Volume at Christie’s is down to about 60% of last year’s half-and-half results (the first half was still a huge boom/the second half was a huge bust), executives told Reuters early this week:
Jussi Pylkkanen, President of Christie’s Europe, told the Reuters Global Luxury Summit that strong demand among the world’s wealthy for everything from fine wine to jewelry would help to drive a recovery for expensive objets d’art from 2010. “There’s been a huge transformation since the beginning of the century … It’s become extremely acceptable to collect works of art in a way that it certainly wasn’t in, say, the 1970s,” he said.
Christie’s, which was founded in 1766 and runs over 600 sales a year across the world, reported a 19 percent drop in turnover last year to $5.1 billion as sellers pulled out of the market in the global economic downturn. Pylkkanen said this figure was likely to fall again this year to 2005-6 levels of between $3.3 billion and $4.6 billion. […]
The proportion of lots sold in auctions was currently running at between 80 percent and 85 percent. “The high ‘sold percentages’ go very much against previous dips (when) you tended to see very severe drops to 40-45 percent,” he said, adding this pointed to a “shorter and less severe” downturn for the art market than in past recessions.
“Whilst I think the next year (2010) will probably be a little bit flat — I don’t see particularly strong growth — we certainly don’t predict a dip of any sort,” he said.