Christie’s and Sotheby’s Auction Houses Sales

Sotheby’s And Christie’s Auction Houses Bring Strong Prices

What is the history of Christie’s auction house?

Christie’s is one of the world’s leading auction houses, with a rich history dating back to the 18th century.

Here’s a brief overview of the history of Christie’s auction house:

  • Foundation (1766): Christie’s was founded by James Christie in London in 1766. The first auction took place on December 5, 1766, and the focus was primarily on books and manuscripts.
  • Expansion and Diversification (19th Century): Throughout the 19th century, Christie’s expanded its auction offerings to include a wide range of items such as fine art, furniture, and decorative arts. The auction house gained a reputation for handling prestigious estates and collections.
  • Move to King Street (1823): In 1823, Christie’s moved to its current location on King Street in St. James’s, London. This move marked a significant development in the history of the auction house.
  • International Expansion (20th Century): Christie’s continued to grow and gained international prominence in the 20th century. It expanded its operations to the United States, opening an office in New York in 1977.
  • Landmark Sales: Over the years, Christie’s has been responsible for some of the most notable and record-breaking art sales. Notable auctions include the sale of the collection of Elizabeth Taylor and the record-breaking sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi.”
  • Digital Transformation (21st Century): In the 21st century, Christie’s embraced digital technology to reach a global audience. Online bidding and live-streamed auctions became integral parts of their operations.
  • Ownership Changes: Christie’s has undergone changes in ownership. In 1998, the company was acquired by François Pinault, a French businessman. The auction house is currently owned by Groupe Artémis, the holding company of the Pinault family.
  • Diversification of Offerings: Christie’s expanded its auction categories to include not only fine art but also luxury goods, jewelry, watches, and more. This diversification has allowed the auction house to cater to a broad range of collectors.

Today, Christie’s stands as one of the leading auction houses globally, hosting auctions across various categories and maintaining a strong presence in major cities around the world.

What is the history of Sotheby’s auction house?

Sotheby’s is another renowned auction house with a history that spans several centuries.

Here’s a brief overview of the history of Sotheby’s:

  • Founding (1744): Sotheby’s was founded in London in 1744 by Samuel Baker. The company initially focused on selling books and manuscripts.
  • Samuel Sotheby (1767): Samuel Baker’s nephew, Samuel Sotheby, became a partner in the firm in 1767. The name of the company changed to Baker & Sotheby.
  • Expansion into Art (19th Century): In the 19th century, Sotheby’s expanded its auction offerings to include fine art, antiques, and other valuable items. The auction house gained a reputation for handling significant sales, including the sale of Napoleon’s library in 1823.
  • Move to New Bond Street (1917): Sotheby’s moved to its current location on New Bond Street in London in 1917. This move marked a new chapter in the history of the auction house.
  • International Expansion (20th Century): Similar to Christie’s, Sotheby’s expanded its operations globally in the 20th century. It opened offices in New York in 1955, marking its entry into the United States.
  • Record-Breaking Sales: Sotheby’s has been responsible for many landmark sales, including the auction of the collection of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in 1987 and the sale of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” in 2012.
  • Ownership Changes: Sotheby’s experienced changes in ownership over the years. A significant development occurred in 1983 when the auction house was acquired by Alfred Taubman, a businessman. In 2019, Sotheby’s was sold to BidFair USA, a company owned by entrepreneur Patrick Drahi.
  • Diversification and Digital Transformation: Sotheby’s diversified its auction categories to include various art forms, jewelry, wine, and collectibles. The auction house also embraced digital technology, allowing for online bidding and expanding its reach to a global audience.

Today, Sotheby’s is one of the leading auction houses worldwide, hosting auctions across a wide range of categories and maintaining a prominent presence in major cities.

Sotheby’s Auction House Scores Big!

This week we seem to be focusing on some serious money-makers ranging from fashion labels to art auction houses. We thought that in light of the recent economic chaos, we would shine the spotlight on the major money-makers and spenders.

Who said you can’t have your cake and eat it too? Yes, the economy is what it is, but that is no reason to not invest in some priceless works of art that will sore higher than our debt ceiling. (Well, hopefully.)

Sothebys Auction House

Sothebys Auction House

Sotheby’s and Christie’s have been making some serious headlines this past year in the art world breaking all kinds of records in terms of sales. Recently, Sotheby’s surpassed Christie’s within its first half of yearly sales having made an astounding 3.4 billion dollars.

China has been playing a major role in art buying this past year according to Sotheby’s and is becoming a force to be reckoned with in terms of art collectors. Let’s just say that 3.4 billion dollars is quite the pretty penny. I mean, I know I have my buried treasure chest of 3.4 billion bones buried in my back yard for a rainy day.

Versace Bed At Sothebys Auction House by Nazmiyal

Versace Bed At Sothebys Auction House

All that being said, these days it’s all about making the most out of your paycheck and surrounding yourself with luxurious items. Heed my advice: there is no point in investing that hard-earned money into homes or stocks in today’s tumultuous market.

Rather, spend that dough on works of art that will be worth more in the long run without the stock market crashes or foreclosures for all. Why not splurge on items that’ll make you feel good and lack worry associated with your purchases. Go out there and spend, spend, spend! Happy hunting!

Old Master Paintings At Sothebys Auction House - Nazmiyal

Old Master Paintings At Sothebys Auction House

Sotheby’s Auction Sells A Two Million Dollar Rug

An antique Persian rug recently became one of the most expensive rugs ever purchased. The two million rug in question is an amazing Isfahan from the Safavid period in Persia and represents the pinnacle of Persian rug design. Showcasing that the best rugs are just as desirable and just as valuable as any artwork, the sale of this rug is a testament to the enduring quality and artistic brilliance of these masterworks.

While most people might not be used to thinking of antique rugs as the sort of thing that can fetch millions of dollars, this is precisely what happened at a recent Sotheby’s “Masterworks” auction, where a sixteenth century Isfahan rug commanded an astounding $1.93 million when the gavel fell – nearly three times the estimate set on the piece before the auction. And while 21 other exquisite antique items were sold in addition to the prized rug, the price tag on this incredible Isfahan was large enough to represent a full 36% of the auction’s total sales.

Antique Persian Two Million Dollar Rug - Nazmiyal

Antique Persian Two Million Dollar Rug

According to a spokesperson from Sotheby’s, there was tremendous interest in the antique Persian rug, lot #22, before the auction even began. The spokesman also explained that it was clear early on in the going that the piece was going to fetch an especially steep price. “There was active bidding from a number of bidders,” he said. “We knew that this would happen from the reaction to the catalog. For a rug to be in the Masterworks auction, it has to have provenance, and be quite rare.” A masterwork indeed, it is clear from this auction that at least one person out there absolutely had to have this rug.

Certainly the cultural and historical origins of this two million dollar rug played a significant role in this tremendous desirability. After all, rugs with the pedigree boasted by this big seller have historically been among the most sought-after and have had a reputation for impeccable craftsmanship for centuries. Isfahan rugs – especially Safavid Isfahans such as this piece – represent the pinnacle of antique Persian rugs.

Working in a culture in which rugs were among the highest and most desirable forms of art, the rug-weavers of Isfahan – the capital of the Persian Empire during the Safavid period – had the luxury of looking inward for inspiration. Isfahan rugs are typically characterized by spiraling vine scrolls and deeply re-curved tendrils – aesthetic trends that were also present in other art of the time, especially architecture. Safavid Isfahan rugs also tend to feature elaborate central medallions and exceptionally complex and finely-worked arabesques. These rugs were made with the finest wool and dyes available, and represent a supreme achievement in Persian rug design, no wonder it became the most expensive rug in the world.

Indeed, that it was a Safavid Isfahan that fetched such a price at such an illustrious auction makes all the sense in the word to those with a deep knowledge of antique Oriental rugs. Pieces such as the two million dollar rug represent a supreme achievement not only in rug making, but in visual art in general. That they continue to command such high price tags centuries after their construction is a strong testament to the unique level of quality in their design and manufacture.

If you enjoyed post, you might also enjoy some other things we’ve written about here at the Nazmiyal Blog! Perhaps you’d be interested in the post where Nazmiyal Blog interviews artist David Thomas Smith, whose work with Google Maps and antique Persian rug patterns is simply amazing.

Christie’s Contemporary Art Auction Brings Strong Prices

This past Wednesday, Christie’s hosted a tremendously successful auction of contemporary art at Rockefeller Center in New York City. Shattering many different records in one evening, the auction resulted in more than $495 million worth of purchases – the highest amount for any art auction, ever.

Amazingly, $300 million was brought in at a Sotheby’s auction of contemporary art less than 24 hours before. Records for individual artists were also broken at the Sotheby’s show, with celebrated artists such as Barnett Newman and Gerhard Richter selling extremely well.

Perhaps the most remarkable sale from either auction was that of a Jackson Pollock piece, “No. 19, 1948,” a drip painting beautifully representative of Pollock’s unique and immediately recognizable style.

Fetching a record-shattering $58.3 million with fees, the huge sale of “No. 19” made Pollock the star of the show, and illustrated the contemporary master’s continually rising star – “No. 19” had been owned by Washington industrialist Mitchell Rales and his wife, and had last been purchased at a Christie’s auction for only $2.4 million in May of 1993.

Jackson Pollock No. 19 Painting - Nazmiyal

This monumental and complex drip painting by Jackson Pollock — “No. 19” — sold for a record-breaking $58 million at Christie’s Contemporary Art Auction on Wednesday.

A similarly successful painting at Wednesday’s auction was a piece by celebrated contemporary pop art artist Roy Lichtenstein: “Woman with a Flowered Hat,” a snide take on a Picasso work of the same title, sold for $56 million with fees, far outselling its pre-auction estimate of only $32 million.

A record-setting sale for a Lichtenstein, the huge sale of “Woman with a Flowered Hat” demonstrates the art community’s continuing (and, indeed, growing) love affair with the experimental contemporary masters of the mid-twentieth century – in addition to the massive prices achieved by the Lichtenstein and Pollock pieces, dozens of aesthetically similar pieces also sold well above pre-auction estimates.

Roy Lichtenstein Woman with a Flowered Red Hat Painting - Nazmiyal

The huge sale of Roy Lichtenstein’s “Woman with a Flowered Red Hat” makes it the artist’s best-selling painting.

With nearly $800 million worth of contemporary art sold in just two days’ time between the Sotheby’s and Christie’s auctions of Tuesday and Wednesday, it is clear that the art world knows what it likes right now, and are more than happy to pay top dollar for it.

If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy other content from the Nazmiyal Blog of Design & Style — like this post about Madonna’s sale of a painting for charity, this post about the Bouroullec Brothers’ new exhibition in Paris, or this post about an antique rug that sold for $2 million at a Christie’s auction!

This design blog post about Sotheby’s and Christie’s Auction Houses was published by Nazmiyal Rugs located in the heart of New York City, NY.

Related News

We Make Carpets Nazmiyal

Artists “We Make Carpets”

In the past, creating a carpet was a painstaking and exceedingly slow process. Some of...

Native American Art Brooklyn Museum of Art by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Native American Art at the Brooklyn Museum

Native Americans have created and continue to create artwork for many reasons, taking many different...

George Caleb Bingham Paintings by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs

Famous George Caleb Bingham Paintings

The first major American artist known to be based in the west of the Mississippi...

Shopping Cart