Old Master Paintings


Sotheby’s Old Masters team has been the dominant force in the market for a generation. In 2018 we once again led the market, selling a higher value of Old Masters at auction than any competitor for the seventh time in the last ten years.

Our success is due to the remarkable tenure of our team of over twenty specialists, seven of whom have worked together at Sotheby’s for over thirty years; our understanding of the ever-evolving marketplace; our unparalleled relationships with collectors old and new; and our focus on quality, bringing the very best works to market. The market has become ever more international, so much so that our recent sales have attracted collectors from nearly 70 countries.

Innovation is at the heart of what we do, and Sotheby’s Old Masters team is constantly breaking new ground in the ways we both promote and sell Old Masters. In 2018 we collaborated with Victoria Beckham in what would become one of the most successful marketing campaigns of the year across the whole art market, and we launched the largest ever selling exhibition of Old Masters in Asia with enormous success.

The department offers paintings by European artists from the late 13th to early 19th centuries. In London, our major Old Masters auctions take place in July and December; in New York in January and June; and in Paris also in June. We hold auctions of more moderately valued works in London in April and October. Consignment deadlines are typically eight weeks prior to the sale.

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If you wish to enquire about the possibility of offering a work in one of Sotheby's Old Master Paintings sales, please click here.

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