Earlier in the week we commented on Christie’s drop in private sales speculating that the huge decline was a function of the increased use of third part guarantees to secure auction lots. When Sotheby’s reports its first half numbers in a few weeks, we’ll have a better idea of whether that is indeed a trend.
In the meantime, some former Christie’s folks admonished us that the drop in private sales was more a function of Christie’s having changed its internal incentives for specialists to seek out sales from their clients.
That’s work keeping in mind when the Financial Times quotes Christie’s CEO on the matter:
Private sales figures fell dramatically at Christie’s, from $463.9m to $155.4m, which chief executive Guillaume Cerutti says largely reflects the “counter-cyclical relationship” between auction and private sales — when one goes up, the other goes down — though in a market that was really motoring, you’d expect that both would benefit.
Stronger sales and supersize cigarettes (Financial Times)