Christie’s announces 2011 sales of £3.6 billion / US$5.7 billion, up 9% by £ (14% by US$) compared with 2010 (figures include buyer’s premium). This includes private sales of £502 million / US$808.6 million, an increase of 44% by £ (50% by US$) on 2010.
“Christie’s ability to curate and offer sales of art to a growing audience has led to continued demand across geographies, collecting categories and at all levels. This is a very encouraging set of results”, said Steven P. Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Christie’s. “While we are seeing more investors collecting, there are many more collectors who are increasing their investment in their collections as the explosion of interest in art, fuelled by globalization, facilitated by the technology that increases access to information and images, meets the art that is coming to the market.”
Post-War and Contemporary led the art categories with auction sales of £735.7 million / US$1.2 billion – an increase of 22% by £ (27% by US$). The second strongest category was Asian Art which increased 13% by £ (17% by US$) and totaled record annual sales of £552.9 million / US$890.1 million. The highest price of the year was paid for Roy Lichtenstein’s (1923-1997), I Can See the Whole Room!…and There’s Nobody in it!, 1961, on 8 November in New York for US$43,202,500 / £26,785,550, a world record price for the artist at auction. In 2011, Christie’s sold 719 works at auction for over US$1 million (607 in 2010). Average sold rates (by lot) stayed at 79%, on a par with the previous year. Results also illustrate solid demand at every price level, not just for the most expensive works, with the highest selling rate for works sold between £250,000 and £1 million at 87%. The market at the lower price levels also performed strongly with Christie’s in South Kensington saleroom, offering works of art from £1,000, recording its highest annual total for the second successive year (£115.9 million / US$186.6 million).
The international appetite for collecting is also reflected in increased buyer activity in 2011. US and European clients accounted for 77% of sale registrations, with 13% from Greater China, an increase of 2% on 2010. Registered clients from Russia and the CIS increased 15% over the year. New clients represented 12% of the value of global sales.
You can read the full article via ArtDaily here.