Christie’s has released it’s first half sales totals. The company had $3.2 billion in turnover, a 19% rise in dollars (but only 10% in Sterling.) Private sales soared reflecting Christie’s emphasis on building the category. Although there were many new clients buying at the auction house, the vast majority of them come from Europe and the US, not Asia. Christie’s business has moved toward London with European sales rising the most and US sales falling by 6% in dollar terms.
- Christie’s Private Sales secured £286.7 million ($467.3 million) of sales in Jewellery, Old Masters, Impressionist and Modern Art, Asian Art, American Art and Post-War and Contemporary Art, up 57% year-on-year.
- Works priced between £500,000 and £1 million also continue to sell particularly well, with average sell-through rates in excess of 90%.
- Continental Europe, the US and the UK continue to account for the highest proportion of new clients with 78% of new clients in the first half of 2011 from these regions. Greater China (Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) accounted for 13% of new client registrations in the period, an increase of 20% year-on-year.
- nearly one-fifth (19%) of Christie’s clients now bid online (up 2% year-on-year) with the total value of lots sold online rising 24% year-on-year to £37.5 million ($59.9 million).