Available for Private Sale
S otheby’s Private Sales works discreetly and seamlessly with buyers and sellers of world-class works of art throughout the year, independent of the auction calendar. Whether you are seeking a specific artwork for your growing collection or wish to sell, our global team of sale directors is ready to source, sell, advise and research on your behalf. We conduct private sales in a range of categories including fine art, jewelry, watches, books, wine, automobiles and more, usually for objects with a value of $100,000 or greater. Unlike auction prices which are subject to demand, in private sales prices are fixed, clear and always mutually agreed upon between both parties.
Our team brings decades of expertise and passion to each interaction, backed by unrivaled knowledge of both art history and the dynamic market. For 276 years Sotheby’s has helped passionate collectors acquire and sell the world’s greatest masterpieces. Depending on your category of interest, please contact a sale director today to learn more about our current offerings or to find out how we can assist you with your collecting needs.
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- What is the difference between private sales and auctions?Buying and selling art privately is a confidential alternative to public auctions. Sotheby’s works on behalf of buyers to negotiate a mutually agreed purchase price with the seller. At auction, many parties vying for an artwork often determines the final price.
- How can I find out what is currently for sale?At any given time, Sotheby’s has numerous artworks available for private sale. Contact a sale director depending on your category of interest to discuss what you are looking for and how we can help.
- Can Sotheby’s help me find a specific object or work of art?Yes. If you are searching for a specific artwork, or type of artwork, our team will partner with you to source and research items specifically on your behalf. Sotheby's Private Sales has cultivated close relationships with collectors, gallerists and institutions around the world, and through these extensive contacts we are able to find the exceptional works of art our clients seek.
- Who can I contact for assistance?Depending on your category of interest, please contact a Sotheby's sale director for assistance today.
- Does it matter where I live if I want to buy privately?No, Sotheby’s sale directors are engaged with clients worldwide and will utilise our global network to assist you in acquiring the finest objects specific to your needs.
- Does Sotheby’s preserve my identity?Yes. Discretion and confidentiality come first in every interaction. We never disclose the identity of a buyer or seller unless it is the express wish of the client to do so.
- How long do private sales normally take?Sotheby’s Private Sales works at your pace. When sourcing specific items, we will do our utmost to quickly locate the item that best meets your needs. Depending on the rarity and uniqueness of the object, the timing may vary, but our team will keep you well informed throughout the process.
- How do I pay for my purchase?As soon as the sale has been processed, the post-sale service team will send you an invoice and a shipping quote based on your shipping preferences. You can pay by bank transfer, cheque or cash (subject to certain restrictions and legal limits). Certain credit cards are accepted at select Sotheby’s locations. Payment must be sent from the invoiced party and not from a third party. We will also assist you through the paperwork and shipping processes, and other logistical details needed to finalise your purchase.
- What does Sotheby's sell privately?Sotheby’s offers private sales in nearly all the categories in which we also conduct auctions. These include Impressionist & Modern art, old master paintings, contemporary art, jewellery, furniture, antiquities, automobiles, African art, watches, wine and more. See our full list of departments here .
- How can I find out what my property is worth?We will gladly evaluate the work you are considering selling privately with no commitment. Depending on your category of interest, please contact a Sotheby's sale director today.
- How will Sotheby’s find a buyer for my property?Sotheby’s relationships with collectors span generations, working with individuals who are actively building collections around the world. We will discreetly offer your property to potential purchasers, one at a time, while keeping you informed of our progress.
- How long will it take to sell my property?When you consign a work to Sotheby’s for private sale, we will present you with an agreement outlining our exclusive right to offer the work for a specified period of time. We will do our utmost to quickly find a buyer for your property, but the timing may vary depending on market demand for your object.
- Who can I contact for assistance?Depending on your category of interest, contact a Sotheby's sale director for assistance today.
Notable Private Sales
In 2019, Sotheby’s private sales totalled nearly $1 billion. Half of those transactions ranged from $5–50 million.
Discover some of Sotheby's most noted sales from the past decade, from stunning diamonds and rare manuscripts to prized old masters and modern masterpieces.