Special Coverage250 BEST AUCTION HOUSES

The Top Auction Houses in Europe

The Top Auction Houses in Europe
Cushion-shaped fancy deep-blue 5.3 carat diamond ‘Trombino’ ring by Bulgari, ca. 1965, from Bonhams


Vienna, Austria, and seven European locations
Focus: Fine and decorative art

Dorotheum began as the Vienna pawn and Query Bureau,? a government endeavor initiated in 1707 by the Holy Roman emperor himself. Over time, it evolved into one of the largest auction houses in Europe, eventually relocating to the Dorotheum palace and changing its name accordingly. The auction house was purchased by an Austrian consortium in 2001 and has since expanded its operations, holding some 600 auctions annually. The house’s 2012 results were led by Lorenzo Lippi’s Triumph of David, which shot past its high estimate of €150,000 to reach a final price of €869,800 on April 18, 2012, and an untitled blue mirror work by Anish Kapoor that realized €754,800 (est. €400–600,000) on May 24, 2012.