Buying Art


What does buying art mean to you? Visiting art galleries and museums, enjoying reproductions of your favorite painters in the living room? Let`s imagine you are an art collector who has infinite amount of money and you want to buy an artwork you have been dreaming about all your life. To do this, you decide to wear your best lounge suit and visit the world’s biggest art auction houses. Below you will find some brief information about the five biggest art auction houses in the world.


Christie’s, one of the world’s leading art business and global auction houses, is named after its founder James Christie, who conducted the first sale in London in 1766. Private sales in 2009 totaled 2.1 billion/$3.3 billion. Christie’s has 53 offices in 32 countries and 10 salerooms around the world offering over 450 sales annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. In November 2006, May 2007, and June 2007, the company hosted the five highest grossing art auctions of all time.


The firm of Sotheby’s, established in 1744, is another of the world`s leading auctioneers of fine art painting, antiques, jewellery, sculpture and precious objects, with a global network of over 100 offices and salesrooms. In 2000, Sotheby’s became the first international art auction house to hold auctions on the Internet. By using MySotheby’s you can easily track lots and create wishlists that can be automatically updated as new works became available. In addition, Sotheby’s opened its traditional saleroom auctions to Internet bidding through the eBay Live Auctions service.

Currently the most expensive painting ever sold, No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock, was sold by private sale via Sotheby’s, in 2006.


One of the world’s fastest growing auction houses, it is also the world’s oldest and largest auctioneer of fine art and antiques still run by auctioneers, established in 1793 in London. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries, and sales are held in the UK, United Sates, Sydney, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Dubai. In May 2007 Bonhams launched a twice yearly South African Sale, becoming the first international auction house to hold a sale of South African art outside of the country.


Established in 1707, the Dorotheum is the largest auction house in Central Europe, as well as one of the leading auctioneers worldwide. The Dorotheum hosts about 600 auctions a year and more than 100 specialists attend to over 40 departments. The key art categories are Modern Art, Contemporary Art, Old Masters, and 19th Century Paintings, while there are a number of categories for antiques. The Dorotheum hosts almost daily auctions of paintings, antiques, furniture and jewellery.

Stockholms Auktionsverk

It is the world’s oldest auction house, founded in 1674 in Sweden. Stockholms Auktionsverk holds more than 70 auction days a year, with more than 50,000 items to bid on. Apart from serving the domestic market for art, Stockholms Auktionsverk is prominent in the lively Russian art market.

Now that you have read this short art auction houses guide remember – if you have money to spend and a piece of artwork which you want to buy, which is available for sale, the process of buying is simple. The general steps are: registering to bid; bidding; paying; picking up or shipping your new property. Good luck!

Source by Alice M Shown

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