This analysis of Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary art sale in Amsterdam on April 11 is available to AMMpro subscribers. Subscribers get the first month free on monthly subscriptions. Feel free to cancel at any time before the month is up. Sign up for AMMpro here.
You may have heard the announcements recently that Christie’s is retrenching its European sale rooms with the closing of South Kensington in London and the consolidation of operations in Amsterdam. But one thing that isn’t happening in Amsterdam is the elimination of the Contemporary art sales there. The results of the April 11 sale were a powerful reminder that there remains an appetite for Contemporary art at middle market prices and for artists who have regional appeal.
Christie’s Amsterdam Post-War and Contemporary sale made €7.733m with 90% of the lots sold. More compelling than that sell-through was the 60% of lots that were sold above their high estimates. The aggregate low estimate of the entire sale was €3.7m but the aggregate hammer total of €6.274m pushed the hammer ratio for the entire sale to 1.7m, a very healthy number.
Those are the aggregate numbers and they certainly suggest a lot of demand in the middle market. The top ten lots only accounted for a third of the sale’s overall value which is a sign of both the type of sale that takes place in Amsterdam and the demand for good five and six figure works.
From the chart above, you can see that the top lots all sold for prices within or above the estimate range.
Switching from absolute value to relative value, we can see in the list of the lots with the bidding activity that pushed prices furthest beyond estimates that there was a wide range of names. Only Marcel Broodthaers (whose work was actively traded in London at the same time,) Maryan, Karel Appel and Gunther Forg had more than one work on the list.
The wide range of artists was reflected all the way through the 210 lots on offer. There were only three artists with more than half a dozen works represented in the sales. Carol Visser had €69k worth of work sold. Gunther Forg had €448k. And Karel Appel had €498k.