Sotheby’s is a multinational broker of high-end art, jewelry, real estate and collectibles. Founded in London in 1744, the company is now headquartered in New York City and employed 1,713 members of staff in 2018. Famous for their auctions, the company also provides finance and more traditional dealership services. Their largest markets are the United States, the United Kingdom and China.
The global fine art market
Sotheby’s is one of the leading fine art dealers globally, second only to Christie’s in terms of the number of pieces sold by auction in 2018. Sales in contemporary art are increasing for both companies, while sales of other types of artwork have remained relatively consistent – which is to be expected, given the supply constraints on older art. For both companies artwork sales were far larger than jewelry sales in 2018.