“The chief difficulty experienced in the compilation of these “ Memorials of Christie’s ” has been, not the lack of material, but the wealth of it. To compress into two volumes the essence of many thousands of catalogues has been a task of no little difficulty, and I do not pretend to claim that every “lot” of importance is to be found mentioned within these covers. To compile a complete record of the sales at Christie’s would require a lifetime of constant application, and a long series of volumes dealing with each of the many special objects which come under the hammer at Messrs. Christie, Manson and Woods’. Such a work would be of the greatest possible value, and in many respects of very considerable interest, but it naturally could not be undertaken by one upon whose time the daily press makes large demands. In the preparation of this work, I have gone through all the earlier Christie catalogues, page by page, and all the more important ones of the later issues have been carefully scanned. I think, therefore, that these two volumes will be found to contain a fairly exhaustive resumé of the chief public sales which have been held at Christie’s during the long period of nearly a century and a half. The task has been no light one, and if the results are commensurate with the amount of labour and time which it has involved I shall feel at all events that my work has not been in vain.” - ( William Roberts - 1897)
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