Sotheby's was the first international auction house to offer regular sales of Photographs, beginning in 1971 in London, 1975 in New York, and 2002 in Paris. We sell photographs from the entire history of the medium, from salt prints and daguerreotypes of the 1840s to contemporary works of the present decade. Included in our auctions are works by a roster of blue-chip photographers from around the globe, from William Henry Fox Talbot in London, to Eugene Atget in Paris, to Richard Prince in New York.
Our international team of the most experienced and highly regarded Photographs specialists in the auction world, has established itself as a leader in scholarship and evaluation. The passion and expertise of our experts has resulted in dozens of world records in photography auctions for individual photographers, brought new categories of work to the public’s eye and defined many of the market criteria against which photographs and collections are judged. Learn more about this department in Records & Results.
Major auctions of Photographs are held in April and October in New York, in May in London and in November in Paris. In addition, special sales are held at other times throughout the year as opportunities arise.