Christie's Revenue Breaks Record

Christie’s has released their sales figures for 2013 revealing a record year of $7.13 billion, up 14%, for the year ending December 2013. This is the highest sales total for any auction house in the history of the art market.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network had trouble keeping up at these high-priced art auctions

Christie’s sales figures were driven by an increase in new buyers across all geographies coming to the market, including from growth markets such as China and through the Internet.

Thirty percent of buyers were new in 2013 and accounted for 22% of the sales total.

Christie’s sold 58 works of art for over $10 million each during 2013 and achieved seven of the top 10 artwork prices in the auction market.

Online-only sales totaled $20.8 million – they were a clear, key driver of attracting new buyers and increasing global accessibility to acquiring authenticated art.

Forty-five percent of buyers on the online platform were new to Christie’s, with registrants from over 100 countries. The top price achieved in any online-only sale was $387,750 for an original Apple computer, now known as the Apple-1.

Post-War and Contemporary Art had a remarkable year with total sales of $2 billion up 26% on 2012.

Notable receipts occurred in New York where Christie’s Fall evening sale realized $691.6 million, the highest total ever in the history of the art market.

Demand for Asian Art continued, increasing 44% year-on-year to $940.6 million, up 42%.

Other collecting categories that grew in 2013 included Arts of the Americas (American Art, Furniture & Works of Art and Latin American Art), which realized $190.6 million, up 36%) and Prints, which realized $81.4 million, up 75%).

Strong Regional Sales

Impressive results were recorded in all regional sites during 2013, with significant activity in Asia driven by strong Hong Kong sales, up 30%, and the company’s historic expansion into mainland China via its Shanghai sale.

The growth in new clients from China and the potential of this area of the art market was reflected in the firm’s highly successful inaugural Shanghai sale, which totaled $24.9 million.

Sales in Europe totaled $2.1 billion, Americas totaled $2.8 billion and Asia totalled $977.5 million.

The increasing power of the Chinese buyer in the global art market was also evident with Chinese buyers accounting for 22% of global sales, a 63% increase on spend during 2012.

Christie’s also expanded into India in 2013 and held its first sale in Mumbai in December, which realized $15.4 million, more than doubling pre-sale expectations and attracted new buyers, including 35% who had never done business with Christie’s.

Upcoming Blockbusters

New York – Following the success of the inaugural Renaissance sale in January 2013, Christie’s will again present a special auction devoted to the literary and artistic achievements of this golden age of European history led by The Rothschild Prayerbook, a masterpiece of Renaissance art featuring lavish and extensive illustrations by celebrated artists of the period.

The sale of Old Master Paintings (Part I and II) and Old Master & Early British Drawings & Watercolors will also be complemented by a dedicated sale of prints by Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, one of the finest collections to remain in private hands.

London – From 30 January to 20 February, Christie’s will present the most valuable series of exhibitions and auctions dedicated to Impressionist & Modern Art, The Art of the Surreal, and Post-War & Contemporary Art ever held in London.

The Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale is led by 'Femme au costume turc dans un fauteuil', 1955 by Pablo Picasso, which comes to the market for the first time in over 55 years (estimate: £15 – £20 million).

The Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 13 February is led by a celebrated portrait by Francis Bacon. Portrait of George Dyer Talking depicts George Dyer, Bacon’s lover, muse and arguably his greatest influence.

Christie’s will also exhibit and offer at auction Eyes Wide Open: An Italian Vision, a single-owner collection featuring the largest and most important private collection of Arte Povera ever to be shown in the UK.

Shanghai – Christie’s will continue the momentum built for the China business in 2014, holding two sales in Shanghai. The Shanghai spring sale will take place on Saturday 26 April and will feature Asian and International 20th Century and Contemporary Art.

Hong Kong – The James Christie Room will be opened in February 2014 on the 22nd floor of Alexandra House in Hong Kong. Auctions of Asian 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Chinese Paintings, Chinese Works of Art, Jewellery, Watches, Wine and other specialties will be held.