Sotheby's

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Sotheby's'

One of the world's most venerable auction houses. The company is largely known for holding auctions of very valuable and rare collectors' items such as jewelry, antiques and fine art.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Sotheby's'

Sotheby's acts as a market for the exchange of rare and valuable pieces for which there are few other means of buying and selling. Because of the rarity of many of the items that go onto the auction block, the company provides a way for investors and collectors to liquidate their holdings in an otherwise illiquid market. However, huge swings in value tend to be common with much of what Sotheby's sells because items such as gemstones, fine art and antiques are worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay for them at the time they are sold.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Precious Metals

    A classification of metals that are considered to be rare and/or ...
  2. Gold Bug

    An individual who is bullish on gold. Gold bugs believe that ...
  3. Illiquid

    The state of a security or other asset that cannot easily be ...
  4. Gemology

    The combined art and science of studying, cutting, valuing, buying ...
  5. Appraiser

    A practitioner who has the knowledge and expertise necessary ...
  6. Winner's Curse

    A tendency for the winning bid in an auction to exceed the intrinsic ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    Fine Art Can Be A Fine Investment

    The art market is fickle, and there are no guarantees of profitability, but with a little legwork and forethought you can fill your home with images that may prove worthy investments down the ...
  2. Options & Futures

    Investing In Fine Wine

    If you fail to uncork profits in this market, you can always toast your loss.
  3. Options & Futures

    Introduction To Gemology

    Gemology as an investment alternative may seem glamorous, but it's not for the faint of heart.
  4. Options & Futures

    20 Investments You Should Know

    To take advantage of all your investing options, you need to know what your choices are. Here we tell you about the diverse features and advantages of 20 different financial instruments.
  5. Taxes

    The Risks of Investing in Art and Collectibles

    Investing in art and collectibles has the potential to lead to a big payday, but it's often a difficult road.
  6. Taxes

    The Advantages of Investing in Art & Collectibles

    Investing in collectibles can be profitable and fun, and can offer tax benefits for some.
  7. Taxes

    How Are Collectibles Taxed?

    If you plan to sell collectibles, it's imperative that you know the tax implications.
  8. Stock Analysis

    When Investing in Whisky, Mind Your Liquidity

    As rare spirits fetch unprecedented prices at auctions, investing in whiskey may prove even more tempting than drinking it.
  9. Investing

    Feeling Risk-Averse? Consider These Investments

    These investments offer risk-averse investors resiliency to bear markets while paying sustainable dividends or interest.
  10. Personal Finance

    5 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold

    These are the most expensive paintings ever.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Bogey

    A buzzword that refers to a benchmark used to evaluate a fund's performance. The benchmark is an index that reflects the ...
  2. Xetra

    An all-electronic trading system based in Frankfurt, Germany. Launched in 1997 and operated by the Deutsche Börse, the Xetra ...
  3. Nuncupative Will

    A verbal will that must have two witnesses and can only deal with the distribution of personal property. A nuncupative will ...
  4. OsMA

    An abbreviation for Oscillator - Moving Average. OsMA is used in technical analysis to represent the variance between an ...
  5. Investopedia

    One of the best-known sources of financial information on the internet. Investopedia is a resource for investors, consumers ...
  6. Unfair Claims Practice

    The improper avoidance of a claim by an insurer or an attempt to reduce the size of the claim. By engaging in unfair claims ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!