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.


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.

Big names quell the market jitters

02 July 2001

The London art market breathed a general sigh of relief last week after Sotheby’s and Christie’s Part I Impressionist and Modern sales belied the atmosphere of economic uncertainty with a clutch of high prices for classic works by the major names of late 19th and early 20th century art.

Heron soars to £260,000

27 June 2001

UK: FOLLOWING on from the success of the International section of the Seeger Collection in New York last month, high quality and low estimates once again proved a winning combination for Sotheby’s (20/15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) when on June 14 they offered works by British artists collected by Stanley Seeger over the last 20 or so years.

No b-side to holy see side

27 June 2001

UK: ONE of the more interesting features of the last sale at Sotheby’s (10 per cent buyer’s premium) on May 2 and 3 was the collection of German medieval coins formed by Beat Konrad Graf Reuttner von Weyl (d. 1969). This dispersal is interesting on two counts.

Georgian chinoiserie framed mirror painting

21 June 2001

UK: THIS Georgian chinoiserie framed mirror painting of c.1760 took the top slot at Sotheby’s June 13 English furniture sale when it sold to an American private buyer for £280,000.

Alice’s Adventures Begin

21 June 2001

There will be much more to come on the £2m Lewis Carroll’s Alice at Sotheby’s on June 6, but this week just one of ten recorded prints of Dodgson’s 1858 portrait of Alice Liddell as ‘The Beggar Maid’, which sold for £160,000.

Rare dressing table casket by Pietro Piffetti

21 June 2001

UK: THIS 191/2in (49cm) wide engraved ivory-inlaid kingwood and boxwood dressing table casket is one of just six known pieces signed by the Italian royal cabinetmaker Pietro Piffetti.

From fakes to educational aids

16 June 2001

A Passion for Pottery... Further Selections from the Henry H. Weldon Collection by Peter Williams and Pat Halfpenny, published by Sotheby’s Publications ISBN 0962258865, £225, hb in slipcase (limited edition of 1500 copies).

The irresistible rise of Italian table tops

12 June 2001

UK: Sotheby’s (20/15/10% buyer’s premium) have been making something of a habit recently of successfully selling highly elaborate inlaid marble Italian table tops.

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