Sotheby’s auction house started out in 1744 when a guy called Samuel Barker sold several hundred books in an annual sale. Ten years later he decided to hire out a larger premises in Covent Garden.
With business booming, the auctioneers soon moved to The Strand, before settling in Bond Street in 1917.
Sotheby’s main rival for two hundred years was the auction house Christie’s, but by the mid 20th-century Sotheby’s had overtaken their sales. That remained the case until the 1990s, when Christie’s embarked on a series of high-profile art sales.