Sotheby's Celebrates 275 Years of History & Innovation | Books Auction in London on 11 March 1744, Today Marks 275 Years of Art Market 'Firsts' & Connecting Collectors with World's Greatest Treasures News By Sotheby's
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Sotheby's Celebrates 275 Years of History & Innovation | Books Auction in London on 11 March 1744, Today Marks 275 Years of Art Market 'Firsts' & Connecting Collectors with World's Greatest Treasures

Art News By Sotheby's | Posted on March 11, 2019 06:17 PM

Today, March 11, 2019, Sotheby’s turns 275. Sotheby’s history is marked by a number of pioneering firsts and innovations that have not only transformed the company, but the industry along with it. Pictured here is the first ever evening “event” auction - now a mainstay of the art market - presented by Sotheby’s London in 1958. - PRNewsFoto/Sotheby's  

Art News by Sotheby's : Sotheby's first sale was held on 11 March 1744 in London at Exeter Exchange on The Strand – an auction of 'several Hundred scarce and valuable Books in all branches of Polite Literature' that fetched a grand total of £826. Founded as an auctioneer of books – predating both the American and French Revolutions – the firm soon added fine art, house sales, jewelry, and more, and expanded from London to America, Asia, and beyond. Today, Sotheby's has 80 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (almost 50 years older than the Exchange itself) - where we are honored to ring the Opening Bell this morning.

Sotheby's was the first auction house to set sail across the Atlantic and open offices in America (1955) and the first to hold auctions in Asia (1973). Sotheby's pioneered the format of the evening "event" auctions that are a mainstay of today's art market (1958), and were the first to use satellite transmission to allow for simultaneous bidding in London and New York (1960s). A Sotheby's auction in the 1970s is credited with transforming the modern art market with the first auctions of works by living artists including Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg, the first to sell a work for more than $100 million (2004), pioneers in the field of e-commerce (2000), and we recently brought scientific research (2017) and artificial intelligence (2018) in-house.

Along the way, some of the world's most precious objects and collections have passed through Sotheby's: Napoleon's Library (1823), the original manuscript for Alice's Adventures Under Ground, presented by Lewis Carroll to the original Alice, Alice Liddell (1928), the 68-carat diamond bought by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor (1969), Einstein's Theory of Relativity (1987), The Jewels of the Duchess of Windsor (1987), The Andy Warhol Collection (1988), The Estate of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1996), Sue the T Rex, now the star of the Field Museum in Chicago (1997), the collection of the Duke & Duchess of Windsor (1998), The Forbes Collection of Fabergé, including nine Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs (2004), Martin Luther King's Library (2006), The Magna Carta (2007), Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' (2012), and property from the Collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon (2014).

"Sotheby's has thrived for 275 years precisely because it has dared to reinvent itself again and again, and in so doing has continually redefined the business of trading art on a global basis," said Tad Smith, Sotheby's CEO. "The company's history is marked by a series of innovations that have not just continually changed Sotheby's, but transformed the wider industry along with it. We are thrilled to share this important milestone with our clients, colleagues and shareholders around the world."

About Sotheby's
Sotheby's has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. Sotheby's became the first international auction house when it expanded from London to New York (1955), the first to conduct sales in Hong Kong (1973), India (1992) and France (2001), and the first international fine art auction house in China (2012). Today, Sotheby's presents auctions in 10 different salesrooms, including New York, London, Hong Kong and Paris, and Sotheby's BidNow program allows visitors to view all auctions live online and place bids from anywhere in the world. Sotheby's offers collectors the resources of Sotheby's Financial Services, the world's only full-service art financing company, as well as the collection, artist, estate & foundation advisory services of its subsidiary, Art Agency, Partners. Sotheby's presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby's Global Fine Art Division, and three retail businesses: Sotheby's Wine, Sotheby's Diamonds, and Viyet, the online marketplace for interior design. Sotheby's has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (BID).

Source: PR Newswire/Sotheby's


HashTags: #Sothebys #Auctions #Art #Collectors #ArtMarket #Luxury

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