Sotheby’s®: A little history

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Sotheby’s®: A little history

Founded in 1744 by Samuel Baker, Sotheby’s® is the world’s oldest art auctioneer. Originally specialized in the sale of books, Sotheby’s® was able to organize within just a few years of its creation the sale of the era’s most illustrious libraries, among them Napoleon Bonaparte’s collection.
Following the Great War, Sotheby’s® enlarged its activity to include the sale of art work, medals and mintage, and moved to its world-renowned premises in New Bond Street, today Sotheby’s® London Head Office.
With sales figures for fine art significantly exceeding those achieved through the sale of books, a new era was to commence and this diversification was to lead to Sotheby’s® exponential growth in the 1960’s under the direction of Peter Wilson.