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Sales catalogues: Historic catalogues online

Guide to finding auction sale catalogues, both on paper and online.


Sale of the property of the late James Bindley, 1819. Source: Open Library


Art Sales Catalogues Online, available at the British Library and National Art Library (see previous tab of this guide), is particularly comprehensive.  However the following are also useful and offer many catalogues not included in Art Sales Catalogues Online.


Gallica. From France: historic publications of many kinds, including sales catalogues. Difficult to  browse catalogues, but relatively easy to find specific sales if you know the sale name and date.


Getty Provenance Index Databases. Search by artist or artwork, to then click through to a reproduction of the entry in the sales catalogue. 


Getty Research Portal. Art publications of many kinds, including a good selection of digitised older catalogues.


Google Books. Including the full text of many out-of-copyright catalogues.


Metropolitan Museum of Art. As of 2019, the Met has placed 1375 historic sales catalogues online.


Open Library. Large, general collection of older books, including sales catalogues.