Christie’s released its first half of 2013 sales figures today with additional details on online sales and expansion into India:
Global sales total £2.4 billion / $3.68 billion
up 9% on the same period last year (in £)
15% growth in bidders from Asia
Christie’s to host inaugural auction in Shanghai in September 2013
Christie’s announce auction in Mumbai in December 2013
the only international auction house to hold sales in India
Online initiatives continue to attract new clients
46% of buyers at online-only auctions new to Christie’s
For the first six months of 2013 Christie’s realised worldwide sales of £2.4 billion ($3.68 billion), up 9% on the same period last year (figures include buyer’s premium). This includes private sales of £465.2 million ($711.8 million), an increase of 13% on the same period last year, and for the third successive year represents the highest total for the period in both company and art market history.
Fuelled by a global demand for art, and aided by Christie’s online initiatives and investment in growth markets, auctions continued to attract new collectors at every price level and from all around the world. Bidders in the first six months came from 128 countries and 10% of those were new clients.
This period witnessed significant growth in the activity of both new and established Asian clients, including a 15% growth of registered bidders from the region. Christie’s announced in April that they had become the first international auction house to be granted a license to operate independently in China, and will host an auction in Shanghai in September 2013.
In addition, Christie’s are pleased to announce an auction in Mumbai in December 2013, as the only international auction house to host sales in India.
In total, Christie’s sold 422 works at auction for over $1 million (399 in the same period 2012) and 34 for over $10 million (30 in the same period 2012). The global selling rate (by lot) was 80%, up 1% on 2012. The strongest increase in selling rates was seen for works between $5,000 and $30,000, and works over $1 million, both of which increased 4%. Clients from continental Europe and the Americas accounted for 76% of sale registrations. The number of clients from Asia increased 15%, representing 23% of all registrations (+4%). There was increased participation of collectors from Greater China at global sale sites, including a 32% increase in Hong Kong and a 21% increase at London sales.
Post-War & Contemporary art led the categories with record auction sales of £665.4 million ($1.02 billion) – a 16% increase on the same period last year. The category saw increased demand at every level, with a 52% increase in new clients bidding for works of art under £100,000. The Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York on 15 May realised $495 million (£326.7 million) becoming the most valuable art auction ever held. Notable increases were also seen for Asian Art which realised auction sales of £284.5 million ($435.3 million) (+28%); and Old Masters & 19th Century Art which totaled £78.4 million ($120 million) (+9%). The highest auction price for the first half of the year at Christie’s was paid for Jackson Pollock’s Number 19 which sold on 15 May in New York for $58,363,750 (£38,520,075). Private sales continue to represent a growing market realizing £465.2 million ($711.8 million), an increase of 13% on the same period last year.
Christie’s innovative approach and investment in online initiatives continue to make the art market increasingly accessible. Having launched the first Online-Only auction with the Collection of Elizabeth Taylor in December 2011, Christie’s held seven further online-only auctions in 2012 at which an average of 39% of buyers were new clients. In the first 6 months of 2013, Christie’s offered 11 online-only auctions at which an average 46% of buyers were new clients. In addition, 73% of visitors to the online-only site www.christies.com/onlineonly had never previously visited Christie’s website. The second half of the year has started strongly with the online-only auction of First Bytes: Iconic Technology From the Twentieth Century which ended on 9 July, and at which an original Apple computer, now known as the Apple-1, sold for $387,750 – the highest priced item to ever be sold through Christie’s online-only platform. Visitors to the First Bytes online-only sale page hailed from 96 countries.
Visitors to the website (www.christies.com) increased 22% and came from 190 countries, while mobile views of the site increased 96%. Of all registrations in the period, 26% used Christie’s LIVE™, the real-time online bidding platform, which drew significant increases in client registrations from Greater China (+19%) and Russia and CIS (+20%).
Looking ahead – Shanghai and Mumbai:
Building on the growing demand for art in Asia, the second half of the year will see Christie’s host inaugural auctions in Shanghai in September and Mumbai in December.
Christie’s will host an auction in Shanghai in late September having become the first international fine art auction company to be granted a license to operate independently in mainland China. Christie’s has cultivated long term relationships with the art community in China since becoming the first international auction house to open a representative office in Shanghai in 1994, during which time China has become one of the largest and fastest-growing art markets in the world.
In addition, Christie’s announce the inaugural auction in Mumbai in December 2013, becoming the only international auction house to conduct sales in India. Christie’s has had a presence in India for almost 20 years through its office in Mumbai. More recently, it has supported the India Art Fair in Delhi this January and partnered with the British Council for Homelands, a touring exhibition of contemporary art, to New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru. The decision to hold auctions at this time is a reflection of the strong momentum in the domestic art marketplace, the increased international appeal of Indian art and the growing participation of Indian collectors across international sale categories. The auction will offer Indian art.