Sotheby's: Bidding for Class
In this account of the world's oldest and richest auction house, Lacey brings to life the personalities, ambition, and shrewd business dealings behind the glamour and glitz. From the socially ambitious parson's son Montague Barlow to the endlessly charming, brilliant, and amoral aristocrat Peter Wilson to the present owner, American shopping mall magnate A. Alfred Taubman, and his flamboyant lieutenant Diana D. Brooks, the managers of Sotheby's have learned how to dress their rummage sales for the rich in a glowing patina of scholarship, taste, and social distinction. Robert Lacey reports from the inside on such recent events as the auction of the personal property of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis in 1996 and Mohamed al-Fayed's sale of the goods of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor in February 1998. He traces the history of the long and often bitter rivalry with Sotheby's only significant adversary, Christie's, the "other" auction house. He tells how top executives from the two houses compete in the wooing of wealthy widows and estate lawyers to grab the rights to the few artistic masterpieces left in private hands, and to uncover new categories of "collectibles" to tempt the appetite of a relentlessly consumerist world.
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Sotheby's: bidding for classUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
This interesting, well-researched, and often gossipy story of one of the world's most famous art-auction houses begins with a 1700s book dealer and extends into the present. (LJ 5/1/98) Read full review