Sotheby’s was created in London on March 11, 1744, when Samuel Baker auctioned “several Hundred scarce and valuable books” from the library of the Rt Hon Sir John Stanley.. The story of Sotheby’s expansion beyond scarce valuables to include the most unique in fine arts and jewelry. There is also the story of the worldwide auction market that continue to capture the world’s attention.
Since 1744, Sotheby’s has been as a leader in the auction world. Sotheby’s auctions are conducted in London and Paris, with museum-like galleries in its headquarters in New York and the luxurious districts of Hong Kong. The depth and excellence of Sotheby’s offerings have produced record-breaking sales. Sotheby’s has been entrusted with the sale of many of the world’s treasures, amongst them: Napoleon’s St Helena library, the Duchess of Windsor’s jewels, the residence of Mrs Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Rembrandt’s Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer, Rubens’ Massacre of the Innocents, Picasso’s Garçon à la Pipe, Bacon’s Triptych, 1976, The Grand Ducal Collections of Baden, the Qianlong Yellow-Ground Famille-Rose Double-Gourd Vase, the 5,000-year-old Guennol Lioness, Giacometti’s L’Homme Qui Marche I, the Magna Carta, the first printing of the Declaration of Independence and The Martin Luther King Jr Collection.
Sotheby’s was the first international auction house to expand from London to New York in 1955, and the first to conduct auctions in Hong Kong and the prior–Soviet Union. Today we have 90 locations in 40 countries and we conduct 250 auctions each year in over 70 categories. In addition to our four primary salerooms, our company, also conducts auctions in six other salerooms around the world. Through BIDnow, clients can also watch all Sotheby’s auctions live online and place bids live, from anywhere in the world. And through the ever-enriching content on Sothebys.com, the oldest publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (BID) continues to be fresh and current, while always true to its historic roots.
An unwavering commitment to the very highest level of quality remains the goal of one of the most storied names on the global business stage.