Bonhams & Butterfield
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EBay Inc. is an American multinational e-commerce corporation based in San Jose, California that facilitates consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales through its website. EBay was founded by Pierre Omidyar in the autumn of 1995, became a notable success story of the dot-com bubble. EBay is a multibillion-dollar business with operations in about 30 countries, as of 2011; the company manages the eBay website, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a wide variety of goods and services worldwide. The website is free to use for buyers, but sellers are charged fees for listing items after a limited number of free listings, again when those items are sold. In addition to eBay's original auction-style sales, the website has evolved and expanded to include: instant "Buy It Now" shopping. EBay offered online money transfers as part of its services; the AuctionWeb was founded in California on September 3, 1995, by French-born Iranian-American computer programmer Pierre Omidyar as part of a larger personal site.
One of the first items sold on AuctionWeb was a broken laser pointer for $14.83. Astonished, Omidyar contacted the winning bidder to ask if he understood that the laser pointer was broken. In his responding email, the buyer explained: "I'm a collector of broken laser pointers."Reportedly, eBay was a side hobby for Omidyar until his Internet service provider informed him he would need to upgrade to a business account due to the high volume of traffic to his website. The resulting price increase forced him to start charging those who used eBay, was not met with any animosity, it resulted in the hiring of Chris Agarpao as eBay's first additional employee to process mailed checks coming in for fees. Jeffrey Skoll was hired as the first new president of the company in early 1996. In November 1996, eBay entered into its first third-party licensing deal, with a company called Electronic Travel Auction, to use SmartMarket Technology to sell plane tickets and other travel products. Growth was phenomenal.
The company changed the name of its service from AuctionWeb to eBay in September 1997. The site belonged to Echo Bay Technology Group, Omidyar's consulting firm. Omidyar had tried to register the domain name echobay.com, but found it taken by the Echo Bay Mines, a gold mining company, so he shortened it to his second choice, eBay.com. In 1997 the company received $6.7 million in funding from the venture capital firm Benchmark Capital. Meg Whitman was hired by the board as eBay president and CEO in March 1998. At the time, the company had 30 employees, half a million users and revenues of $4.7 million in the United States. The repeated story that eBay was founded to help Omidyar's fiancée trade Pez candy dispensers was fabricated by a public relations manager, Mary Lou Song, in 1997 to interest the media, which were not interested in the company's previous explanation about wanting to create a "perfect market"; this was revealed in Adam Cohen's book, The Perfect Store, confirmed by eBay. After eBay went public, both Omidyar and Skoll became instant billionaires.
EBay's target share price of $18 was all but ignored as the price went to $53.50 on the first day of trading. The Pez dispenser myth generated enormous amounts of publicity and led to some of eBay's most explosive early growth among toy collectors; however at the time, Beanie Babies were the leader in the toy category and was the most difficult brand to find in retail stores. Beanie Babies became the dominant product on eBay accounting for 10% of all eBay listings in 1997. While still a held company, eBay's growing market share was contributed by two major factors: The growing collectibility of Beanie Babies in the mid-1990s – collectors internationally were trying to complete their collection of Beanie Babies Ty producing the first business-to-consumer Web site - the original Ty Web site contained an online trading post where people could trade their Beanie Babies, however the trading post was overwhelmed with unsortable listings creating a legitimate demand for a more efficient online system to buy and trade Beanie Babies in the secondary marketAs a result, eBay provided a user-friendly interface to search for specific Beanie Babies that collectors were searching for.
On September 21, 1998, eBay went public. In the risk factors section of the annual report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission in 1998, Omidyar notes eBay's dependence on the continued strength of the Beanie Babies market; as the company expanded product categories beyond collectibles into any saleable item, business grew quickly. In 2000, eBay had 12 million registered users and a cyberinventory of more than 4.5 million items on sale on any given day. In February 2002 the company purchased iBazar, a similar European auction web site founded in 1998, bought PayPal on October 3, 2002. By early 2008 the company had expanded worldwide, counting hundreds of millions of registered users as well as 15,000 employees and revenues of $7.7 billion. After nearly ten years at eBay, Whitman decided to enter politics. On January 23, 2008, the company announced that Whitman would step down on March 31, 2008, John Donahoe was selected to become president and CEO. Whitman remained on the board of directors and continued to advise
Bonhams is a owned international auction house and one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. It was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Phillips Son & Neale; this brought together two of the four surviving Georgian auction houses in London, Bonhams having been founded in 1793, Phillips in 1796 by Harry Phillips a senior clerk to James Christie. Today, the amalgamated business handles art and antiques auctions, it operates two salerooms in London—the former Phillips sale room at 101 New Bond Street, the old Bonham's sale room at the Montpelier Galleries in Montpelier Street, Knightsbridge—with a smaller sale room in Edinburgh. Sales are held around the world in New York, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Singapore. Bonhams holds more than 280 sales a year in more than 60 collecting areas, including Asian art, motor cars and jewellery, it has sales in London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Sydney. Bonhams has more than 550 staff with some of the world’s leading specialists in their fields.
Bonhams was set up in 1793 when Thomas Dodd, an antique print dealer, joined forces with the book specialist Walter Bonham. The company expanded and by the 1850s was handling all categories of antiques including jewellery, furniture and armour, wine. After returning from the war, in the early 1950s, Leonard Bonham purchased some land in Knightsbridge and erected a saleroom on Montpelier Street; the first sale was held in June 1956. In 2000, Bonhams became Brooks when it was acquired by Brooks auction house. Brooks had been founded in 1989 by the former Head of Cars at Christie’s, Robert Brooks who specialized in the sale of classic and vintage motorcars. Brooks continued a major acquisition programme aimed at creating a new international fine art auction house. In 2001 Bonhams & Brooks merged with Phillips Son & Neale to form a new UK company trading as Bonhams. Phillips Son & Neale had been based in 101 New Bond Street, which subsequently became the new headquarters of Bonhams; the building consisted of seven different freeholds and had been described as "a Dickensian rabbit warren".
The first of the sites to be acquired was Blenstock House, an Art Deco building at the junction of Blenheim Street and Woodstock Street acquiring the complete building in 1974. Acquisition activity continued, in 2002 Bonhams purchased Butterfields, a leading auction house on the West Coast founded in 1865. Bonhams changed Butterfields’ name to Bonhams & Butterfields, Malcolm Barber of Brooks, became the chief executive officer of the American subsidiary. Bonhams remained the company’s brand name outside of the United States. By the end of 2003 Bonhams was conducting more than 700 annual sales with revenues of $304 million; the company’s worldwide network of sales included two major London venues, nine additional UK locations, salerooms in Switzerland, Germany, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sydney. Bonhams & Butterfields conducted its first East Coast sale in 2003 with an auction of Edwin C. Jameson's collection of classic antiques in Massachusetts. During 2005, Bonhams continued to expand its presence in the USA and acquired a new saleroom on Madison Avenue in New York.
The company expanded further in Europe with the opening of the Paris office in June 2005. In October 2005, Bonhams gained full independence after buying back a 49.9% stake held by French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. As part of a phased programme of international expansion, Bonhams opened an office in Hong Kong in 2007. Seven years in 2014, it established an East Asian HQ and saleroom in Hong Kong in One Pacific Place. Bonhams East Asian and Southeast Asian network now includes officed in Beijing and Singapour. In March 2008, Bonhams New York moved to new salerooms on the corner of 57th Street and Madison Avenue - the home of the respected Dahesh Museum of Art; the inaugural sale featured decorative arts. In 2013, Bonhams opened its new headquarters at 101 New Bond Street, a state-of-the-art building, designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. In 2016, Bonhams held its first online-only auction; the sale – Watches and Wristwatches from the Collection of a European Nobleman – was 100 per cent sold.
In September 2018, Bonhams was acquired by Epiris. Bonhams has regional representatives in 25 countries, it has three salerooms in the UK. Regional offices around the UK offer consignment services. In Europe, sales are held in France and Belgium. In the US, sales are held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York. In Asia-Pacific, sales take place in Bonhams saleroom in Pacific Place, Hong Kong, in Sydney. Bonhams notable sales include: La fête d’anniversaire by Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, sold for £7,096,250, a new world record price at auction for the artist at the Impressionist and Modern Sale at New Bond Street, 11 October 2018 An important and exceptionally rare set of four huanghuali folding chairs sold for £5,289,250 at the Fine Chinese Art Sale, Bonhams London on 9 November 2017 A blue and white garlic mouth vase, Yongzheng seal, sold in Hong Kong for HK$76,280,000 in 2014 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta, sold at Quail Lodge, California in 2014 for $38,115,000; this was the world record for the most valuable motor car sold at auction until August 2018 Fragonard’s portrait of Francois-Henri, 5th Duc d’Harcourt, achieved £17,106,500 in London in 2013.
An auction is a process of buying and selling goods or services by offering them up for bid, taking bids, selling the item to the highest bidder. The open ascending price auction is arguably the most common form of auction in use today. Participants bid against one another, with each subsequent bid required to be higher than the previous bid. An auctioneer may announce prices, bidders may call out their bids themselves, or bids may be submitted electronically with the highest current bid publicly displayed. In a Dutch auction, the auctioneer begins with a high asking price for some quantity of like items. While auctions are most associated in the public imagination with the sale of antiques, rare collectibles and expensive wines, auctions are used for commodities, radio spectrum and used cars. In economic theory, an auction may refer to any set of trading rules for exchange; the word "auction" is derived from the Latin augeō, which means "I increase" or "I augment". For most of history, auctions have been a uncommon way to negotiate the exchange of goods and commodities.
In practice, both haggling and sale by set-price have been more common. Indeed, before the seventeenth century the few auctions that were held were sporadic. Nonetheless, auctions have a long history, having been recorded as early as 500 B. C. According to Herodotus, in Babylon auctions of women for marriage were held annually; the auctions began with the woman the auctioneer considered to be the most beautiful and progressed to the least. It was considered illegal to allow a daughter to be sold outside of the auction method. During the Roman Empire, following military victory, Roman soldiers would drive a spear into the ground around which the spoils of war were left, to be auctioned off. Slaves captured as the "spoils of war", were auctioned in the forum under the sign of the spear, with the proceeds of sale going towards the war effort; the Romans used auctions to liquidate the assets of debtors whose property had been confiscated. For example, Marcus Aurelius sold household furniture to pay off debts, the sales lasting for months.
One of the most significant historical auctions occurred in the year 193 A. D. when the entire Roman Empire was put on the auction block by the Praetorian Guard. On 28 March 193, the Praetorian Guard first killed emperor Pertinax offered the empire to the highest bidder. Didius Julianus outbid everyone else for the price of 6,250 drachmas per guard, an act that initiated a brief civil war. Didius was beheaded two months when Septimius Severus conquered Rome. From the end of the Roman Empire to the eighteenth century auctions lost favor in Europe, while they had never been widespread in Asia. In some parts of England during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries auction by candle began to be used for the sale of goods and leaseholds. In a candle auction, the end of the auction was signaled by the expiration of a candle flame, intended to ensure that no one could know when the auction would end and make a last-second bid. Sometimes, other unpredictable processes, such as a footrace, were used in place of the expiration of a candle.
This type of auction was first mentioned in 1641 in the records of the House of Lords. The practice became popular, in 1660 Samuel Pepys's diary recorded two occasions when the Admiralty sold surplus ships "by an inch of candle". Pepys relates a hint from a successful bidder, who had observed that, just before expiring, a candle-wick always flares up slightly: on seeing this, he would shout his final - and winning - bid; the London Gazette began reporting on the auctioning of artwork at the coffeehouses and taverns of London in the late 17th century. The first known auction house in the world was Stockholm Auction House, founded by Baron Claes Rålamb in 1674. Sotheby's the world's second-largest auction house, was founded in London on 11 March 1744, when Samuel Baker presided over the disposal of "several hundred scarce and valuable" books from the library of an acquaintance. Christie's, now the world's largest auction house, was founded by James Christie in 1766 in London and published its first auction catalog in that year, although newspaper advertisements of Christie's sales dating from 1759 have been found.
Other early auction houses that are still in operation include Dorotheum, Bonhams, Phillips de Pury & Company, Freeman's and Lyon & Turnbull. By the end of the 18th century, auctions of art works were held in taverns and coffeehouses; these auctions were held daily, auction catalogs were printed to announce available items. In some cases these catalogs were elaborate works of art themselves, containing considerable detail about the items being auctioned. At this time, Christie's established a reputation as a leading auction house, taking advantage of London's status as the major centre of the international art trade after the French Revolution. During the American Civil War, goods seized by armies were sold at auction by the Colonel of the division. Thus, some of today's auctioneers in the U. S. carry the unofficial title of "colonel". The development of the internet, has led to a significant rise in the use of auctions as auctioneers can solicit bids via the internet from a wide range of buyers in a much wider range of commodities than was practical.
In 2008, the National Auctioneers Association reported that the gross revenue of the auction industry for that ye
San Francisco the City and County of San Francisco, is the cultural and financial center of Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, the fourth-most populous in California, with 884,363 residents as of 2017, it covers an area of about 46.89 square miles at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, the fifth-most densely populated U. S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area; as of 2017, it was the seventh-highest income county in the United States, with a per capita personal income of $119,868. As of 2015, San Francisco proper had a GDP of $154.2 billion, a GDP per capita of $177,968. The San Francisco CSA was the country's third-largest urban economy as of 2017, with a GDP of $907 billion.
Of the 500+ primary statistical areas in the US, the San Francisco CSA had among the highest GDP per capita in 2017, at $93,938. San Francisco was ranked 14th in the world and third in the United States on the Global Financial Centres Index as of September 2018. San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, all named for St. Francis of Assisi; the California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth, making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time. San Francisco became a consolidated city-county in 1856. San Francisco's status as the West Coast's largest city peaked between 1870 and 1900, when around 25% of California's population resided in the city proper. After three-quarters of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, San Francisco was rebuilt, hosting the Panama-Pacific International Exposition nine years later. In World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater.
It became the birthplace of the United Nations in 1945. After the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, significant immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the "hippie" counterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco as a center of liberal activism in the United States. Politically, the city votes along liberal Democratic Party lines. A popular tourist destination, San Francisco is known for its cool summers, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman's Wharf, its Chinatown district. San Francisco is the headquarters of five major banking institutions and various other companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. Gap Inc. Fitbit, Salesforce.com, Reddit, Inc. Dolby, Weebly, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Pinterest, Uber, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation and Weather Underground.
It is home to a number of educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of San Francisco, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco State University, the De Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the California Academy of Sciences. As of 2019, San Francisco is the highest rated American city on world liveability rankings; the earliest archaeological evidence of human habitation of the territory of the city of San Francisco dates to 3000 BC. The Yelamu group of the Ohlone people resided in a few small villages when an overland Spanish exploration party, led by Don Gaspar de Portolà, arrived on November 2, 1769, the first documented European visit to San Francisco Bay. Seven years on March 28, 1776, the Spanish established the Presidio of San Francisco, followed by a mission, Mission San Francisco de Asís, established by the Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza. Upon independence from Spain in 1821, the area became part of Mexico. Under Mexican rule, the mission system ended, its lands became privatized.
In 1835, Englishman William Richardson erected the first independent homestead, near a boat anchorage around what is today Portsmouth Square. Together with Alcalde Francisco de Haro, he laid out a street plan for the expanded settlement, the town, named Yerba Buena, began to attract American settlers. Commodore John D. Sloat claimed California for the United States on July 7, 1846, during the Mexican–American War, Captain John B. Montgomery arrived to claim Yerba Buena two days later. Yerba Buena was renamed San Francisco on January 30 of the next year, Mexico ceded the territory to the United States at the end of the war. Despite its attractive location as a port and naval base, San Francisco was still a small settlement with inhospitable geography; the California Gold Rush brought a flood of treasure seekers. With their sourdough bread in tow, prospectors accumulated in San Francisco over rival Benicia, raising the population from 1,000 in 1848 to 25,000 by December 1849; the promise of great wealth was so strong that crews on arriving vessels deserted and rushed off to the gold fields, leaving behind a forest of masts in San Francisco harbor.
Some of these 500 abandoned ships were used at times as storeships and hotels.