The famous British auction house headquartered in London was founded by James Christie (1730-1803) in 1759 (after another source in 1762). The first auction was carried out by him on 5 December 1766. Initially, work was primarily for the English aristocracy and the royal family. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the business area and the customer base expanded to the whole of Europe and finally to the whole world. The most important auction locations are Hong Kong, London, New York and Paris. The company is known for its exclusive rarities and keeps making auction records. In recent years, for example, works and personal belongings of Leonardo da Vinci, Gustav Klimt, Napoleon, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt and Vincent van Gogh. A Persian vase carpet from the 17th century was auctioned in 2010 for the equivalent of 7.2 million euros to an Arab prospective buyer. On November 8, 2006, four paintings by Gustav Klimt were auctioned in New York for $ 192 million. The painting Adele Bloch-Bauer II shown on the right scored US $ 87.936 million, making it one of the top 5 paintings.
From the beginning, the sale of special, expensive wine rarities also played an important role. The famous English wine tasting Michael Broadbent (* 1927) 1966 director of the wine department and was many years for countless Auctions responsible. In the list of most expensive wines in the world was the record holder for a long time Château Lafite-Rothschild Vintage 1787, which was sold in 1985 for $ 160,000 (£ 105,000) (in the meantime, the competitor Sotheby's Leader). The from the estate of US President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) originating bottle went to the US publisher Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990). Ultimately, however, this transaction led to a scandal (see under Hardy Rodenstock, the seller of the bottle). Today Christie's belongs to the PPR group owned by the French billionaire François Pinault (* 1936). The company employs approximately 1,900 people worldwide at over 50 offices in 32 countries. In 2015, sales of £ 4.8 billion ($ 7.4 billion) were achieved. See also below largest wine companies in the world,