Christie’s International has announced worldwide sales for 2010 of £3.3 billion, up 53% on last year’s figure of £2.1 billion (Figures include buyer’s premium). The highest sales total in the 245 year history of the firm, the figure is also the highest annual sales total ever recorded in the industry. Sales totals include private sales of £369.3 million, an increase of 39% on 2009 figures.
High sell-through rates at all price levels continued to demonstrate the strength and stability of the art market. In 2010, average auction sold rates (by lot) were 79.4%, on a par with 2009 (79.7%). Results at the higher end of the market saw sell-through rates by lot and value in excess of 90% for works priced between £500,000 and £10 million.
“2010 was a record-breaking year and early signs of 2011 indicate that the art market remains buoyant at all levels,” said Steven P. Murphy, CEO of Christie’s International. In 2010, the number of new clients who registered for a sale rose 22.7% on 2009 and the number who went on to buy in Christie’s sales increased by 13%. Hong Kong and China accounted for 7% of total new client registrants.