Ten days of auction sales at New York's Christie's, Sotheby's, and Phillips have just ended and proudly brought in USD 2,936,534,801 in total, which signals market confidence. However, 55% of it was owed to the sale of the collection of late Microsoft founder Paul G. Allen and it is worth taking a closer look and dissecting the results.
Last week's London 20th / 21st Century Art sales, which coincided with Frieze London art fair, showed a strong focus on contemporary art. Modern and early Contemporary art sales offered just under 450 lots that sold for £ 206,949,304 in total. This is around half the result achieved during the June London sales where, however, there also were double as many lots for sale.
This week's London 20th / 21st Century Art sales, including Impressionist, Modern, Post-War and Contemporary Art, the last big set before summer, totaled £417,614,956 GBP. This marks less than a fifth of the total the New York auctions in May were able to bring in. However, London auctions, which are usually surpassed by the New York auctions in terms of prices also offered only 60% of the number of lots, which were for sale last month.
The packed two-week long Marquee Sales in New York this May loudly confirmed a strong art market despite ongoing effects of the global health crisis and the geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe impacting the economy. This is particularly true for higher priced artworks with an average BI rate of 9%, while day sales performed with a higher average BI rate of 12%.
This March, London's 20th / 21st Century Art sales, including Impressionist, Modern, Post-War and early Contemporary Art, closed with overall strong performance, with evening sales results among the best in the last four years. Although sales did not reach the same heights as the New York auctions of November 2021, this week has proven strong confidence in the market amid the current geo-political situation.