An Art Auction is the practice of buying and selling of various pieces of art by putting them up for bid. Bids are taken and then the item is sold to the highest bidder. This practice can traced as far back as 500 B.C.
An auction is also the most comprehensive method of determining the value of an item. The first ever-documented Auction took place in England in the latter part of the 17th Century (June 21 1693, to be precise). It was advertised as a "great auction of pictures (Lord Melford's) in the Banquetting House, Whitehall,”
Through the ages many valuable pices of art have found their due price in different Auction Houses. From Reynolds's "Lady Betty Delmé" which was auctioned for 11,000 gns in 1894 to the Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent Van Gogh which sold for $82.5 million on May 15, 1990 at Christie's, New York, auctions are indeed the best way to sell paintings.
Famous Auction Houses
Auction Houses do prove to be the best evaluators of Art.Some of the worlds most popular Auction houses are as flollows:
Christie’s was founded in London, England on 5 December 1766 by an art evaluator called James Christie. Christies has the distinction of auctioning the art works of More recently, Christie's has auctioned off artwork and personal possessions linked to historical figures such as Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt, Leonardo da Vinci and Vincent van Gogh.
Sotheby's is most definitely the world's oldest auction house in continuous operation. Its first auction was presided over by its founder Samuel Baker in 1744. Today, this auction house has an annual turnover of approximately US$2 billion. It has offices on London's Posh New Bond Street and also in the neve centre of New York, Manhattan. Sotheby's has always had intense rivalry with Christie's, for the position of the world's best Auction House.