Sotheby's auction catalogs, 1931-2016.

Sotheby's (Firm), creator.
41 boxes (40.5 linear feet)

Get It


Organized into 13 series: I. Sotheby's (London); II. Sotheby's (New York); III. Sotheby's (Amsterdam); IV. Sotheby's (Florence); V. Sotheby's (Geneva); VI. Sotheby's (Jerusalem); VII. Sotheby's (Milan); VIII. Sotheby's (Monaco); IX. Sotheby's (Mùˆnchen); X. Sotheby's (Paris); XI. Sotheby's (Tel Aviv); XII. Sotheby's (UK - Other); and XIII. Sotheby's (Zurich).
Manuscripts, American -- 20th century.
Auction catalogs.
Founded in 1744, Sotheby's is one of the world's largest auction houses. For more than two hundred years it has played a central role in the sale of rare books and manuscripts. The catalogs in this collection were largely received directly from Sotheby's by the Penn Libraries and some contain annotations and other material added by librarians at Penn. Catalogs before the late 1980s generally do not include printed price estimates in the body of the catalog. These were often printed separately and inserted in the catalogue. Likewise, separate sheets listing the prices realized at the sale with names of buyers were frequently mailed to catalog recipients after a sale. This finding aid notes the presence of some of this additional material, but should not be presumed to be comprehensive in this area. The collection is arranged into 13 series by the location of sale. The vast majority of catalogs listed here were issued by Sotheby's London (1931-2016) or Sotheby's New York (1973-2016). In addition to catalogs from London and New York, the collection includes a smaller number of catalogs for Sotheby's auctions held in Amsterdam, Chester, Edinburgh, Florence, Geneva, Jerusalem, Milan, Monaco, Munich, Paris, Tel Aviv, and Zurich. Within each series catalogs are listed by date from oldest to most recent. Also note that after Sotheby's 1964 purchase of Parke-Bernet in New York, the firm's New York operations went by the name Sotheby's Parke Bernet until 1983. This finding aid includes Sotheby's catalogs from New York from 1973-2016 without noting the name change.
This finding aid serves as a guide to the more than 1,000 Sotheby's catalogs held in Print Collection 42 as well as Sotheby's catalogs post-1930 which are not present in Print Collection 42 but are held elsewhere in the Penn Libraries. Those catalogs with box and folder numbers present are in Print Collection 42, those with library call numbers listed can be found in the Penn Libraries catalog, those listed as being in Print Collection 28 are located in the Lawrence J. Schoenberg collection of catalogs. Researchers interested in Sotheby's catalogs outside the time frame covered here should search the library's online catalog for individual titles.