Christie’s Records Record Year With Sales Over £4.5 Billion

Christie’s has released their sales figures for 2013 revealing a record year of £4.54 billion, up 16% ($7.13 billion, up 14%), for the year ending December 2013. This figure is the highest sales total for Christie’s or any auction house in the history of the art market. 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.
Steven P. Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Christie’s, said: “With 16% sales growth and 30% new buyers coming in 2013, Christie’s has succeeded again by focusing on the art and connecting it to the ever-increasing audience of enthusiasts and collectors. We continue to see a surge in interest across categories and across the globe, fuelled in large part by the online platform enabling greater connectivity between buyers, sellers and the objects of their pursuit.  Our strategy to invest in new markets such as China, new channels such as Private Sales and online sales, and to build on our position at the leading auction house, has enabled Christie’s to grow.  Our continuing goal is to provide more to our clients and to convene new clients to enjoy art, be it through auctions, exhibitions or online.”
Auction sales continue to be the primary driver of activity with robust global growth of 15% year-on-year at £3.77 billion ($5.9 billion, up 12%). 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. In total, 731 lots were sold for over $1 million each during the year.  Private Sales grew 20% totalling £760.5 million ($1.19 billion, up 18%). Christie’s online channel demonstrated growing potential, while representing a small overall proportion of sales.   
Online-only sales totalled £13.2 million ($20.8 million) – they were a clear, key driver of attracting new buyers and increasing global accessibility to acquiring authenticated art and luxury goods. 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.  The highest price paid for a work of art in the live auction room via Christie’s LIVE™ was for Zao Wou-Ki’s 09.05.61 which realized HK$13.2 million (£1.1 million / $1.7 million). Unique visitors to were also up 19% on 2012, to 20.6 million.
Post-War and Contemporary Art had a remarkable year with total sales of £1.3 billion ($2 billion) up 29% on 2012 (26% in $). Notably in New York where Christie’s Fall evening sale realized $691.6 million, the highest total ever in the history of the art market. Christie’s also had a record year in luxury goods sales with Jewellery sales totalling £432 million ($678 million), a global year-on-year increase of 20% (18% in $), with growth experienced in all regions: Europe (+14%), the US (+21%) and Asia (+29%). This record result delivered the 20th successive year of auction market leadership in Jewellery.  Demand for Asian Art continued, increasing 44% year-on-year to £599 million ($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 realised £121.4 million, up 38% on 2012 ($190.6 million, up 36%) and Prints, which realised £51.8 million, up 79% ($81.4 million, up 75%).
Strong results were recorded in all regional sites during 2013, with significant activity in Asia driven by strong Hong Kong sales, up 32% (30% in $) 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 totalled £15.5 million ($24.9 million). Sales in Europe totalled £1.33 billion ($2.1 billion), Americas totalled £1.8 billion ($2.8 billion) and Asia totalled £622.6 million ($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 realised £9.4 million ($15.4 million), more than doubling pre-sale expectations and attracted new buyers, including 35% who had never done business with Christie’s.
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 (separate press releases available on request). The Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale is led byFemme 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 auction also features works from exceptional collections, including Modern Masters: Works from an Important Private Swiss Collection, an historic group of 22 works of art assembled by a private Swiss couple. Miró – Seven Decades of His Art, an outstanding collection of 85 works showcasing seven decades of Joan Miró’s rich and dynamic career, will be offered across three sales. The Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening Auction on 13 February is led by a celebrated portrait by Francis Bacon. Portrait of George Dyer Talkingdepicts George Dyer, Bacon’s lover, muse and arguably his greatest influence. The most significant large-scale portrait of George Dyer to be presented at auction in more than a decade, it is being offered from a private collection and is expected to realize in the region of £30 million. Another leading highlight is Cracked Egg (Magenta), (1994-2007), a central sculpture from Jeff Koons’ acclaimed Celebration series (estimate: £10 – £15 million). 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. The exhibition will open on 5 February at Christie’s Mayfair Gallery in New Bond Street. The stand-alone auction will take place on 11 February at Christie’s King Street.
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 in our state-of-the-art multipurpose gallery. Christie’s will also host exhibitions, presenting works from our auctions all over the world, and develop a full educational programme, with lectures and fine art courses, giving art collectors and art lovers access to artworks on hand throughout the year.

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