Bloomberg is trying to gauge the Contemporary art market based on the estimates for next months auctions in London. Scott Reyburn does some back of the envelop estimating:
The evening auctions by Sotheby’s, Christie’s International and Phillips de Pury carry a total low estimate of 38.4 million pounds ($55.9 million), according to Bloomberg calculations. This is 23 percent of the 164.3 million pounds in equivalent sales estimates in 2008.
By our calculations, the $56 million estimate level is consistent with 2005 for London’s February sales. A 76% drop in market activity is dramatic and substantial by any measure. But a return to the 2005 price level would be a victory for the Contemporary market–and a sign of the market’s persistence. Some numbers to watch will not only be sale totals but where the average price ends up.
Here’s a chart of London sales in dollars:
And here is a chart of the average price level for the London sales: