George A. Lucas. Journal entry. July 6, 1883 [published in Lilian M. C. Randall, "The Diary of George A. Lucas: An American Art Agent in Paris, 1857–1909," Princeton, N.J., 1979, p. 567], mentions that León y Escosura was to send two paintings to the Metropolitan Museum of Art [probably including this one].
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, p. 298, calls it "An Auction Sale" and identifies the scene as an auction at Clinton Hall, New York, in 1876.
"Auction Scene from the 'Seventies." American Collector 16 (August 1947), frontispiece, ill., calls it "Auction Scene from the 'Seventies" and notes that León y Escosura painted it during his American sojourn.
Mark Roglán et al. Prelude to Spanish Modernism: Fortuny to Picasso. Exh. cat., Albuquerque Museum. Albuquerque, 2005, pp. 12, 132, colorpl. 15, observes that the auction house is an extremely rare subject in Spanish painting; notes that if León y Escosura did travel to the United States in 1876 as indicated by the date of this picture, he was one of the first Spanish artists to paint in New York.