Private Sales with Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s has a long and successful history of private sales and they consistently realize exceptional results. Since 2012, nearly 2,400 buyers from 79 countries have purchased works privately at Sotheby’s, accounting for $4.4 billion in sales. Sotheby’s has the fastest-growing private sale segment in the market and can expect that your private sale experience is met with unrivaled discretion, efficiency, and convenience every step of the way.

Sotheby’s offers year-round exhibitions with dedicated gallery space in their New York, London, and Hong Kong locations. Sotheby’s presents selling exhibitions exploring the work of celebrated artists, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Yayoi KusamaClaude Lalanne, and François-Xavier Lalanne, as well as shows curated by influential art world figures.

Upcoming Exhibitions | Past Exhibitions



— How to Buy Privately with Sotheby’s —


How can I find out what is currently for sale?

– Selling exhibitions are held regularly at Sotheby’s locations worldwide. View the online schedule of upcoming sales.

– Sotheby’s Diamonds offers pieces from its collection as well as custom-made jewelry and access to important stones. Visit

Sotheby’s Diamonds.

– Sotheby’s Wine can be purchased either through their retail store located in their New York headquarters or on the Sotheby’s Wine website.

– Sotheby’s is able to source items specifically for you, as described in the question below.

Who can I contact for help in acquiring an object or work of art?

Contact the Sotheby’s specialist most relevant for the property you wish to acquire. For a full listing of Sotheby’s specialists, view their contacts. Although Sotheby’s endeavors to accommodate all requests, please note that bespoke services are generally provided for transactions of $100,000 or greater.

How will you find the object or work I am looking to acquire?

Sotheby’s close relationships with the most important collectors and collections give them unparalleled access to procure exceptional objects and works of art on your behalf.

How does the level of discretion in a private sale differ from that of an auction?

We never disclose the identity of a buyer unless it is the express wish of the client to publicize their identity. While Sotheby’s releases auction prices to the public, all aspects of a private sale are kept in the strictest confidence.

Can I buy works directly from a selling exhibition?

Yes. Each selling exhibition has a list of Sotheby’s contacts who can provide pricing and confirm the availability of works. On the selling exhibitions page, click on the relevant exhibition to find contact details.

Are private sales conducted in all Sotheby’s locations?

Yes. Sotheby’s specialists are engaged with clients worldwide and will utilize their global network to assist you in acquiring the finest objects specific to your needs.

How quickly could you identify property that closely matches my specifications?

Sotheby’s will do their utmost to quickly locate the item or items that best meet your needs, but depending on the rarity and uniqueness of the object, timing will vary. Sotheby’s specialists will continue to identify possible private sale opportunities until your requirements have been met.

How do I pay for my purchase?

As soon as the sale has been processed, the post-sale service team will send you an invoice and a shipping quote based on your shipping preferences. You can pay by bank transfer, cheque or cash (subject to certain restrictions and legal limits). Certain credit cards are accepted at select Sotheby’s locations. Payment must be sent from the invoiced party and not from a third party. Sotheby’s will also assist you through the paperwork and shipping processes, and other logistical details needed to finalize your purchase.

— How to Sell Privately with Sotheby’s —


How can I find out what my property is worth?

Sotheby’s will gladly evaluate the work you are considering selling privately. For general inquiries about the value of your property, please complete an estimate request form according to the directions provided, which includes submitting clear color photographs and images of details such as signatures, maker’s marks and areas of damage. For other inquiries specific to private (non-auction) sales, email us at .

Please note that Sotheby’s minimum consignment value for private sale is $100,000.

What does Sotheby’s sell privately?

Sotheby’s offers private sales in all the categories in which we also conduct auctions. These include Impressionist & modern artold master paintingscontemporary artjewelry, furniture, antiquities, African art, and watches.

How do you determine whether a private sale or an auction is the most suitable method for selling my property?

After Sotheby’s specialists examine and appraise your property, they will assess the best method for offering your work and achieving your goals. Sotheby’s specialists will work with you to develop a personalized sales strategy that will be the most beneficial for your specific needs based on their unique market access and global insights. All private sale inquiries are treated with the utmost privacy and confidentiality.

How will you find a buyer for my property?

When you consign a work to Sotheby’s for private sale, they will present you with an agreement outlining their exclusive right to offer the work for a specified period of time. Sotheby’s will then begin to discreetly offer your property to individual potential purchasers, one at a time while keeping you informed of their progress.

How long will it take to sell my property?

Sotheby’s will do their utmost to quickly find a buyer for your property, but the timing may vary depending on market demand for your object.

Who can I contact about a potential sale of my property?

Contact the Sotheby’s specialist most relevant for your property. For a full listing of Sotheby’s specialists, view their contacts page. If you are not sure which category to select, or if you have a general inquiry about selling privately, email their Private Sales Department at



Contemporary Art
Impressionist & Modern Art
Old Master Paintings




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