Christie’s Sales Total Record-breaking £3.3 Billion

Contemporary art market bounces back In 2010

Christies has announced sales figures of £3.3 billion or $5.0 billion for 2010. This is up 53% and a record for the world’s leading art business. The 245-year-old company now holds the record for the highest total recorded in the industry. The contemporary art market bounced back last year, logging $961 million, compared to a relatively weak $387 million the previous year. Impressionist and modern art was Christie’s leading category, totalling $1.2 billion, a rise of more than 50% over $786 million realised in 2009.

The Figures include buyer’s premium and also the totals of private sales, which came in at £369.3 million/$572.4 million, an increase of 39% from the 2009 figures. 2010 was an unprecedented year and early signs of 2011 indicate that the art market remains buoyant at all levels. In 2010 the number of new clients rose 22.7% on 2009 and new clients purchasing at Christie’s rose 19% representing 11% of total sales.
Christie’s sold 66% of the works over the $50 million mark. This was against its main competitor Sotheby’s. High profile sales included, The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Mrs Sidney F. Brody, Walter and Phyllis Shorenstein and Michael Crichton’s collections. Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust made art history by establishing a new world record for any work of art sold at auction selling for $106.5 million/£70.3 million. Christie’s sold 3 of the top 5 works of art during the year and a total of 606 works of art at auction for more than $1 million. High sell-through rates at all price levels continued to demonstrate the strength and stability of the art market. In 2010 The global surge in the art market continues to attract investors from United Arab Emirates, Russia, China and India.