A major driving force behind Sotheby’s strong earnings released this morning is a 28% jump in private sales to $744m for the year. Sotheby’s PR strategist cleverly placed a piece with Barron’s where the new head of private sales, David Schrader, could offer a little more detail than was included in the earnings release:
Private sales at Sotheby’s rose 28% in 2017 to nearly US$745 million, a four-year high. Much of the gain was outside the U.S., with private sales soaring 68% in Hong Kong and 71% in London.
There’s even more news deeper in the story. Following up on that trend, Schrader is working with Sotheby’s Asia head Patti Wong to organize a private selling exhibition in Hong Kong at the end of the month from March 29 to April 3 and will include a de Kooning from 1977 (above):
The sale will feature Western Modern and Contemporary works from “a broad base of blue chip” names like Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall and Salvador Dalí, Schrader says.
Schrader also reveals that Sotheby’s will be amping up their practice of holding closed-door exhibitions during the major sale cycles. These are opportunities for Sotheby’s private sales team to pull aside buyers who may be in the building for the exhibitions or attending the sales for the spectacle and people watching.
Sotheby’s Private Sales Hits Four-Year High (Barron’s)