Celebrating 40 Years of Christie's South Kensington

‘I joined Christie’s South Kensington in the summer of 1984 on a six week contract as a porter and it was a total revelation to me. I instantly became fascinated by the extraordinary array of collectibles and art that they offered, at that time in over 450 sales a year. As well as the staple furniture and painting auctions, other sales ranged from Victorian Christmas Cards to Aeronautical sales. We even once sold a client’s collection of cookers and ranges, an experience I’ll never forget as a porter! It wasn’t just the art and objects, but just as much the people in the industry: the Christie’s specialists, the dealers, collectors, connoisseurs and private individuals who came into the salerooms.

Today, Christie’s South Kensington is the busiest saleroom in the United Kingdom, and arguably the world though we’ve refined our offering over the years. Here in the heart of London’s cultural hub, with the V&A, Science Museum, Natural History Museum, and a host of other major institutions a stone’s throw from Old Brompton Road, I describe Christie’s SW7 salerooms as the alternative museum. Every week there are different sales on view, open to everyone, and not only can you come and be inspired, but unlike the museums you can bid for and buy the exhibits from £500.

I love Christie’s just as much now, as the first day I stepped foot in the saleroom, perhaps even more. Every day I’ll see something new, I’ll be inspired, and my appetite to learn only gets stronger. I hope that with this significant anniversary more and more people will discover the joys of this unique saleroom.’

— Nic McElhatton, Chairman, Christie’s South Kensington


Our series of videos to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Christie’s South Kensington.

  • Inside Christie’s South Kensington: ‘The alternative museum’

    Nic McElhatton joined Christie’s South Kensington as a porter in 1984. Now the auction house’s Chairman, he describes what makes the UK’s busiest sales room, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, such an extraordinary place to work.

  • My passion: Skeletons, fossils, scientific instruments

    As part of our series of films to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Christie’s South Kensington, James Hyslop, Head of the Travel, Science & Natural History department, discusses the extraordinary fossils, objects and instruments that he has the privilege of working with.

  • My passion: Chinese porcelain, jade and artworks

    As part our series of films to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Christie’s South Kensington, Kate Hunt, Head of the Chinese department, discusses the some of the exceptional objects she comes into contact with every day.

  • My passion: Rare and valuable clocks

    Clocks specialist Celia Harvey introduces some of the exceptional time pieces she works with and gives her expert tips.

  • My Passion: British paintings and sculptures

    The latest in our series of films to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Christie’s South Kensington sees specialist Tom Rooth discussing curating the perfect exhibition, fake signatures — and the objects he struggles to part with.

  • My Passion: Arms, Armour and Sporting Guns

    As part of our series of films to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Christie’s South Kensington, Howard Dixon, Head of Antique Arms, Armour and Sporting Guns, discusses everything from Viking swords to duelling pistols.

  • My Passion: Jewellery

    Jewellery specialist Geoff Young on brilliant diamonds, coloured sapphires, and how to find the perfect engagement ring

  • My Passion: Posters

    As part of our series of films to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Christie’s South Kensington, Sophie Churcher, a specialist in the 19th and 20th Century Posters department, discusses the rare works which capture the spirit of their time.

  • My Passion: 20th century decorative art and design

    Christie’s specialist Fiona Baker on gives her tips on buying 20th century design — from original art deco, to arsenic-infused French glass

40 Years of Christie's South Kensington: A Timeline

40 Years of Christie's South Kensington: A Timeline

See highlights from our 40-year history at Christie’s South Kensington: 1975-2015.

View Timeline ►

Talks, Tours and More

Christie’s Lates

On the first Tuesday of every month, we keep our doors open late. Anyone can drop in to Christie’s, 85 Old Brompton Road between 6pm and 8:30pm for a post-work drink, to hear experts talk about art, interior design and collecting, and to see what happens behind the scenes of the UK’s busiest saleroom.

Whether you’re an auction regular or just curious about art and collecting, you’re invited to explore Christie’s Lates.

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Upcoming Christie's Lates

Tuesday 5 January – The Lifestyle Late
Tuesday 2 February – Modern Love
Check back for updates and details of future events

Christie’s Lates: The Lifestyle Late

Tuesday 5 January
6pm – 8:30pm
Christie’s South Kensington, 85 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3LD
Free entry, cash bar

Celebrate the New Year at Christie's South Kensington with an evening dedicated to leisure and lifestyle. Poster expert Paul Rennie will transport guests to the ski slopes with a talk on winter sports. There will also be the opportunity to unwind with a yoga session led by Julie Montagu ‘The Flexi Foodie’ and explore pop-up shops and stands including Tribe, Imbibery Juice and Hip & Healthy.


Long Gallery and Coyle Gallery
Pop-Up Shops
Hip & Healthy – Stylish sportswear and tips for healthy living
Tribe – Nutritious snacks for London runners
Imbibery Juice – Cold-pressed juices for an intoxicating detox
Pure Sin Treats – Healthy treats with none of the sin, but all of the pleasure

Front Gallery 3
30-minute yoga sessions with Julie Montagu ‘The Flexi Foodie’
6:30pm │ 7:15pm │ 8:00pm
Places limited. Please email rsvp@christies.com with your preferred time slot to reserve a place or sign up at the gallery entrance on the night.

Coleridge Gallery
Guest Speaker: Paul Rennie
Style and Sophistication in Winter Sports