Sotheby’s Auction Spotlight

Lately, Sotheby’s auction house has been making headlines and, according to a recent article in CNBC, beating forecasts. With its many unique auctions on the way, there are no signs the auction giant will slow down, with many shareholders holding a “positive view” for the future, as stated in the article. Here are some notable Sotheby’s auction results and upcoming highlights worth checking out.

What’s Been Happening:retro styled image of two vintage American cars parked next to each other

From vintage cars to diamonds, and everything in between, the auction house has been busy catching the attention of countless luxury buyers. Just a few weeks ago, RM Sotheby’s annual “Motor City” auction took place at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth, Michigan. A number of classic cars were sold during this longstanding summer tradition, which has been drawing in collectors for the past two decades to celebrate the American automobile.

Out in London, auction records were set by two of England’s most famous watchmakers at the Celebration of the English Watch Part II: John Harrison’s Enduring Discovery auction. This auction represents the history of British watchmaking over the course of 500 years, focusing on some of the most prominent makers of all time. A silver pocket chronometer, made by John Arnold, sold for $721,844, while a gold one by Thomas Earnshow received $395,264. Auction totals reached over $2 million.

For those interested in literature, an English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations sale achieved a total of over $2 million, with specific highlights including a bible inscribed by Charlotte Bronte to Ellen Nussey, and the corrected typescript for Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice. Works by literary icons Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde and more also contributed to the great success of this sale.


Calling all artists! London’s recent Old Masters Evening Sale acquired over $21 million, setting eight auction records. Featured works included 17th century still life paintings as well as numerous 18th century masterpieces.auction_color

Last but not least, the largest gem-quality rough diamond to be found in over a century— 1,109 carats, and about the size of a tennis ball—was sold to one lucky buyer for $61 million. “Lesedi La Rona,” meaning “Our Light” in Tswaba, the native language of Botswana, where the diamond was discovered, is said to have been formed 2.5 to 3 billion years ago. Talk about a girl’s best friend! Learn more about this dazzling treasure here.

What’s Next:

If you haven’t already heard, Sotheby’s London will be showcasing British music icon David Bowie’s private collection this coming fall. The auction house is set to sell 400 works, and expected to raise over $13 million. Clearly a lover of art, Bowie held quite the collection with an apparent cohesiveness to it, according to Tom Eddison, a contemporary specialist at Sotheby’s, who was recently interviewed by Newsweek. “He was incredibly well-tuned into art and artists.” Bowie/Collector will take place in three parts this November, showcasing the legend’s deep connection to modern art.

In the digital world, an online auction will be held from August 18th through August 30th, offering the stunning work of famed designer Tony Duquette. Tony Duquette Jewelry Online will include sets for the stage and screen, interiors and most of all, jewelry designed by the Tony Award-winning artist, who is most known for his work in stage and film. If you like bold and daring designs, then you’ll fall in love with the necklaces, wide bracelets and cocktail rings included in this online sale.

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On August 19-August 20th, RM Sotheby’s will be holding its flagship Monterey sale in sunny California. The event is set to take place during the coveted Pebble Concours d’Elegance week, a premier celebration of the automobile, dating back to the early 1950s. Last year, the Monterey sale broke some astounding records, achieving a whopping $172.9 million in total sales.

Love contemporary art? Keep your eye out for the Contemporary Curated sale in London, coming this September. The auction will feature a wide variety of artists, both established and new, including Wolfgang Tillmans, Sam Francis, George Baselitz and more.

Happening Now:

Sotheby’s is proud to present its annual New York Employee Art Show, which has opened in New York to showcase the artistic talent and passion associated with the Sotheby’s team. All proceeds from the exhibit benefit The Art Therapy Outreach Center, a nonprofit group that offers free art therapy and services to city residents who have undergone some form of trauma in their lives. The special art show is open to the public at York Ave from August 11th through the 23rd. To learn more about this wonderful employee tribute, please click here.


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