Christie’s international announces worldwide sales of £1.8 billion ($3.5 billion) for first half 2008

Source :

• Global Art Market Remains Confident in All Regions with 10% Growth in Worldwide Sales Compared with First Half of 2007
• 63% Year on Year Sales Growth in Asia
• Impressionist and Modern Art Sale in London was Highest Ever Sales Total for an Art Auction Held in Europe Realising £144 million ($284 million/ €182 million)
• Record Sales Results in Key Categories including Impressionist and Modern; Post-War and Contemporary Art; Jewellery & Watches; Asian, Indian and Arab Art
• 4 of Top 5 Works of Art Sold at Auction in First Half of Year at Christie’s
• Strong Growth in Privately Negotiated Sales through Christie’s and through Subsidiary, Haunch of Venison
• Positive Outlook for Global Art Market with Many Exciting Works of Art Consigned for Sale in Second Half

Christie’s International, the world’s leading art business, announced today worldwide sales of £1.8 billion ($3.5 billion) for the first six months of 2008, an increase of 10% by £ on last year’s figure of £1.6 billion ($3.2 billion) for the same period. (Figures include buyer’s premium.)

In Christie’s salesrooms around the world, 457 works of art sold for more than $1 million, compared to 430 sold during the same period last year. Sales totals include private sales of £153 million/$301 million brokered by Christie’s in the first half of 2008 as well as sales conducted by the wholly owned subsidiary, Haunch of Venison.

“Christie’s robust results for the first half of 2008 reflect the ongoing strength of the international art market,” said Edward Dolman, Chief Executive Officer, Christie’s International. “Christie’s ability to source the rarest, most beautiful and impressive works of art in all categories underpins our continued art market leadership and success. Collectors across the globe have remained active and confident, despite more uncertain economic conditions in some regions. Christie’s extensive international network has introduced an increasing number of buyers to the international art market from growth markets including Russia and the CIS states, the Middle East, India and China.”
“As the world's leading art business, Christie's continues to innovate in new geographies, sales formats and range of services offered to clients. We continue to develop our business activities in both established and new growth markets and Christie’s dominates some of the more diverse sectors of the middle market, particularly through our Interiors sale formats.”

International Sale Centres for January – June 2008
For the first half of 2008, Europe & UK auction sales totalled £837 million ($1.6 billion), up 6% from the same period last year; the Americas totalled £631 million ($1.2 billion), down 1% from the same period in 2007; and Asia & Middle East totalled £179 million ($351 million), up 81% from the same period last year. The breakdown of sales is as follows:

• Europe with UK £837 million/$1.6 billion
• King Street £643 million/$1.3 billion
• South Kensington £41 million/$80 million
• Paris £68 million/$132 million
• United States £631 million/$1.2 billion
• Asia with Middle East £179 million/$351 million
• Dubai £20 million/$39 million

Top International Department Totals for January – June 2008
Auction department sales were up overall by 8% over the same period in 2007. Key auction department increases for the first half include the Asian Art categories (up 63%); Jewellery and Watches (up 34%); Impressionist & Modern Art (up 14%); the European Furniture categories (including Clocks, Sculpture, Rugs and Carpets) (up 47%); Latin American Art (up 21%) and American Paintings (up 33%).

A breakdown of key categories is as follows:
• Impressionist & Modern Art £497 million/$974 million
• Post-War & Contemporary Art £408 million/$800 million
• Asian Art £239 million/$469 million
• Jewellery, Jadeite, Watches £140 million/$275 million
• European Furniture £71 million/$139 million
• Old Masters (Paintings & Drawings) £52 million/$101 million
• American Paintings £41 milllion/$81 million
• British & Irish Art £32 million/$64 million
• Russian Paintings & Works of Art £20 million/$40 million
• Books & Manuscripts £19 million/$38 million
• Latin American £18 million/$35 million
• 20th Century Decorative Arts £18 million/$35 million
• Prints £16 million/$32 million

Top Ten Works of Art Sold at Christie’s Worldwide for January – June 2008

Claude Monet (1840-1926), Le bassin aux nymphéas, 1919 $80,451,178
Francis Bacon (1909-1992), Triptych 1974-1977, 1977 $51,680,061
Mark Rothko (1903-1970), NO. 15, 1952 $50,441,000
Claude Monet (1840-1926), Le Pont du chemin de fer à Argenteuil, 1873 $41,481,000
Francis Bacon (1909-1992), Three Studies for Self Portrait, 1976 $34,457,475
Lucian Freud (b. 1922), Benefits Supervisor Sleeping, 1995 $33,641,000
Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Double Marlon, 1966 $32,521,000
Francis Bacon (1909-1992), Three Studies for Self Portrait, 1976 $28,041,000
Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), Grande femme debout II, 1960 $27,481,000
Edgar Degas (1834-1917), Danseuses à la barre, 1880 $26,504,138

International Highlights and Events for January – June 2008

Middle East
Christie’s fourth Dubai sale series totalled AED147.3 million/$40 million.
o Four works sold for over $1 million, and 71 new artists records were established including for Parviz Tanavoli’s The Wall (Oh Persepolis) which sold for AED10.4 million/$2.8 million, the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction in the Middle East and establishing a new world record for any Iranian artist at auction. A superb natural pearl and diamond necklace sold for AED6.4 million/$1.7 million.
o The Christie’s/YouGov Siraj Survey, released in March, polled over 100,000 GCC residents and demonstrated that 40% of participants anticipate their spend on art will increase over the next five years.

Looking Ahead
“As worldwide sales values continue to remain steady, Christie’s approaches the second half of the year in the continued belief that the global art market overall will remain strong and steady,” said Edward Dolman, Chief Executive Officer.

• Christie’s in Madrid will organize the fifth Spanish Art Sale at the Westin Palace Hotel on 2 October.
• Christie’s Dubai will again welcome an international clientele with the International Modern & Contemporary Art Sale on 29 October and the auction of Contemporary Jewels & Watches on 30 October.
• Impressionist and Modern Art and Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sales offering superb masterpieces by 19th, 20th and 21st century artists will be held at Christie’s New York on 5 and 12 November.
• In London, Christie’s Contemporary Evening Sale will be held on 19 October, followed by the Italian Sale on 20 October and the Post-War and Contemporary Day Sale on 21 October.
• Commencing November 24, Christie’s London will host the Russian Art sale week including : Russian Pictures, Russian Works of Art, Icons and Russian Books.
• The Hong Kong sales series of Asian Art, Jewellery and Watches will take place in November.
• 4 and 5 December will present Important Old Master and British Pictures at Christie’s London.

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