Christie’s International, announced worldwide sales for the first half of 2011 of £2.0 billion ($3.2 billion), up 15% by £ on last year’s figure of £1.7 billion (Figures include buyer’s premium). In Continental Europe and the UK, auction sales totalled £803.4 million ($1.3 billion), up 24% in £ on the first half of 2010; sales in the Americas totalled £577.7 million ($941.6 million), down 13% in £; sales in Asia totalled £296 million ($482.5 million), up 48% in £ and sales in the Middle East totalled £6.6 million ($10.8 million), up 10% in £. Sales totals include private sales of £286.7 million ($467.3 million), an increase of 57% by £ on the first half of 2010.
Christie’s sales worldwide continue to increase across multiple categories as the global art market continues to expand. While record results in Hong Kong reaffirm it as a growing global art hub and Asia as the fastest growing art market in the world, the strength of the European art market was also firmly illustrated by Christie’s sales across the region. Following a blockbuster year in 2010 for the sale of collections in the US, Christie’s New York saw fewer collections come to the market but a continuing renewed confidence in the market for fine art, antiques, jewellery and watches and wine driven by increasing participation from private and trade collectors. Spanning the global activities of the company, at all market levels, a growing client base continues to acquire works of art.
“The continued demand for art in the first half of this year is a clear indication of the enduring vigour and passion for great works of art throughout the world,” commented Steven P. Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Christie’s International. “Christie’s results reflect the firm’s commitment to serve a global audience. As our company continues to evolve to meet the needs of collectors worldwide, we continue to keep art, experience and expertise at the centre of Christie’s activities.”