The World’s Most Famous Art Auctions


  • Christie’s.

The first one to conquer the market of fine arts was the former navy officer James Christie. He organized the first sales of art objects in London in 1766. A year later he bought the special hall which became the first auction hall in Europe. From the very beginning James Christie was aiming to hold the leading position. The Royal Family sent the items from its private art collections to be exhibited or sold via auction.

The verdure of Christie’s coincided with “the epoch of the great sales” which started in 1948 after the revolution. James Christie is considered to be the person who turned sales into art. In the Christie’s auction hall the greatest businesses of that time were contracted. James Christie was performing the functions of stakeholder during the process of selling the private art collection of Sir Robert Walpole to Catherine the Great.

  • Sotheby’s.

The founder of Sotheby’s was the book seller Samuel Baker, who carried out his first book auction in 19744 in London. He was the first auction holder to publish the catalogue with fixed prices. During the next one hundred years Samuel Baker and his successor were specializing in books only. They carried out the most famous tenders of he largest libraries, including the one taken be Napoleon to the Saint Helena.

  • Bonhams.

Bonhams is one of the few functioning Georgian auction halls in London. It was founded in 1793 by art dealer Thomas Dodd and antique books collector Walter Bohnham. In the year 2000 it was bought by the Brooks art auction company and acquired the name Bohnhams and Brooks. Brooks was founded by Robert Brooks in 1989. He was specializing in vintage and antique cars sales. Today the united Bonhams and Brooks have the 70 categories of valuable art objects that can be sold via their company.

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