Sunday, July 26, 2009

Christie’s first half sales fall 35% according to CRAIN's New York

By Miriam Kreinin Souccar

Though the art market has shrunk considerably in the last year, Christie’s International is still king of what’s left of it.

The auction house announced today it had $1.8 billion in sales worldwide for the first six months of 2009, down 35% from the same time last year. Still, the company accounted for 61% of all global auction sales.

“Christie’s continues to see liquidity and participating in the art market at every level and across a variety of categories and geographies,” said Edward Dolman, chief executive of Christie’s International, in a statement.

The most expensive work to sell during the six-month period was a 1911 painting by Henri Matisse, which went for $46.5 million. Other major sales include a work by Constantin Brancusi which fetched $37.7 million, and a piece by Pablo Picasso, which sold for $14.6 million.

Sales in Christie’s North and South America division totaled $462.9 million for the first half of the year, down 51% from the previous year. The important May evening sales in New York of Impressionist & Modern Art and Post-War & Contemporary Art brought in a combined $196.4 million in sales. Sotheby’s spring evening sales in those categories brought in a total of $108.3 million.

SOURCE: Crain's New York

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