James Christie, the founder of Christie’s, held his first art auction sale today in 1766 at Pall Mall, London, England. Now WE know em

474px-Thomas_Gainsborough_-_Portrait_of_James_Christie

James Christie was born during 1730 in Perth, Scotland.

He was a tall, dignified man with a remarkable appearance who became known for his eloquence and enthusiasm for fine artwork.

As early as 1759, London newspaper advertisements for artwork have been traced to James Christie.

To build his art trade, Christie then began renting London auction rooms from around 1762.

Then in 1766, James Christie decided to begin holding major art auctions at his own permanent location.

Christie’s

On December 5, 1766, James Christie had an auction catalogue printed and held his first art auction sale in Pall Mall, London, a location formerly occupied by a print warehouse owned by Richard Dalton.

Christie’s Auction by Thomas Rowlandson

Christie’s Auction by Thomas Rowlandson

His new company Christie’s soon established a reputation as a leading auction house in London.

James then married and went on to have four sons, the eldest son born in 1773 would one day succeed him in running the business.

Christie’s also hosted the exhibitions of the Royal Academy of Arts at its Pall Mall location until 1779.

After the French Revolution in 1799, London became the major center of the international art trade due in part to Christie’s auction house.

Christie’s eventually moved its headquarters to King Street in London where it remains till this day.

Christie's auction room in London: This engraving was published as Plate 6 of Microcosm of London (1808)

Christie’s auction room in London: This engraving was published as Plate 6 of Microcosm of London (1808)

Over the year’s, Christie’s, both in London and eventually Geneva, Rome, and New York City, have dealt with some of the most important art sales in history.

James Christie died November 8, 1803 at his house in Pall Mall at the age of 73.

Now WE know em

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