Christie's: The Premier Global Auction House

Key Takeaways

  • Founded in 1766: Christie's, a subsidiary of Groupe Artémis, stands as a testament to timeless elegance in the art auction world.
  • Global Reach: With salerooms in major cities worldwide, Christie's caters to a diverse global clientele.
  • Record-Breaking Sales: 2022 marked a historic high with $8.4 billion in sales, showcasing Christie's dominance in the art and luxury market.
  • Notable Auctions: Christie's has seen remarkable auctions like the $450 million sale of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi."
  • Innovative Commissions: Adapting to market needs, Christie's commission structures have evolved, making it an accessible platform for various buyers.
  • Locations: Christie's presence spans continents, reflecting its adaptability and respect for cultural diversity.

A Legacy of Excellence

The Foundation of Christie's

Christie's journey began in 1766, London, when James Christie conducted his first sale. From these humble beginnings, Christie's expanded globally, setting up salerooms in New York, Paris, Hong Kong, and more. This expansion underlines Christie's commitment to bringing the world of art to a global audience.

Revolutionary Sales in the 20th Century

The 20th century marked a significant era for Christie's, seeing it evolve into a public company and expand into the American market. Notably, its foray into private treaty sales and acquisitions like Spink & Son and Great Estates emphasized its strategic growth.

21st Century: Adapting and Innovating

The 21st century has seen Christie's adapt to changing market dynamics. From expanding into private transactions to embracing digital technology, Christie's has continually evolved. Its curated events and online platforms showcase its commitment to innovation.

Exceptional Auctions and Collections

Christie's has been at the forefront of the art world, hosting auctions that have made history. The sale of Vincent van Gogh's "Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers" and Francis Bacon's "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" are testaments to Christie's ability to curate collections that attract global attention and record-breaking bids.

Navigating Challenges

The Price-Fixing Scandal

The turn of the millennium brought challenges for Christie's with the price-fixing scandal. However, the company's ability to navigate through this period and maintain its standing in the art world showcases its resilience and adaptability.

Provenance and Ethical Considerations

Christie's has also faced scrutiny over the provenance of some auctioned items. Responding to these concerns, Christie's has taken measures to ensure greater transparency and ethical practices in its operations.

Christie's Today: A Global Leader

With a presence in 46 countries and a diverse range of salerooms, Christie's continues to lead the global art auction industry. Its innovative approach, commitment to excellence, and ability to adapt to the changing art landscape ensure its place as a premier auction house for years to come.

Christie's Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS)

Christie's doesn't just auction art; it also offers state-of-the-art storage facilities. CFASS provides secure and climate-controlled environments for art collections, underscoring Christie's holistic approach to art management.

Educational Ventures and Social Responsibility

Christie's commitment to education and social responsibility is evident in its educational programs and support for the Art Loss Register. These initiatives reflect Christie's dedication to nurturing the art world's future and its broader social impact.


Christie's, with its rich history, global reach, and innovative approach, continues to set the standard in the art auction industry. As it adapts to the digital age and new market demands, Christie's remains a symbol of excellence and a beacon for art enthusiasts worldwide.

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