Christie’s has released its 2010 global sales figures, with the total rising 53% over 2009, underscoring a steep market recovery, at least in the top-tier auction realm.
(Sotheby’s has not yet released 2010 figures, but auctions tallied $4.3 billion).
As governments around the globe grapple with budget shortfalls, the auction house clientele, drawn from the world’s wealthiest, appear to be parking money in art.
The firm sold £3.3 billion ($5 billion), the highest in Christie’s 245-year history.
Here are some figures released by the UK-based privately held house:
-Private sales tallied $572.4 million, up 39% over 2009 (they now account for 11.4% of total sales)
-606 works sold at auction for more than $1 million
-Company wide average sell-through rate equaled 79.4%, same as 2009
-New client paddle registration rose 22.7 percent over 2009
-By region: US leads with $2 billion in sales, Europe and UK follow with $1.7 billion, and Hong Kong and Dubai follow with $772.9 million.
-Top international category was Impressionist and modern art with sales of $1.2 billion
-Number two international category was postwar and contemporary art with $934.1 million
- On-line sales tallied $114.4 million, with 28% of Christie’s clients bidding via the web, a 5% jump over 2009.