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Christie’s launches publication on its 250 years of history

Christie’s launches publication, “Going Once: 250 Years of Culture, Taste & Collecting at Christie’s’

Going Once: 250 years of Culture, Taste & Collecting at Christie'sSeptember 26, 2016: Auction house Christie’s has published ‘Going Once: 250 Years of Culture, Taste and Collecting at Christie’s’ to coincide with its 250th anniversary. The book charts the history of taste and collecting through the stories behind 250 iconic and often record-breaking sales, from Picasso’s Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) (1955) and Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery collection to a London bus, Star Trek memorabilia and Pelé’s football shirt.

Many of the items in the book were auctioned in record-breaking sales. They include the Rothschild Fabergé Egg commissioned by the family in 1902 and sold over a century later for almost £9m ($19m) in 2007; Lucian Freud’s Benefits Supervisor Sleeping (1995), which, in 2008, became the most expensive painting by a living artist sold at auction when it was bought for $33.6m (£17.2m); and a dozen bottles of Château Pétrus 1945 that fetched $72,600 in 1997.
The selection of 250 objects reveals fascinating discoveries. The book demonstrates how world events and changes in society influenced the expansion of collecting. The French Revolution in 1789 resulted in important art collections, which had once hung in chateaux and castles throughout Europe, being brought to London and sold at Christie’s to a new generation of collectors.
Many works featured in the book can now be seen in museum collections. The book charts the history of the organisation from James Christie’s first Pall Mall sale of ‘six breakfast pint basons and plates’ and concludes with a comprehensive timeline that gives readers an overview of Christie’s first 250 years.
Going Once: 250 Years of Culture, Taste and Collecting at Christie’s is published by Phaidon on 24 October 2016
Price: Hardback £39.95