Chippendale Is the Key to the Americana Furniture Market
[private_subscriber][private_bundle]Just as domination of Americana week depends on success in the furniture subcategory, furniture sales owe their vitality to Chippendale. Since 2005, Chippendale has accounted for the highest quantity of furniture lots sold and the most value contributed to the overall furniture totals (Fig. 7).
With the exception of 2008 (notably the only year in which Christie’s bested Sotheby’s in furniture) Sotheby’s has led Christie’s in average
Chippendale prices (Figure Eight) and is poised to continue that trend this year.
The average mid-estimate of a Chippendale lot at Sotheby’s ($71,402) is more than three times the average mid-estimate of a Christie’s lot ($22,439). Translation: Even though Christie’s is loading its sale with Chippendale (it is offering 42 pieces to Sotheby’s 28), its rival is the one with the more highly valued lots across the board. But Christie’s should blow Sotheby’s out of the water in the Queen Anne subsector with its Queen Anne Compass-Seat Stool (est. $300,000–500,000); a similar piece brought $5.2 million at Sotheby’s in September 2008.
Chippendale Tracks the Overall Furniture Market Best
Nonetheless, sales of Chippendale are closely correlated with the ups and downs of the furniture market whereas other furniture styles are not (Fig. 9). So, by virtue of having better Chippendale, Sotheby’s is still in a powerful position. Unless the Christie’s stool goes sky high, Sotheby’s will be the master of the Americana furniture market in 2010.