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A few weeks ago, Christie's released its numbers for 2017 behaving a little more like a public company than the private it firm that it is. Much is made in the coverage of the auction market about Christie's having an advantage in not having to report profit and loss as well as other strategic and economic information because it is privately owned. That may be so.
But by putting a robust public relations effort behind the release of its 2017 trading figures and making CEO Guillaume Cerutti available to the Financial Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other outlets, Christie's is tacitly demonstrating that it craves some of the visibility its public rival gets from its periodic run of the financial and media gauntlet.
By now you surely have heard that Christie's had a banner year in 2017 when the auction market came roaring back to its previous highs, including a record setting auction price that more than doubled the previous record for any auction lot. In this post, we're going to recap some of the coverage of Christie's results, delve into some of the reported numbers and, finally, make a case for what we believe to be the outlines of a new strategy for the auction and luxury markets being assembled at Christie's.
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