Auction Analysis: London Contemporary Sales – Oct 2013

No. Pages6
ResearchersAnders Petterson, Premala Matthen
Report TypeAuction Analysis

London Post-War and Contemporary Evening sales raised a total of £52,158,000 (excl. buyer’s premium) last week. This was 8% lower than the pre-sale estimate range of £56,575,000-£80,790,000. Although higher than the peak of the art market in 2008, this year’s total fell 24% short of last year’s October sales of £68,527,000.

Both Sotheby’s and Phillips failed to reach the low pre-sale estimate, with only Christie’s Evening sale meeting the market expectations. Sotheby’s saw the largest number of casualties, with 11 lots failing to sell at an average pre-sale estimated value of £8,425,000. Both Christie’s and Phillips had 6 bought-in lots, with an average estimated value of £2,150,000 and £1,795,000 respectively.

Again the market was driven by high value lots (£1m-£5m) accounting for 44% of the total sales value, however, this was down from 64% in October 2012. As signalled in the ArtTactic US & European Art Market Confidence Survey in July 2013, confidence in the middle price segments are on the increase. The £100,000-£500,000 range accounted for 33% last week – an indication that buyers might be looking for value in the middle-market.