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April 17, 2024
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Christie’s Delivers Solid Performance in Changing Macro-Environment

Christie’s Delivers Solid Performance


Georgina Hilton selling Jean-Michel Basquiat’s El Gran Espectaculo (The Nile) for USD $67,110,000 at Christie’s New York, May 15, 2023

Guillaume Cerutti,
Chief Executive Officer, Christie’s:

Guillaume Cerutti, Chief Executive Officer, Christie
Guillaume Cerutti, Chief Executive Officer, Christie

“After two exceptional years, Christie’s adapted to a different market in the first half of 2023, as a consequence of the more challenging macro-environment. In this new landscape, our performance remains strong with a continuing influx of new clients and more global participation online—almost 80% of all bids at Christie’s were placed online this year to date.”

Key take-aways from H1 2023:

  • Christie’s global sales total $3.2 B / £2.5 B; above average of last five years (down 23% from H1 2022)
  • Superior sell-through rate of 87% across all Christie’s auctions
  • The Gerald Fineberg Collection achieves $210 M- the most valuable collection sold at auction in H1, continuing Christie’s leadership in top private collection sales
  • Christie’s spectacular growth in digital engagement: nearly 80% of bids in all auctions are now placed online, nearly doubling since pre-pandemic 2019 (45%)
  • Continuing influx of new and younger buyers; 31% of all buyers are new to Christie’s with strong engagement from Millennials (38% of all new buyers are millennials or younger)
  • Strong start for H2 2023: £68.1M Classic Week launch in London; first-ever Rothschild sales in US at Rockefeller Center; Miró masterpiece debut in Paris


Total sales:        $3.2 B / £2.5 B (-23% from H1 2022 but above the last 5 years average: £2.4 B)

Auction sales:    $2.7 B / £2.2 B (-24% from H1 2022);  including online sales ($187 M / £150 M)

Private Sales:    $484M / £388M (-19%)

# Lots sold:         22.1K  lots sold at auction in H1 (164 auctions held to date)  

Regional Buyer Contribution at auction:  Americas 39% / EMEA 35% / APAC 26%; (H1 2022: Americas 44% / EMEA 34% / APAC 22%)


  • Collections Sales are strong, well-curated, and moving the market
    • New York: Gerald Fineberg, S.I. Newhouse, Paul G. Allen, Alan and Dorothy Press, Sophie F. Danforth collections lead May 20/21 sales, which totaled $922,194,766; Collection of André Leon Talley achieves $3,555,531 (February); Collection of Ann & Gordon Getty: Temple of Wings (June) brings combined Getty sales total to $170M +
    • Hong Kong: Single owner’s Ultimate Collection of watches reaches HK$126,718,200/ US$16,254,701 while the Patek Philippe Ref. 2523J ‘Dual Crown World Time’, from the Triazza Collection, achieves HK$66,625,000/ US$8,546,282; Cissy and Robert Tang Collection of Chinese Classical Furniture realises HK$83,651,900 / US$10,730,397, with 229% sold above low estimate and an auction record for a pair of huanghuali armchairs selling for HK$28,205,000 / US$3,617,979. An excellent H1 for wine sales in Asia led by Grands Crus Part III: Finest and Rarest Wines From The Cellar of Christen Sveaas largely above estimate at HK$30,274,000 / US$3,874,642 and 99% sold by lot
    • Geneva: The Heidi Horten Collection, the most valuable collection of jewelry sold at auction, totals $202M, raising support for philanthropic causes; the historic 100% sold auction dedicated to the celebrated watch-maker F.P. Journe (May) achieves CHF13,665,300 / US$15,314,702; the Rare Watches sale reaching an above-estimate CHF26,513,004 / US$29,577,679
    • London: Art of the Surreal Sale (March) included a private collection of works by pioneering female artists which sold for £20,787,800 / $25,044,914
    • Paris: during Fashion Week, 114 pieces of couture from V.W.S. Collection achieved €694,890 in Christie’s online sale. All pieces sold, including a Chanel velvet dress by Karl Lagerfeld for €56,700.
  • While masterpiece market shows fewer works selling above $25M, buyer spend across all regions increases for middle market ($500,000 to $5M) works
  • Appetite for art is strong across all categories


  • Highest ever H1 total for Luxury at Christie’s with strong results for jewels, watches, handbags and wine totaling $590M (+43%)
    • Asian clients contributed 38% to the global Luxury auction totals in H1 (EMEA 34% / AMERICAS 28%)
    • Strength of precious stones market highlighted by The Magnificent Jewels of Anne Eisenhower and largest private collection of JAR jewels, each sold 100% by lot; Jewelry sales in Paris reach new heights with June Sale achieving €11,027,772, the highest value sale in the category at auction in France
    • Watches hits best-ever first half results with the most valuable timepiece ever sold online at auction globally—the Patek Philippe “Sky Moon Tourbillon” Ref.6002G setting world record at HK$45,450,000 / US$5,815,300
    • Handbags & Accessories achieves highest-ever total in H1; setting new records for the Americas where Handbags Online: The New York Edit totaled $4,114,782 and, in Milan & Amsterdam, establishing a record for a Single Owner Hermès Collection closing the three-part “Inside the Orange Box” sale at a combined €5,935,230/ US$6,237,136
    • Wine & Spirits specialists demonstrate global expertise during The Two Continents Collection: The Private Cellar of Irwin Kotovsky, realised £2,469,041 across three-part series concluding in London


  • Nearly 80% of bids in all auctions are now placed online, nearly doubling since pre-pandemic 2019 (45%)
  • Digital bidding (Christie’s Live bidding and online absentee bidding) represented 48% of all bids in live auctions, up from 25% five years ago
  • Unique visitors to the website totaled 6.8 million, up 8% YoY


  • More than half of lots sold at auction at Christie’s in 2023 H1 were sold online, up from just 20% in 2019 H1
  • 24% increase in new clients registering for online salessince H1 2022
  • Average lot value rises to $16.7K (+12% YoY) and nearly double that of pre-pandemic (when figure was $8.4K)
  • Online sales remain the greatest recruiter of new buyers at 65% attracting 4.3 bidders per lot
  • Online-only sales account for 65% of all Christie’s New buyers in H1
  • Early signs from September launch of Christies 3.0 show that 84% of buyers and bidders on the site are new to Christie’s;
    64% are millennials, with an average age of 38


  • 31% of all buyers in H1 are new to Christie’s; a third are millennials
  • New Buyers have grown +11% YoY: 43% post-pandemic jump in new buyers in mainland China; +24% from the Americas
  • New buyer number growing across our categories: 20th/21st Century Art (+17% YoY), Asian & World Art (+13%), Luxury (+14%) 
  • Luxury departments continue to be major entry point for new buyers at 39%, followed by 20th /21st Century Art at 32%


  • Christie’s committed to engaging wider and more diverse group of employees, using The Christie’s Fund to support existing relationships with organisations around all four of our regions
  • In April, Christie’s released its 3rd Environmental Impact Report confirming that in-scope carbon emissions in 2022 were reduced by 37% since 2019 and demonstrating that work-to-date ensures Christie’s Sustainability efforts are on track to reduce emissions by 50% and to achieve carbon net zero by 2030
  • As part of Christie’s year-long series of events to reflect on 25 years since the Washington Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets of 1998 and our long-time commitment to supporting the Restitution of spoliated artwork, we have held lectures and events in Paris, Vienna and London as part of our Reflecting on Restitution programme


  • Classic Week continues in London; this group of 11 sales has already been led by Michael Sweerts unpublished unknown canvas of the artist’s studio, setting a new artist auction record (£12.6M); the last known pair of portraits by Rembrandt in private hands achieving £11.2 M, and a rare Crucifixion by Fra Angelico for £5M
  • Following the success of Christie’s Art and Tech Summit in Dubai in March with a focus on the Blockchain, the global event’s next iteration will be held in New York next week on July 19-20
  • From 20 July throughout August, Christie’s London will host an exhibition of Arab art in London in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth, and the Barjeel Art Foundation.
  • The 10th Anniversary of Christie’s auctions in Shanghai will be celebrated in September with series of sales, previews and events
  • Charlie Watts: Gentleman, Collector and Rolling Stone will celebrate the legendary drummer and his outstanding collection of modern literature and jazz in London in September following a tour to Los Angeles and New York
  • In October, Paris will offer a masterpiece work by Joan Mirò from La Colombe d’Or and contemporary paintings from the Collection of Anne & Wolfgang Titze to coincide with Paris+ Art Basel
  • New York will offer works from the Rothschild Collection and the Ann & Gordon Getty Collection
  • Christie’s Hong Kong Autumn Auctions will feature a ‘collab’ with Jay Chou for the Post-Millennium Evening Sale

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