Art And Culture

Christie’s Reports Record Half Year Sales

Christie’s Reports Record Half Year SalesChristie’s Reports Record Half Year Sales

Christie’s reports it has netted its highest ever half year sales total (in pounds not dollars), racking up £2.97 billion ($3.9b) - a 26% increase on last year. The previous high of £2.9b ($3.81b) was in 2015. The auction of Peggy and David Rockefeller’s collection in New York in May contributed £614m ($807m) to the first half of 2018, more than any single owner sale in history. Numbers were up across all three selling platforms. Private sales, which dropped by 32% in 2017, saw the biggest increase (up 135% to £287m ($377m)) followed by online-only auction sales, which grew 40% to £27.7m ($36.43m). Auction sales rose 20% to £2.65bn ($3.48bn). Sell-through rates averaged 84% by lot, compared with 81% last year, The Art newspaper reported. Dirk Boll, Christie’s president for Europe, the Middle East, Russia and India, says the auction house’s success is a result of its recent restructuring, namely the closure of its South Kensington salesroom last July, as well as a more focused approach to sales. “We developed a direction of travel that the market appreciates. We let go of the overpriced items, were very tight with what we were offering and were realistic with pricing,” he says. “We discovered that people are not afraid of buying entry level and mid-market items from King Street.”

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