Dorotheum - since 1707

Discover the History of Dorotheum with an Exclusive Guided Tour

700 auctions per year, 40 categories, 100 experts and more than 300 years’ worth of experience.

Celebrating more than 300 years since its foundation in Vienna by Emperor Joseph I in 1707, Dorotheum is today the largest auction house in German-speaking Europe as well as a leader in central Europe and one of the oldest and largest auction houses in the world.

Having raised its profile following the most successful results in its history and a spate of top and world record prices at auction, Dorotheum has expanded internationally and we are now proud to have representative offices in Hamburg, Munich, Düsseldorf, Milan, Rome, London, Prague, and Brussels, all of which hold regular previews of the major auction items.

Highlights of our calendar are undoubtedly the major auctions, held by a range of departments: Old Master and 19th Century Paintings, Modern and Contemporary Art, Antiques, Silver, Art Nouveau, Jewellery, and Watches.

We also regularly hold special auctions in over 40 departments, which attract art enthusiasts and collectors from all over the world. These include, to name just a few, auctions of design, porcelain, glass, photography, historical scientific instruments, royal and imperial memorabilia, stamps, coins, books, and autographs.

Our team includes over 100 experts who would be delighted to assist or advise with any queries.

A Brief History of Dorotheum

Founded by Emperor Joseph I in 1707, Dorotheum is one of the world’s oldest major auction houses.

As an emininent Viennese institution for over 300 years, Dorotheum is a slice of Austrian history. Eighty years after it was founded as the "Displacement and Inquiry Office for Vienna", it relocated to the former Dorotheerkirche, a convent, leading to its current name "Dorotheum".
The magnificent Palais Dorotheum that is located in the Dorotheergasse was completed on the site of the old convent in 1901.

Plans for the new building in neo-Baroque style were drawn up by the famous Ringstrasse architect, Emil Ritter von Förster, and Kaiser Franz Joseph himself conducted its grand opening. The premises met all the requirements of a major auction house, and the spacious showrooms and salons cemented its appeal as an elegant marketplace for fine art. Today, the palace provides an ambient and unique backdrop for the major international Dorotheum auctions.

Auctions at Dorotheum: that was then ...

Dorotheum has been privately owned since autumn 2001. Its owners run the house with tremendous zest and passion for art. The management’s aim is to promote Vienna as a location for auctions while maintaining the charm of the traditional building.

Dorotheum is a meeting place for art lovers and collectors, offering efficient customer service, a vibrant image, and an excellent international network of contacts and clients. Dorotheum places particular focus on modern and contemporary art.

Emperor Joseph I

Opening of the Palais, 1901

Founding patent, 1707

Discover the History of Dorotheum with an Exclusive Guided Tour

More than 300 Years of Auction History

This tour takes you through the more than 300-year history of the renowned Austrian auction house. Learn about how Joseph I founded the auction house in 1707, why Joseph II's reforms were important for Dorotheum and what role the auction house played after the end of the Habsburg monarchy.

You will be guided through the historical rooms of the Palais Dorotheum on Dorotheergasse and taught about the inner-workings of an auction. Dorotheum specialists will reveal some of their exceptional auction objects (subject to availability).

Dates: By appointment
Price: 1-4 persons €100, each additional person €25, from 10 persons €230
Start: By appointment
Meeting point: Entrance foyer, Palais Dorotheum, Dorotheergasse 17, 1010 Vienna
Duration: Approx. 90 minute

Guided tours for school classes

Dates: By appointment 
Meeting point:
Palais Dorotheum, entrance foyer on the ground floor, Dorotheergasse 17, 1010 Vienna
Price: € 35 per class
Duration: 60 - 90 minute

Contact Information
Robert Eichhorn
Mobile 0660 602 83 08

Robert Eichhorn is a state-certified tour guide. Before becoming self-employed, he worked Dorotheum for 17 years.
His years of experience at Dorotheum have given him a unique insider view, making him the perfect guide!

Robert Eichhorn is looking forward to taking you behind the scenes and delving into more than 3 centuries of Dorotheum history.
Experience an exciting journey through one of the oldest and largest auction houses in the world!

Tours are available in English and German.