Dorotheum, "Auktions-, Versatz- und Bank-Gesellschaft m. b. H" auction house, association under commercial law, sole associate is the Republic of Austria; chief activities: auctions, commercial transactions, cheap loans on pawns, safekeeping of valuables; runs its own bank. Its experts are available for valuations of works of art and valuables.
In 1707 the so-called "Versatz- und Frag-Ambt" was established in Vienna to provide cheap loans for pawned valuables, its main objective was to counteract usury. In 1785 the institution was opened to everybody, in 1787 it was moved to its present location in Dorotheergasse (derived its name from a former convent of the Order of St. Dorothea; new building 1901). From the end of the 19th century the auctioneering side of the business became increasingly important. In the 1920s branches were set up in the provinces. In 1923 the Dorotheum became an enterprise in its own right; currently regulated by the Dorotheum Act of 1979. Today the Dorotheum has more than 21 locations in Vienna and in the provinces. Subsidiary in Prague since 1992.