Since its foundation in 1766, Christie's has traditionally held the most significant and successful sales in this category. These sales have embraced all fields, tastes and artistic endeavours-from the jewels of Madame du Barry in 1793 and the 40-day Stowe sale in 1848, to more recent auctions of property of Cecil Beaton, Marilyn Monroe, Rudolph Nureyev, the Viennese Rothschilds, Hubert de Givenchy, Christopher Gibbs, Elizabeth Taylor, Yves Saint Laurent, Joan Rivers and five Royal auctions including property from the collection of H.R.H. The Princess Margaret.
Christie's brings together a unique combination of skills and experience that ensures that property of both modest and high value achieves results many times above the original estimate. The magic of the objects, the styles of their owners and the romance of times past are intertwined in the sale of a single-owner collection. Sometimes conducted at the collection's location, such auctions evoke the ambiance of the property's original setting and suggest to buyers how pieces can be displayed in their own homes.
The staging of these sales is a challenging and complex affair, and must be built on a solid and carefully laid out strategy that often involves months of sale planning, marketing campaigns and logistical on-site preparations. Over the past five years, Christie's has led the market with over fifteen single owner sales each year.