23 Facts About Christie's


Christie's is a British auction house founded in 1766 by James Christie.

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Christie's was a public company, listed on the London Stock Exchange, from 1973 to 1999.

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Christie's served as chairman of Christie's International plc from 1976 to 1988, until handing over to Lord Carrington, and later was a non-executive director until 1992.

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In December 1997, under the chairmanship of Lord Hindlip, Christie's put itself on the auction block, but after two months of negotiations with the consortium-led investment firm SBC Warburg Dillon Read it did not attract a bid high enough to accept.

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Christie's has since not been reporting profits, though it gives sale totals twice a year.

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In 2006, Christie's offered a reported $21 million guarantee to the Donald Judd Foundation and displayed the artist's works for five weeks in an exhibition that later won an AICA award for "Best Installation in an Alternative Space".

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Christie's has since promoted curated events, centred on a theme rather than an art classification or time period.

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In June 2021, Christie's Paris held its first sale dedicated to women artists, most notably Louise Moillon's Nature morte aux raisins et peches.

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From 2008 until 2013, Christie's charged 25 per cent for the first $50, 000; 20 per cent on the amount between $50, 001 and $1 million, and 12 per cent on the rest.

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In January 2009, Christie's had 85 offices in 43 countries, including New York City, Los Angeles, Paris, Geneva, Houston, Amsterdam, Moscow, Vienna, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Rome, South Korea, Milan, Madrid, Japan, China, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Tel Aviv, Dubai, and Mexico City.

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Christie's permanently closed the South Kensington saleroom in July 2017 as part of their restructuring plans announced in March 2017.

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In early 2017, Christie's announced plans to scale back its operation in Amsterdam.

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In 1996, Christie's bought a townhouse on East 59th Street in Manhattan as a separate gallery where experts could show clients art in complete privacy to conduct private treaty sales.

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Christie's has been operating a space in Hong Kong's Alexandra House since 2014.

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Executives from Christie's subsequently alerted the Department of Justice of their suspicions of commission-fixing collusion.

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Christie's gained immunity from prosecution in the United States as a longtime employee of Christie's confessed and cooperated with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Christie's has been criticized for "an embarrassing history of a lack of transparency around provenance".

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In November 2014, Christie's had to withdraw a prehistoric sculpture from Sardinia, valued at $800, 000–$1.

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Christie's finally surrendered 180 looted and illegally smuggled antiquities valued at $70m.

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Christie's first ventured into storage services for outside clients in 1984, when it opened a 100, 000 square feet brick warehouse in London that was granted "Exempted Status" by HM Revenue and Customs, meaning that property may be imported into the United Kingdom and stored without incurring import duties and VAT.

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Christie's Fine Art Storage Services, or CFASS, is a wholly owned subsidiary that runs Christie's storage operation.

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In September 2008, Christie's signed a 50-year lease on an early 1900s warehouse of the historic New York Dock Company in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and subsequently spent $30 million converting it into a six-storey, 250, 000 square feet art-storage facility.

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Christie's Education offers graduate programmes in London and New York, and non-degree programmes in London, Paris, New York and Melbourne.

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