Company History

Empress Maria Theresa established the enterprise on the 23 August 1773 that has the longest uninterrupted history in Hungary, i.e. the First Hungarian Royal Pawnshop, now operating under the business name of BÁV Zrt.

With its history of over 240 years, BÁV Zrt. is the Hungarian enterprise with the longest uninterrupted history. The ornamental Royal Deed of Foundation signed by Maria Theresa, bound in leather and bearing the great royal seal, is one of the most precious items in our museum.
From the very beginning, the company has been the leader in the Hungarian pawnshop market, at the same time, it is also the number one company in the segments of art trading, jewellery, silver, gold and art objects.

Its activity is simultaneously characterised by the preservation of traditions and efforts at constant renewal, ensuring dynamic development and a close connection to the modern commercial-financial world. Its profile has remained true to its traditions, meanwhile, it shapes its diverse offering and services flexibly, adapting to the changes of the market and to the current habits of the customers. It is a characteristic feature of the spirit of BÁV that the company has never considered its activity as a business one only. From the first art auction held in 1922 to this day, the support of artists and the protection of works of art has been an important consideration in the life of the company.

Turning points in the history of the company

1773: First Hungarian Royal Pawnshop (Pozsony)
1787: Hungarian Royal Pawnshop (Buda)
1802: Royal Downtown Pawnshop (Pest)
1903: Construction of the central headquarters (Kinizsi street)
1919: Hungarian State Pawnshops
1920: State Auction Hall
from 17 February 1920: Asset Saving Fairs
6 October 1920: The first art auction
1924: Royal Hungarian Post Savings Association
1948: State Pawnshop and Auction Hall National Company
1951: Second-hand Store Company
1991: Auction House and Pawnshop Ltd.
1997: BÁV shares are introduced in the stock exchange
1998: Foundation of BÁV Zálog Pénzügyi és Szolgáltató Rt.
2001: The company is transformed into a private company limited by shares
2007: BÁV Auction House is opened
2015: New name of the Company: BÁV Auction House and Pawnshop Private Company Limited by Shares