Over the past 15 years, Sotheby’s auctions of Pre-Columbian art have realised nearly $45 million and we continue to lead the field. Our department offers a broad range of objects from Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands, including ceramics, stone sculpture, textiles, gold and silver works of art and objects made of wood, from cultures as early as the Olmec Period of 2000 BC through to the Inca and Aztec eras of the 14th century. Objects include ceremonial and funerary items for the elite as well as utilitarian and specialised items.
Sotheby's has sold important Pre-Columbian art from many significant private collections and institutions, most recently from the Saul and Marsha Stanoff Collection and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Bidding in recent seasons has produced strong results for our consignors, and we have achieved the most auction records for Pre-Columbian art, covering collecting categories from Peruvian textiles to Mayan ceramic vessels and figures. Learn more about this department in Records & Results.
Currently, we present Pre-Columbian art collections and select objects in our annual May auctions of African & Oceanic art in New York. The catalogues are available in our subscription category titled Arts of Africa, Oceania & the Americas.