHOUGH not the highest grossing section of the four-day International sale at Sotheby's South, Billingshurst, the works of art section held on January 30 still saw a number of strong prices for sculpture and bronzes with the top seller this alabaster bust, right entitled Poésie.

Buyers warm to February art date

12 February 2001

UK: Last week London saw Sotheby’s and Christie’s first ever round of major Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary sales in February.

Clock clean reveals a fine feat of Clay

12 February 2001

UK: SOTHEBY'S Barometers and Clocks sale at Billingshurst on February 1 was one of the few areas where Joe Marshall’s treasures did not make a showing but expert-in-charge Jonathan Hills happily remarked on the current strength of the market across the board for horology.

US anti-trust ruling may mean UK suits

05 February 2001

Commission fixing charges may be brought against Christie’s and Sotheby’s in Britain following the dismissal of three lawsuits in America that sought compensation for purchases in London since 1992.

Church silver raises the roof at Mass

05 February 2001

Silverware from Quincy Church US: WHEN the United First Parish Church of Quincy, Mass., established as the Braintree Church in 1639, was forced to choose between keeping a roof overhead or selling ecclesiastical silver so valuable that it was rarely used, the congregation voted to sell the silver.

The very model of a British map...

29 January 2001

UK: THE Travel sale held by Sotheby’s on December 14 included a fine collection of what are known as ‘Lafreri-School’ maps, the product of a remarkable flowering of cartographic arts that took place in Rome and Venice, c.1540-70.

Albertus Seba’s Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri...

22 January 2001

US: A SCIENTIFIC library formed by New York businessman Joseph A. Frielich was sold by Sotheby’s New York for $10.7m (£7.2m) on January 10-11, 2001, and among many lots that made much higher than predicted sums was a magnificent copy of Albertus Seba’s Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri...

Sotheby’s to shed 165 staff

15 January 2001

Sotheby’s Holdings have confirmed that eight per cent of their staff worldwide – around 165 employees – are to lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting and restructuring programme.

17th century Portuguese mariner’s astrolabe

08 January 2001

USA: A 137-lot collection of marine archaeological artefacts salvaged by the company Arqueonautas from seven wrecks on the reefs of the Cape Verde Islands rounded off Sotheby’s horological and scientific auction on December 19.

Sotheby’s to open saleroom at Olympia

19 December 2000

LONDON: SOTHEBY’S have signed a five-year lease to open a new 54,000 sq ft year-round saleroom at Olympia in west London from June next year. The first sale is expected to take place in September.

Early 17th century Roman inlaid marble and hardstone table top

19 December 2000

A protracted telephone duel saw this striking early 17th century, Roman inlaid marble and hardstone table top go from a starting bid of £500,000 to a final price of £1,030,000 to top Sotheby’s Continental Furniture sale in London on December 13.

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