Paul Kasmin Opens a New Space; Christie's Experiments with Blockchain; Bonhams Liquidates a Mid-East Private Equity Firm's ArtThis commentary by Marion Maneker is available to AMMpro subscribers. (The first month of AMMpro is free and subscribers are welcome to sign up for the first month and cancel before they are billed.)
Mid-Season Cont Sales Down But Avg Prices UpWe’ve posted our analysis of the New York Contemporary Mid-Season auctions for AMMpro subscribers here with detailed data. (Please contact us if you’re having any trouble logging in there have been scattered issues.) In this subscription email, we will provide some of the summary of what the data tells us for AMMdaily subscribers.
In September 2018, the sales total for all three houses was $57.4m. That's a big drop from 2017's $74.6m. The sell-through rate this year was 76.5% which was only slightly below the previous year's 79.5%. So the drop in total volume was well-managed by the auction houses. In 2017, there were 1437 lots offered; last month, it was 841. One clue as to what is going on here lies in the average price for the sales cycle. Average prices rose from 2017 to 2018 as the number of sold lots fell. The average price in 2017 was $51,900; the average price this Fall was $68,275. When we look at the list of top 40 most dynamic lots, the lots that were bid aggressively above their estimates, there is a striking contrast year over year. In 2017, that list was dominated by lots estimated three- and four-figure levels. Aggressive bidding was looking for overlooked works. In 2018, the list is populated by five- and six-figure works. That may mean there is less interest in combing through the bargain bins. Or it could simply mean that having gotten the directional information from the market last year, the auction houses are delivering better and better-estimated works to buyers this season.
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