Christie’s Global Sales Achieve £3.3 B / $4.1 B in First Half 2022
“Our results in the first half of 2022 have been remarkably strong, with many memorable moments like the sales of Warhol’s Marilyn and of the Bass collection in New York, and of the Givenchy collection in Paris. These results have been achieved in a challenging economic and political environment, partly thanks to the natural resilience of the art market and partly thanks to the transformation of Christie’s business model over the last years. We have accelerated our technological innovations and diversified the range of services for our clients (live and digital auction, private sales, art financing) to allow them to take advantage of a growing demand for art and luxury. In the second half, our strategy will be to continue to present the best objects and the best collections.” – Guillaume Cerutti, Chief Executive Officer, Christie’s.
MASTERPIECES IN EVERY MARKET
Christie’s auction house sold 7 of the 12 most expensive artworks at auction in H1 2022, including the top lot: Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn ($195 M), which sold in New York and is now the most valuable 20th century artwork and the second most expensive work ever sold at auction; from the Collection of Anne H. Bass, Edgar Degas’s “Petite danseuse de Quatorze Ans” painting sold for $41.6 M, breaking a record for the artist for the first time in almost 15 years;
Paris: Alberto Giacometti’s Femme qui Marche (€27 M) became most expensive work sold YTD in France;
rediscovered Michelangelo drawing (€23.2 M) set record for most valuable work on paper sold in Europe;
at end of June a curated sale of 9 masterworks of African and Oceanic art totalled €11.4 M, and set 4 new auction records;
London: Franz Marc’s The Foxes Die Füsche (£42.7 M) ascended to top 5 works sold at auction in London in last decade in inaugural Shanghai-London 20/21 sale;
Geneva: The Rock was the largest white diamond ever sold at auction (CHF 21.7 M);
in the Hong Kong saleroom, Zao Wou-Ki’s 29.09.64., sold for HK$278 M (US$35.6 M), the second highest auction price for the artist.
SUCCESS WITH PRIVATE SINGLE-OWNER COLLECTIONS
Christie’s continues to be the auction house of record for the world’s best private collections, selling 8 of the top 10 collections in history, including two in H1 2022.
H1 2022 highlights: in Paris, the iconic Hubert de Givenchy: Collectionneur realized €118.1 M, celebrating le goût Français and redefining the market for 18th century furniture and art; the Collection of Jacqueline Matisse Monnier, also sold in Paris, totalled €40 M; in New York, three landmark collections led Christie’s $1.4 B spring marquee week—the Collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann ($325.1 M), the Collection of Anne H. Bass ($363.1 M), and the Collection of Rosalind Gersten Jacobs and Melvin Jacobs ($42.3 M) including Man Ray’s Violon d’Ingres: most expensive photograph ever sold ($12.4 M); in London: the 100% sold Marc Chagall, Colour of Life: Works Formerly from the Artist’s Estate sale more than doubled its low estimate, achieving £9.7 M.
LUXURY BUSINESS EXPANDS
Global Luxury auction sales total $413.3 M for H1 2022, +18% H1 2021 (£334.4 M +33% in GBP); online sales organized from Geneva, Hong Kong, London, New York, Milan and Paris contributed a total of $77 M, 19% of total luxury auction sales; Precious stones market steadily trending upwards, bolstering strong jewelry results, highlighted by The Rock (228 cts) $ 21.7 M, The Red Cross Diamond (205 cts) $14 M, and The Light of Africa (103 cts) $20 M; New trend in semi-precious stones: Paraiba tourmalines, garnets, a 54 cts spinel $515,000; Artistic contemporary designs by jewelers such as JAR continue to achieve huge prices on secondary market with demand far exceeding supply; Unparalleled results for exceptional timepieces: Kairos collection of 128 Patek Philippe watches was 100% sold in Geneva, Hong Kong and New York 183% above low estimate ($22.2 M); Record-breaking $57.8 M in wine sales for H1 (+234% v. 2021 / £46.8 M +279%); Historic $19.6 M for “The Visionary’s Spectacular Cellar” ranks highest ever total for the category and most valuable single-owner collection at Christie’s; Christie’s Paris hosted first-ever single-owner handbags live sale in Paris in April, inaugurating new series of sales in France for further development in this market; Christie’s Milan held first online single-owner sales of handbags, with millennial collectors accounting for 53% of new registrants.
Buyers in the Americas contributed 44% of the total value of global auction sales in H1; in EMEA 34%, and in APAC 22%. Sales volumes at auction were up significantly, with New York leading at $1.9 B, followed by London and Paris. American buying power grows, due to significant collection sales including Ammann and Bass in H1; The amount spent by clients locally / within region is up across the board vs. pre-pandemic levels (Americas +48%, APAC +26% and EMEA +27%). This trend is also mirrored in bought value by clients outside of their regions vs. 2019, +32% from American clients and +10% from EMEA clients. In APAC due to the ongoing pandemic restrictions, this was -9% in H1 but activity is anticipated to return as the situation stabilises. Major sales continue to drive tremendous global engagement due to strategic collaboration between regions: In 21st Century evening sale in May in New York, 32% of the underbidder value was from APAC clients; and in the 20th Century New York evening sale, EMEA clients increased their spend by 32% against the same sale in May 2021. APAC bidding and buying was also especially important in the success of both the Givenchy Collection in Paris and the Chagall Collection in London. Continuing to expand the global reach of its auctions, in March, Christie’s hosted the first live sale in its new saleroom space in Shanghai Bund One— the 20/21 relay sale between Shanghai and London.
CLIENT ENGAGEMENT AND RETURN
Christie’s average of more than 3.7 bidders per lot for both live and online auctions demonstrates strong client engagement; 13% of all buyers/bidders in H1 continue to be active across categories; Christie’s continues to provide the strongest returns to consignors, on average achieving a hammer value of 117% of low estimate in H1; superior sell-through rate of 87% across all auctions. Clients are excited to be back in the saleroom in person but many participate digitally at the highest level.
30% of all buyers are new to Christie’s in H1 (29% in 2021), with nearly 2/3 entering via online sales; 34% of new buyers are millennials; New buyers to date come first from AMERICAS (39%), second from EMEA (33%), third from APAC (28%), with the greatest number of new buyers from the United States, China (Hong Kong), United Kingdom and France overall; Growth in New buyers activity across regions and sale channels. While majority of new buyers enter via Luxury (38%) and 20th/21st Century Art (31% YTD), Asian Art showed a notable increase in new buyers for Chinese Paintings (+37%), and Classics—Old Masters (+21%) and Decorative Arts (+20%) show the highest growth in new buyers in H1.
20/21 PLATFORM BRINGS NEW, YOUNGER AND MORE DIVERSE ARTISTS TO GLOBAL AUCTION
Responding to demand from a new generation of collectors who embrace the diversity of creativity, Christie’s continues to widen and diversify the art market. Christie’s 21st century platform has led the way across all regions, achieving top prices worldwide: 48 records set for female artists in H1 including Lynn Drexler and Barbara Hepworth; while in London this June, work by women accounted for 48% of living artists in the London Evening Sale, featuring works by Simone Leigh and Rebecca Warren. 35 records set for artists of color led by Ernie Barnes, whose The Sugar Shack sold for $15.2 M — 76 times its high estimate; and including a new record for Shara Hughes, whose Spins from Swiss achieved $2.94 M against a low estimate of $500,000. New York’s May Marquee Week alone also broke 10 records for artists under the age of 40, including breakout star Anna Weyant, whose Summertime achieved $1.5 M – more than seven times its low estimate.
GROWTH IN ONLINE-ONLY SALES
Online-only sales continue to grow in importance as a gateway to Christie’s. Compared to pre-pandemic levels in H1 of 2019, sales are up 292%; average lot value is $15 K; more than half of all lots offered online were Luxury sales and Luxury remains the #1 recruiter (47%) of new buyers to online; e-commerce continues to be a strong driver of client engagement across all departments with 63% of new buyers entering online; the most expensive lot sold online in H1 was Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale, [Attesa], which realized €942,000, the highlight of the Milan 20/21 sales; despite return of live auctions, which themselves are seeing materially increased online participation, Christie’s online-only sales channel has continued to grow, with 26% more lots sold online than H1 2021.
DIGITAL INNOVATION & REACH
Christie’s partnered with Proto to use cutting-edge hologram technology to virtually tour life-size 3D works of art and objects around the world; Social channels in the US and EMEA grew +13.4% to 1.78M; including Twitter growth by +26.5%; in Asia, the social media audience across Christie’s main channels, Instagram Asia, Wechat, Weibo and Xiaohongshu (Red), has grown by 105% since H1 2021 to 480K followers and there has been nearly 100% increase in visitors using Christie’s app; 5.8 million unique visitors to Christies.com; The May New York 20/21 sales were livestreamed across 11 platforms, engaging more than 3.7 million viewers throughout the week; Christie’s becomes first major auction house to offer PayPal as an online check-out option for buyers. 73% of all bids at Christie’s are now placed online.
Philanthropy played a major role in H1 2022; Christie’s sales this year to date have helped to raise nearly $440 M to support vital philanthropic causes, including: humanitarian aid and educational support for children; urgent relief for those suffering from the war in Ukraine and funds to support museums and scientific research. Most notable was the $325.1 M total for the Thomas and Doris Ammann Collection sold to benefit charities providing urgent medical and educational services to children and Jeff Koons’ Balloon Monkey which sold for £10.1 M in London in June for humanitarian relief in Ukraine, generously donated by Victor and Olena Pinchuk. Sale proceeds from “The Visionary’s Spectacular Cellar” (US$19.6 M) in Hong Kong will further the impact of London Business School.