Kelly Crow has the sales figures for Christie’s 2016 operations. The total for the firm was £4bn which was 27% off the previous year.
Crow uses this announcement to track the three Fine Art auction leaders which performed at auction in this order:
- Christie’s = $4.4bn (down 32%)
- Sotheby’s = $4.1bn (down 30%)
- Phillips = $500m (down 1.5%)
The bright spot for Christie’s was a 25% increase in private sales in sterling terms to £694m ($935.5m, up 10% in dollar terms) helped by the brokering of two Rembrandt portraits from the Rothschild family to the shared custody among French and Dutch museums.
Breaking Christie’s auction sales down by category, Crow finds:
Contemporary art = $1.3 billion, down 41%
Impressionist and Modern art—a category it now lumps in with modern British, American and Latin-American art—fell to $997 million, down50%.
Luxury goods such as jewelry, watches and wine fell 3% to $735 million.
Asian art sales fell 14% to $633 million.
Old Master paintings, along with 19th-century art and Russian art, grew 31% to $312 million.
The house racked up $217 million in sales of art online—a category that includes online bidding in live auctions as well as online-only auctions. Taken separately, the online-only sales totaled $67 million, up 84%.
In terms of geography, Christie’s said U.S. collectors took home $2 billion worth of Christie’s art, or about 37% of the house’s offerings.
Europe, the Middle East and India claimed $1.8 billion in art, or about 32% of Christie’s offerings.
Asian bidders bought $705.8 million worth of art, or 31%