Looking down on the Great Auction Room at Christie’s; the proceedings are very English in their lack of obvious animation (2). Mediadrumimages / TopFoto / Retronaut

By Liana Jacob


VINTAGE pictures have been unveiled depicting Christie’s Auction House after the building was re-built following a BOMB EXPLOSION during WW2 that left nothing but a SHELL in its place.

A porter displays a candelabrum to the buyers (July 1954). Mediadrumimages / TopFoto / Retronaut

Retro photographs show auctioneers selling antique furniture in London-based Christie’s Auction House with bidders eagerly awaiting their favourite pieces.

Women wait patiently to see the next lot brought out (July 1954). Mediadrumimages / TopFoto / Retronaut

An image of Edward Smith, the auctioneer’s clerk, who has been working with Christie’s for over 60 years, assisting the auctioneer.

Further pictures show bidders inspecting different pieces and waiting in the crowd for their favourite pieces to be put up for auction.

Now the carpet dealers give the once over to this Ispahan carpet (late 16th century), the property of Mrs Thomas Kelly of New York; it fetched £3045 (2900 guineas) (2). Mediadrumimages / TopFoto / Retronaut

The set are taken in July 1954, 13 years after the building was bombed in 1941 during World War Two, where all that was left was a shell.

Despite the impact on currency and other implications of the post-war world, the photos show that London remained the centre of the art market and Christie’s was a great focus of that market in London.

Sir Henry Floyd, Bart – the furniture auctioneer at Christie’s; A beautiful chandelier hangs over his carefully-brushed head (July 1954). Mediadrumimages / TopFoto / Retronaut

This particular auction of furniture, rugs, porcelain and artistic objects managed to gather £22,479 and nine shillings.


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