Inside the new offices of Sotheby's in Edinburgh (Photo: Jamie Bennett)
Inside the new offices of Sotheby's in Edinburgh (Photo: Jamie Bennett)

Sotheby’s moves to a renovated historic home

Leading autioneers Sotheby’s has opened new offices in Edinburgh.

Located in The Edinburgh Grand, a recently renovated historic building in a prominent position on St Andrew Square, the office will be the focal point for Sotheby’s thriving business in Scotland.

Coinciding with the company’s celebration of its 50th anniversary year in Scotland, the move from the previous location at Thistle Street will allow for an enhanced client-facing environment.

The ground floor space offers two rooms, an office space and a wood panelled private viewing room with original fireplace, with double height windows facing onto St Andrew Square gardens, providing ideal viewing conditions for artworks.

Lucy Brown, Sotheby’s head of Edinburgh, said: ‘Sotheby’s has been the only international auction house with a continual presence in Scotland since the 1970s, so we are thrilled with this latest expansion of the business at a time when we are celebrating 50 years in Scotland and Sotheby’s 275th anniversary.

‘We are very excited to open our new office in such a prominent, vibrant location in the centre of Edinburgh and to share it with some of the city’s most successful and lively businesses.

‘The location and facilities will augment the development of our client base in Scotland, and by extension clients’ access to the international auction platform. In addition to operating as a sourcing centre, we will also be hosting a number of exciting events in our new Edinburgh home in the near future.’

Lucy, who recently assumed the role of head of the Edinburgh office, will be based in Scotland, working closely with colleagues from Sotheby’s London, including David Macdonald and Thomas Podd.

With his Scottish roots, deep expertise and gift for storytelling, David has brought his magic touch to many of the greatest single-owner sales Sotheby’s has handled in the last 20 years. In addition to his broader role as Sotheby’s Head of UK Single-Owner sales, he will now play a leading role within the Scottish team as Head of Private Collections, Scotland.

Inside the new offices of Sotheby’s in Edinburgh (Photo: Jamie Bennett)

As head of Sotheby’s Scottish art sales, Thomas spearheaded the Company’s success in relaunching dedicated sales of Scottish art in London.

This July, a selection of works by Scottish artists, including George Leslie Hunter, John Fergusson, Samuel Peploe, Craigie Aitchison and Joan Eardley, from Sotheby’s September sale of Scottish Art, will be available to view in the new office. From 13 to 16 August, the entire contents of the Scottish Art sale will go on public exhibition at the Edinburgh Grand.

Joining the team is Jonny Fowle, recently appointed Sotheby’s first-ever xpirits specialist. Based in London, Jonny will be responsible for driving Sotheby’s expansion into the Whisky and Spirits market. David, Thomas and Jonny will all make regular trips to Scotland, and work from the new office.

From the new premises, Sotheby’s will continue to provide its Scottish clients with the following services: sales of historic, important and single owner collections including historic houses and estates; professional advice on UK taxation and heritage issues arising through the acquisition, ownership and selling works of art; and valuation and cataloguing of collections based on the expert knowledge and scholarship of the Company’s specialists.

Sotheby’s history in Scotland is long and illustrious. The company pioneered Scottish art sales back in the early 1970s and has been at the forefront of that market ever since. More recently, in 2017, two remarkable collections made the journey from Scotland to Bond Street in London, when Sotheby’s showcased the legacy of two great Scottish families: the Forbeses of Pitsligo and the Marquesses of Lothian.

In 2018, a spectacular diamond-winged tiara commissioned by the late Mary Crewe-Milnes, Duchess of Roxburghe, went on display at the V&A Museum of Design in Dundee, on loan from a private collector, following arrangements negotiated through Sotheby’s.