Christie’s offered some details on their first half numbers with the interesting turn of Greater Chinese buyers accounting for 24% of sales but Asian art down 8% as a category:
Auction sales increased 13% on the same period last year to £2.2 billion ($3.6 billion, up 23%).
Private Sales grew 7% totalling £498.9 million ($828.2 million, up 16%)
Online–only auctions continue to attract new buyers and sales of £8.7 million represent a 71% increase on the same period last year ($14.4 million, up 87%). Notably, 27% of buyers on the online platform were new, with visitors from over 170 countries.
Post-War & Contemporary Art had a record breaking six months with total sales of £799.9 million ($1.3 billion) up 20% on the same period in 2013 (30% in $).
The Impressionist & Modern Art department, which includes Modern British Art, realised sales of £565.9 million, up 37% on 2013 half year figures ($939.3 million, up 49%).
Christie’s Luxury categories also sold well with Jewellery, Watches and Wine sales together totalling £274.4 million, up 11% ($455.5 million, up 20%)
Old Masters, including 19th Century European paintings and Russian Art, which totalled £104.8 million, up 7% ($173.9 million, up 16%)
Arts of the Americas (American Art, Furniture & Works of Art and Latin American Art), which realised £61.1 million, up 7% ($101.5 million, up 16%).
There was a decrease of 22% on the same period last year for sales of Asian Art, which totalled £222.7 million ($369.6 million, down 15%).
New York sales were up 20% to £1.1 billion ($1.76 billion, up 31%).
EMERI totalled £872 million, up 12% ($1.45 billion, up 22%).
Asia sales declined on the same period to £254.7 million, a decrease of 8% ($422.8 million).
Sales to clients in Asia grew to 28% of overall activity, and 20% of all new clients to Christie’s were based in Asia. Buyers from Greater China accounted for 24% of total sales, a spend increase of 46% on first half 2014.