This analysis of the New York Contemporary art sales in November of 2017 is available to AMMpro subscribers. Monthly subscriptions begin with the first month free. Feel free to subscribe and cancel before you are billed. \
When you remove the Leonardo painting and the Ferrari Formula 1 car from the New York Contemporary art results, a startling landscape appears that runs almost directly in opposition to the popular impression of the state of the art market. To wit, for all of the disorientation caused by a $450m auction price, the art market is not most active and competitive at the very top. The day sales in Contemporary art were a hotbed of competitive activity and a major increase in sales volume.
The rise of highly managed sales back-stopped by third-party guarantees has meant that a significant portion of the top of the art market is non-competitive. Contrast this with the day sales which achieved a sell-through rate of 88%, just three percentage points below the Evening sales, without the financial supports of third-party guarantees or irrevocable bids.
Nearly 30% of the value in the Contemporary evening sales were sold at the low estimate or below. Almost 83% of the value was sold at or below the high estimate.
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