Going Once: 250 Years of Culture, Taste and Collecting at Christie’sChristie's

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A celebration of evolving taste, told through the stories behind 250 objects sold by the world's leading auction house

Founded in London in 1766, Christie's is one of the most important auction houses in the world. During its history, Christie's has sold masterpieces by artists such as Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Vincent van Gogh, often at record-breaking prices; and, away from the world of art, the personal possessions of such well-known figures as Napoleon Bonaparte, Marilyn Monroe, Yves Saint Laurent, and Princess Diana.

From furniture to works of fine and decorative art, vintage cars to clothing and jewellery, the items sold at its auctions hold a mirror to our history and reflect our culture at large. Going Once vividly brings to life the shifts in aesthetic trends, fashion, and design over the centuries, showcasing 250 of the most outstanding objects in its storied history - including some of the very first pieces sold at the auction house.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Size: 245 × 172 mm (9 5/8 × 6 3/4 in)
  • Pages: 496 pp
  • Illustrations: 350 illustrations
  • ISBN: 9780714872025

Founded in London in 1766, Christie's is one of the most important auction houses in the world.

As featured in Departures and Elliman Magazine

"Lots to be proud of... The most extraordinary artworks and outstanding objects ever sold at Christie's." —Christie's Magazine

"Bold enterprise: a new book on the 250 year history of Christie's published by Phaidon." —Antique Trade Gazette online

"Recounts discoveries such as a 3,000-year-old Assyrian frieze that sold for £7 million, having been found in the tuck shop of a Dorset school; record-breaking prices [...] and oddities that have crossed Christie's block, including a wooly-mammoth skeleton and James Bond author Ian Fleming's gold typewriter." —Vanity Fair (On Art)

"Wonderful... A great book to dip into time and time again as there is much to learn and enjoy from it." —Tim Forrest's E & A

"Christie's has seen many a remarkable artefact pass through its halls... Going Once [...] will reveal record-breaking sales [...], celebrity possessions and rare treasures uncovered in the most unlikely of situations." —Kensington & Chelsea Magazine

"'Christie's are a measure of what men and women have coveted in different periods. Not, be it said, the physical necessities of life - food, drink, raiment and so on - but metaphysical necessities.' So said Herbert Furst of the London auctioneers. Presented are 250 landmark sales of these 'metaphysical necessities'." —Crafts

"A history of taste and collecting through the lens of 250 iconic sales drawn from the auction house's proud past." —Apollo

"For every object, there is an accompanying story told with wit charm and verve. To read this book is to receive a private lesson from Christie's experts on some of the very best lots seen at auction." —House & Garden

"What links Captain Cook's logbook, Nureyev's slippers and a 1960 Routemaster bus? They're three of the wallet-shrinking lots featured in Going Once... The 250 lots highlighted here are notable for three reasons: as record-breakers [...] as curiosities, and as accidental discoveries, such as the Assyrian bas-relief found behind a school's dartboard." —World of Interiors

"A fascinating read." —The Lady

"[D]elightfully entertaining... A fascinating excursion through changing tastes as demonstrated by an absorbing collection of 250 artifacts and their idionsyncracies, backstories, and, frequently, notoriety." —Elliman magazine

"Equal parts immersive tome and beautiful objet d'art, mixing quality storytelling with high, tactile design... More than a receipt of what's been bought and sold (and resold), the book is a cultural history of our ever-evolving tastes." —Departures Online

"A stimulating guide to changing taste." —Country Life

"When were you last at Christie's? You can stay at home and look at 250 objects. If you had the money, what would you buy?... The choice could not be more eclectic and the back stories are interesting." —MatureTimes.co.uk