Sotheby’s became the first international auction house to offer regular sales of Photographs in 1971 in London and 1975 in New York. For more than 50 years, our fine art photography auctions have presented exceptional works ranging from 19th-century salt prints and rare daguerreotypes to classic 20th-century images and cutting-edge contemporary works.
Our results speak for themselves: Sotheby’s dominated the Photographs market in Spring 2021, selling more than $7 million USD across our auctions in New York and London, and achieving top prices for photographs by William Henry Fox Talbot, Ansel Adams, Lee Miller, Malick Sidibé, Guy Bourdin, and others. In 2020, Sotheby’s sold photographs across 36 auctions, achieving in excess of $21 million USD. We continue to see an ever-growing number of clients from around the globe competing for the exceptional selection of photographs offered at Sotheby’s.
Our international team of specialists possess both passion and expertise, resulting in new world records for individual photographers each season. They excel at bringing new categories of work to market and continually redefine the criteria against which photographs and collections are judged.
Major Photographs sales are held seasonally in New York and London. Independent of the auction calendar, Sotheby’s also works with collectors to sell their photographs discreetly and privately throughout the year.