Record Post-War and Contemporary auction sales propped up by financial guarantees
In May, the Post-War & Contemporary art evening sales raised a record of $1,142,850,000, against the pre-sale estimateof $1,066,350,000 to $1,441,450,000. This was 4% higher than the record set in November 2014, and 5% more than May 2014. The sales were spread out over four evening sales, as Christie’s decided to kick start the week by adding in a new mixed format auction of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary works of art, in addition to its traditional Post-War and Contemporary Evening sale.
Again Christie’s demonstrated that it continues to have the upper hand in the Contemporary segment, with total sales for Post-war and Contemporary lots across their two evening sales totalling $729,770,000; 1.9% above their November 2014 result. The gap between Christie’s and Sotheby’s Evening sales results amounted to $436 million, down from $452 million in November last year. This gave Christie’s a market share of 65% against Sotheby’s 28% or Phillips 7%. Nonetheless, Phillips has almost doubled its sales from $43.1 million in November to $83.1 million in May 2015.