Segments in this Video

Inside Christie's: Introduction (04:03)


Founded by James Christie in the posh London borough of St. James, Christie's celebrates its 250th anniversary and accrues over five billion pounds per year. This program will go behind the scenes of the world's largest auction house to discover the business that drives its success. Jussi Pylkkänen explains how the organization now reaches out to collectors offering to sell in-demand pieces of art. (Credits)

Beginning of the Season (03:45)

When Christie's began, over 200 auction houses competed within London. Pylkkänen describes concerns opening a branch in Dubai ten years ago. "Sarajevo" sells for $950,000.

Finding Buyers (04:35)

Isabel de la Pourier leads the Client Advisory Department for Europe, Middle East, Russia, and India and advises private buyers on improving their art portfolios. Yousuf Gargash collects watches and bids $21,000 on a Patek Philippe 5960P Platinum.

Preparing for an Auction (03:45)

Pylkkänen meets with other executives to discuss who will be attending and bidding on each piece. Buyers arrive at Christie's. La Pourier bids on behalf of a Bahrani gentleman.

Providing an Artwork's History (02:44)

The Dubai sales are archived in Christie's London Headquarters. Lynda McLeod shows the ledger that recorded a household auction 250 years ago and explains how their records help authenticate works of art.

American Branch (03:33)

In New York City, a morning antiquity auction does not generate as much interest as Dubai. Pylkkänen meets with executives to discuss sellers' reserves. Adrien Meyer describes how auctioneers will pretend other bidders are interested in a work to create excitement.

Illegal Activities (06:13)

Twenty years ago, Christie's colluded with Sotheby's to fix the fees that people would pay for a sale of an object. Because sales have lowered for pre-20th-century items, Christie's created the Exceptional Sale. William Russell is particularly excited about auctioning off a sculpture of Andromeda.

International Company (05:24)

Christie's CEO Patricia Barbizet has a finance background and reports to François Pinault. Francis Outred describes how the company wants as many buyers as possible. Loic Gouzer curates the "Born to Fail" auction in New York City.

20th Century Art (03:15)

One-third of Christie's income is generated from Post-War and Contemporary art. Pylkkänen describes how the May sales dictate the health of the art market for the next year. Jonathan Laib describes how he cultivated a relationship with three sisters in order to auction off their Alexander Calder art.

High Bidders (05:11)

The New York branch constructed special hidden boxes for those who will bid on items over $10 million dollars. Adam Lindemann describes why he is selling his Basquiat. A Japanese bidder pays $57.285 million dollars.

Sales Go Down (06:44)

In the final auction, many paintings to not meet their reserve amounts and total sales are reduced by 30% since the previous year. Basilio and James package the priceless pieces of art for their new owners.

Credits: Inside Christie's: Episode 1 (00:32)

Credits: Inside Christie's: Episode 1

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Inside Christie's: Episode 1

Part of the Series : Inside Christie’s: The World's Biggest Auction House
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



As Christie's celebrates its 250th anniversary, this two-part series follows the drama behind iconic art auctions across the globe to reveal how the world's biggest auction house operates. In the first episode, the program goes behind the scenes in London, New York, and Dubai as staff, experts, advisers, and buyers set art trends, prices, reserves, and records. 

Length: 51 minutes

Item#: BVL145403

ISBN: 978-1-64347-172-3

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

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Not available to Home Video and Publisher customers.