The Getty Provenance Index® has added 138,000 database records of art sales from the 1600s and 1700s

New Sales Data Trace the First Hundred Years
of the British Auction Market

The Getty Provenance Index has, for three decades, been a leading resource for scholarship on the history of collecting. Founded in the early 1980s by Burton Fredericksen, the first curator of paintings for the Getty Museum, the Provenance Index has evolved into a collection of online databases with 1.75 million records indexing the works of art described in source documents such as auction catalogs, archival inventories, and dealer stock books. This data can be used to trace the ownership of works of art and to examine patterns in collecting and art markets.

Read Eric Hormell’s full announcement about the exciting addition of 138,000 database records on ‘the Getty iris’.

New Article: M. Lincoln & A. Fox, Temporal Dimensions of the London Art Auctions, 1780-1835

M. Lincoln & A. Fox, Temporal Dimensions of the London Art Auctions, 1780-1835

Abstract (DOI)

Fig. 10 James Gillray, A Peep at Christie’s;—or—Tally-ho, & his Nimeney-pimmeney taking the Morning Lounge, published 24 Sept. 1796, etching and aquatint, hand coloured, 35 x 25.7 cm. Collection of the British Museum, London (1868,0808.6552)  Digital image courtesy of Trustees of the British Museum, London
Fig. 10 James Gillray, A Peep at Christie’s;—or—Tally-ho, & his Nimeney-pimmeney taking the Morning Lounge, published 24 Sept. 1796, etching and aquatint, hand coloured, 35 x 25.7 cm. Collection of the British Museum, London (1868,0808.6552) Digital image courtesy of Trustees of the British Museum, London

The rush of activity among London’s auction houses in the first few weeks of summer has long been a familiar occurrence that persists even today. However, this intense seasonal concentration of sales was not always so. This paper draws on quantitative methods to explore the gradual emergence of a tightly scheduled auction season in London at the turn of the nineteenth century, focusing on the sale of paintings.

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