In 1744, Sotheby’s held its first auction—a books sale in London that totaled £826.
Founded by Samuel Baker, Sotheby’s began as a bookseller in London, and over the years, it has continued to auction literary works, including the unpublished papers of Sir Isaac Newton, Martin Luther King Jr.’s collection, and the Magna Carta.
By 1883, the auction house
In the 275 years since then, the firm has expanded both geographically and in the types of works it sells.
To celebrate the 275th anniversary, Sotheby’s chairman of the board, Domenico De Sole, accompanied by colleagues, rang the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange Monday morning, where Sotheby’s is the oldest