Colin Gleadell has been running some of the numbers on next week’s New York sales. He points out that inventory on offer amounts to about $1.3bn in merchandise which is on par with the sales in November and slightly higher than last May’s $1.1bn.
Gleadell also has done the math on the guarantees and irrevocable bids amassed by the auction houses. Christie’s is back to leading the way with a substantial 57% of their Evening sale versus Sotheby’s 54%. (At Sotheby’s the guarantee is concentrated whereas at Christie’s it’s spread across more lots.)
In the less competitive Impressionist and Modern market, the ratios are a far lower (and closer) “guarantee percentage-to-value ratios sink [of] 28 per cent at Sotheby’s and 34.5 per cent at Christie’s.”
Based on the lower pre-sale estimates, the accumulative value of the guarantees made either directly by Christie’s or by a third party, is $207 million, or 57 per cent of the value of the sale. In spite of the Basquiat, Sotheby’s trails with just $115 million of art guaranteed, or 54 per cent of its estimated $212 million sale.