Christie’s International has reported a five percent fall in their annual sales with prospects of economic uncertainty slowing down demand in the emerging markets such as China and India. After five years of sustained growth, the worlds leading auction house has recorded sales of £4.8 billion ($7.4 billion, 6.8 billion euros) in 2015, down from £5.1 billion in 2014. The figures however represent Christie’s second-best performance ever.
“The froth is starting to come off,” Anders Petterson, founder and managing director of research group ArtTactic, told Bloomberg. “Looking back, in terms of auction sales, 2014 was the peak of the market.”
Old Masters, 19th century and Russian art category, Christie’s recorded a 37 percent loss, and a 14 percent loss in its postwar and contemporary auctions. Private sales slumped by 39 percent to £554.9 million but Impressionist and modern art rose 57 percent to £1.3 billion. Christie’s also had the top three highest selling works sold globally in 2015, including Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O)”, which fetched $179.4 million at an auction in New York in May.