There was a remarkable consistency between the June Contemporary art sales in London in 2018 and 2019 despite a significant shift in the composition of those sales. In the first place, Christie's returned to the June Contemporary market in London. But their presence did not add volume to the sales. Secondly, the top ten lots in 2018 accounted for £89.7m but the top ten lots in 2019 were 25% lower at £66.4m. This drop came within the context of an 4% drop in the sales total from year to year.
What makes this fall in the top ten total so interesting is that it comes at a time when the Contemporary art market remains strong at auction. According to the Financial Times quoting statistics compiled by Arttactic, a London consultancy that tracks market data by tabulating the publicly reported sales from Phillips, Christie's and Sotheby's, "Postwar and contemporary art marked a small gain overall, from $2.2bn to $2.3bn, and accounted for 40.7 per cent of the market."
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