Shopping , Auction houses Fitzrovia
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Venue name: Sotheby’s
Address: 34-35 New Bond St
Transport: Tube: Bond St
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  • Exhibitions Tuesday November 1 2016 - Thursday November 10 2016 Free
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Grace I

If you think you've seen all the great art, books and manuscripts at all the great museums of London, you're missing one of the best places to get cultured for free. Many of the items that come up for auction here and at other auction houses come from private collections and will be sold again to private collections, so your only chance to see them is when they are on display for a few days before a sale. Whether it's a collection of the original Spitting Image puppets or the possessions of Churchill's daughter Emma Soames or a massive collection of 19th-century Russian art, the exhibitions provide a lovely and free day out at which you'll be treated like a millionaire, even if you're poor, because the staff assume any visitor is a potential customer. Check for lists of upcoming auctions and exhibitions, and you can even read sale catalogues online to pick out your dream purchase.