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Collecting and Provenance Research: Auction houses

Auction journals

These journals offer coverage of current and upcoming auctions

Christie's Magazine

Christie's Review of the Year

Sotheby's Art at Auction

Sotheby's Preview

The Art Newspaper
Includes an art market section

Includes an art market section

Auction Houses

There are hundreds of auction houses across Europe and the Americas - those listed below are some of the largest.

Bonhams and Butterfields

Free registration. Bonhams and Butterfields provides auction services for antiquities, armor, books, maps, manuscripts, clocks, coins, ceramics, fine art, furniture, jewelry, autos, rugs, silver, wine, and real estate. The web site provides information on future sales and past sale results (lot number, description, and price). A user is able to search for items by location, estimate ranges, keywords. Online information is limited to 2003-present (including future auctions). After a search is completed, the web site offers reminder emails when new items match the search. The site offers well prepared FAQs on selling and buying.

Christie's Auction House

Free Registration. The web site offers information on antiquities, paintings, books, manuscripts, collectibles, furniture, decorative arts, jewelry, cars, photographs, prints, wine and cigars. Online information is limited to 1998-present (including future auctions). User can perform basic auction searches by date and location. Limited results include lot number and price. For recent auctions (2 months before and 1 month after), Christie's offers LotFinder, which allows for more search parameters and lengthier results, including sale title, location, lot number, creator, estimate, sale date, sale number, provenance, literature, exhibitions, and lot notes.

This web site is the online version of the magazine serving the Hotel Drouot. Information on upcoming sales is provided. In addition, a directory of auctioneer offices is listed. Online versions of auction catalogs are provided in PDF format. Sales results are provided to those who have subscriptions to the print version of the magazine. Unfortunately, the web site's FAQ list is provided in French only.

Phillips de Pury and Company

Phillips focuses on specific aeas: Contemporary Art, Impressionist and Modern Art, Photographs, 20th and 21st Century Design Art, and Jewelry. The web site presents a number of online catalogs, as well as auction results presented in a PDF document (lot number and price). Online sales results limited to Fall 2003-present.


Free registration. Located in Boston, Skinner auction house has departments in fine arts, furniture, prints, ceramics, jewelry, musical instruments, toys, dolls, science and technology, rugs and carpets. The web site provides information on upcoming sales and catalogs in PDF format. Online auction results from May 2005-present (lot number and price) are available.

Sotheby's Auction House

Free Registration. The web site provides information on painting, sculpture, drawings, photographs, decorative arts, silver, armor, books, ceramics, clocks, coins, jewelry, and manuscripts. Online information is limited to 1998-present (including future auctions). User can search by numerous parameters including keyword, creator, title/name, sale date, price, provenance, auction location, sale title, sale number, and lot number. Each entry includes lot number, title, estimate, hammer price, description, provenance, exhibitions, literature and references. When registered, user may view info from for past auction results for a particular artist.

Swann Auction Galleries 

Swann Auction Galleries provides auction services for photographs, posters, prints and drawings, books, maps, atlases, and autographs. The web site provides information on upcoming sales and their corresponding catalogs. Online sales results limited to August 2001-present (lot number and price).