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.


Sotheby’s announce three big Paris sales

21 May 2001

FRANCE: Sotheby’s and Paris auctioneers Maîtres Hervé Poulain and Rémy Le Fur have announced today an association to conduct three important sales in Paris on June 27, 28-29 and July 5, 2001.

An 8th/9th century Syrian alabaster column capital

14 May 2001

An 8th/9th century Syrian alabaster column capital provided the highest price for an object in London's spring Islamic series of sales.

Sotheby’s deny Bond St sale claim

14 May 2001

UK: Sotheby’s has strongly denied newspaper claims that its New Bond Street headquarters are up for sale, but a senior executive did confirm that the company has valued its other property in preparation for the move to Olympia this September.

Poole of light attracts collectors to Billingshurst

14 May 2001

Such is the ubiquity of lamp bases that have been converted from vases that rarely does one encounter a genuine collector’s item in this field, but this abstracted stoneware example produced for the Atlantis range of Poole pottery in the early 1970s, was a refreshing discovery. consigned to the Applied Arts sale at Sotheby’s South (15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) near Billingshurst on March 27.

Anti-trust: Tennant, Taubman accused

08 May 2001

The former chairmen of Christie’s and Sotheby’s last week were charged with a criminal conspiracy to fix the rates of commissions worth “at least $400 million”, in a dramatic twist to a four year US Government investigation into the two auction houses.

Scene stealers put on a fine show on Sotheby’s stage…

08 May 2001

Having dispersed the collection of Sir John Gielgud early last month Sotheby’s (20/15/10% buyer’s premium) went on to offer that of his good friend, fellow thespian and fellow knight of the realm, the late Sir Ralph Richardson, on April 27.

Judge sanctions US class action proposal

23 April 2001

Some payouts expected by June. Buyers and sellers at Sotheby’s and Christie’s will now be able to sue the auctioneers through the United States courts over transactions that took place in London and elsewhere outside the US.

In the Celtic limelight...

17 April 2001

Sotheby’s find a warm welcome in Wales with record bid and active museum interest UK: THE strong, and occasionally extraordinary, demand for Celtic art, both Scottish and Irish, has been a feature of the art market for years and has warranted specialist picture sales devoted to those country’s painters.

Vintage model puts trade in the driving seat

09 April 2001

UK: THE first fortnight of March at Sotheby’s Sussex saw specialist sales in the ‘Arcade’ format of lower-priced pieces across the spectrum, where the trade achieved something like their old dominance when it came to higher value items – and were prepared to pay well over estimates to do so.

Euclid’s Elementa

26 March 2001

In a beautifully preserved contemporary, and possibly Austrian binding of blind-stamped calf with brass fittings, this copy of Erhard Ratdolt’s 1482, first printing of Euclid’s Elementa, shows some slight waterstaining to the lower margins, but it remains one of the largest and freshest copies in existence – taller than even the Doheny, Honeyman-Garden and Haskell F. Norman copies.

Thucydides and a King James Bible

26 March 2001

A superb example of “the quintessential Italian Renaissance book”, a 1545 first of the first Italian translation of Thucydides in a fine Apollo & Pegasus binding made for the famous library of G.B. Grimaldi – a collection of some 200 key works formed under the supervision of the Roman humanist Tolomei. It sold for $140,000 (£96,550).

Probier Buchlein... and Bergwerk...

26 March 2001

The former Honeyman copy of the Probier Buchlein... and Bergwerk..., two rare booklets on assaying dated 1524 and ’33 (the latter with two leaves in photocopy) produced one of the shock results of Haskell F. Norman sale in 1998 when it made $80,000 – 20 times the estimate.

Hortus sanitatis and the Atlas minéralogique de la France...

26 March 2001

A spread from a 1491 first edition of the most comprehensive and richly illustrated medical or natural history publication of the 15th century, the Hortus sanitatis.

Systême des animaux... and Campi Phlegraei...

26 March 2001

Interleaved throughout with blank leaves, 19 of which bear the author’s annotations, this is Jean Baptiste Lamarck’s own copy of his landmark work on the evolution of species, an 1801 first of Systême des animaux sans vertèbres, ou tableau général des classes, des ordres et des genre de ces animaux in a contemporary binding.

Locke’s Essay Concerning Humane Understanding

26 March 2001

A 1690 first of Locke’s Essay Concerning Humane Understanding, bound in contemporary English mottled calf gilt and formerly in Sir Isaac Newton’s library, that reached $190,000 (£131,035) was acquired by Freilich at the Haskell F. Norman sales of 1998, when the price was $200,000.

Tractado de las drogas, y medecinas de las Indias orientales...

26 March 2001

Tractado de las drogas, y medecinas de las Indias orientales..., published in Burgos in 1578 and here seen in a later 16th Spanish goatskin binding (dated 1593 in a lettered cartouche to the fore-edge) bearing the gilt stamped arms of the Marques de Moya, is nominally the work of Cristóbal de Acosta, a Portuguese soldier and physician, but in his woodcut-illustrated book on drugs and the medicinal plants of Asia he readily admits his debt to the work of García da Orta, a Lisbon physician.

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.

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