The London Gazette began reporting on the auctioning of artwork at the coffeehouses and taverns of London in the late 17th century.
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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 often drive a spear into the ground around which the spoils of war were left, to be auctioned off.
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.
An auctioneer may announce prices, bidders may call out their bids themselves (or have a proxy call out a bid on their behalf), or bids may be submitted electronically with the highest current bid publicly displayed.