CHRISTIE’S 2007 GLOBAL ART SALES TOTAL £3.1 BILLION/$6.3 BILLION 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.
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