Sotheby's Robert Lacey
This volume explores the history of Sotheby's auction house, tracing its beginnings back to 1744. It was in the latter half of the 19th century, when economic instability forced the aristocrats to sell off many of their treasures, that Sotheby's began to lay the foundations of the modern art market. The Sotheby's-Christie's rivalry intensified in the early-1900s and they have been battling it out ever since over the likes of Cezanne, Picasso, Van Gogh and Monet. Lacey takes the reader through the unprecedented boom of the 1980s, when Van Gogh's Irises went for $53.9 million, and examines the catastrophic effects of an inflation still being felt today.