LONDON/NEW YORK/HONG KONG - Christie’s International, the world’s leading art business, today announced 2007 art sales totals of £3.1 billion/$6.3 billion, a 25% increase in £ and 36% increase in $ over 2006 sales. The results were achieved through more than 600 sales in 14 saleroom locations worldwide and include auction premiums plus private sales of £268 million/$542 million. For the year, Christie’s sold a total of 793 works of art at auction for over $1 million.
“In 2007 Christie’s once again led the art market in terms of sales, profitability and quality of works offered”, said Edward Dolman, Chief Executive Officer of Christie’s International plc. “Our continued market share lead in the high-end auction sales of Post-War and Contemporary art, Impressionist and Modern art and in Jewellery was the result of our ability to offer the best expert advice available to our clients and market their property globally, employing the most sophisticated, innovative and compelling strategies. Our investment in new and emerging markets, including India, Dubai, Russia and China, as well as in other areas of our business such as private sales, Interiors sales, Christie’s Education and Christie’s Great Estates, has introduced an unprecedented number of collectors to Christie’s. Christie’s has the art market’s largest and most experienced team of specialists and our collective expertise will remain the foundation of our success as we move into 2008.”
2007 Global Initiatives -- Maintaining Leadership
During 2007, Christie’s presented the finest and most desirable works of art and properties and once again led the international art auction market in sales, confirming its position as the world’s leading art business.
Christie’s maintained its leadership in Asia in 2007 with 57% of market share. Sales in Hong Kong alone totalled £234 million/$473 million, up 23% in £ and 33% in $ over 2006, and included such record setting top lots as Cai Guo-Qiang’s Set of Fourteen Drawings for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (HK$74.2million/£4.6 million/US$9.5 million); Chen Cheng-Po’s Sunset in Danshui (HK$50.7 million/£3.16 million/US$6.5 million); Dong Qichang’s Paintings and Calligraphy (HK$48.4 million/£3 million/US$6.2 million) and a magnificent imperial Beijing enamel glass brushpot, Qianlong mark and of the period (1736-1785) (HK$ 67.5 million/£4.2 million/US$8.6 million).
Southeast Asian highlights of the Asia cluster in 2007 included Rudolf Bonnet’s Market Scene (HK$11.5 million/£719,300/US$1.5 million) and I Nyoman Masriadi’s Juling (HK$2.6 million/£229,538 /US$340,000), all of which set world auction records for the artists. Indian sale highlights in 2007 included works from such masters as Atul Dodiya, Subodh Gupta, Ravinder Reddy and N. S. Harsha, whose Mass Marriage broke the artist’s world auction record (HK$6.4 million/£404,820/US$834,293). Christie’s remains the only international auction house with a full-time representative based in India. Christie’s third year of sales in Beijing with licensing partner Forever auction house realised an annual total of RMB106.5 million/£7.4 million/US$13.9 million.
As the first international auction house to establish a permanent base in the Middle East in 2005, Christie’s extended its lead in the region in 2007. For the year, totals were £26.2 million/$51.1 million, up 491% over 2006 in £ and 508% in $. The inaugural sale of Contemporary Jewels and Watches in Dubai totalled £6,058,670/$11,814,880/AED43,360,609, far exceeding expectations in terms of the prices achieved and the enormous enthusiasm from collectors in the region. During the autumn’s International Modern and Contemporary Art sale in Dubai, Christie’s established 62 new world record prices at auction, including for any work by an Arab artist, with Ahmed Moustafa’s Qu’ranic Polyptych of Nine Panels (£336,910/US$657,000/AED2,411,190), and for any work by an Iranian artist, with Farhad Moshiri’s One World/Yek Donia £308,193/US$601,000 /AED2,205,670).
The Russian category continued to be one of the fastest growing and most exciting areas of the international art market in 2007 and Christie's enjoyed another record-breaking year for the category, with £71.2/$144 million in sales. The department’s year culminated in London in November with more than £40 million/$81 million in sales - a world auction record for Russian art. The sale included an exquisite Fabergé Egg from the Rothschild family, which sold for £9.2 million/$18.5 million. In October, Christie’s toured dozens of stunning works to Moscow’s historic Pashkov House overlooking the Kremlin, in partnership with ZAO Gazprombank and the Russian State Library. Building on the success of this event, Christie’s also announced in 2007 its plans to expand further in 2008 by establishing a new office in Moscow. With the growing demand and interest in Russian art and steadily rising number of Russian collectors, this new office will allow Christie’s to enhance service to Russian clients.
As well as all of these strategic innovations, July 2007 hailed the first-year anniversary of Christie’s LIVE™. For all of 2007 Christie’s LIVE™ processed online sales and direct underbidding totalling £78.2/$158 million including premium. Christie’s LIVE™ was used at 517 events in 10 venues and 11% of all lots offered were either purchased or directly underbid online. Christie’s LIVE™ generated 38,700 accepted bids for the year.
2007 Sale Categories
2007 confirmed a steady and strong demand across salerooms and specialist categories at Christie’s – from Impressionist & Modern Art to Post-War & Contemporary Art, to an increased demand for Chinese and Indian Modern and Contemporary Art, to Jewellery and Watches, Russian Art, Old Master Pictures, Furniture, Decorative Art and Asian Art. Some of the art market’s most dramatic developments of the year occurred in Christie’s salerooms.
For the year, Christie’s Post-War & Contemporary Art department achieved £772 million/$1,560 million in sales while the Impressionist & Modern Art department achieved £714 million/$1,442 million. Their combined Autumn Sales in New York had a grand total of £463.9/$937 million. Fifty-seven new world auction records were set during the November sales for masters including Matisse, Signac, Pissarro, Giacometti, Miro, and Gris in Impressionist and Modern Art and Freud, Ruscha, Prince, Thiebaud and Richter in Post-War and Contemporary Art. Andy Warhol’s Green Car Crash, which realized £36 million/$71.7 million, was the year’s highest priced work sold at Christie’s. In June in London, Christie’s Evening Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art realised £121,127,200/$239,952,983, a record total for any auction ever held in Europe.
Some other highlights across various departments throughout the year included the Fisher-Fox family Chippendale carved mahogany tea table that established a $6.7 million world record for Philadelphia Furniture; Frederic Remington’s $4.41 million The Signal (If Skulls Could Speak); Raffaello Sanzio’s, called Raphael, Portrait of Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino (1492-1519) which sold for £18,500,000/$37,277,500 and set a world record price for the artist at auction; the two-day sale of the Collection of King George I of the Hellenes which realized £9,358,964/$18,483,954, six times the pre-sale estimate.