PWC_Evening_Auctions_London_February_2020 Cover

Auction Analysis: London Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Auctions – February 2020

  • Analyst: Lindsay Dewar
  • Pages: 26
  • Access: Analyst

London’s evening sales of Post-War and Contemporary art fall 20% from last year.

The Post-War and Contemporary art evening sales in London this week raised a total of £143.14 million (excluding buyer’s premium), coming in at the lower end of the pre-sale estimate of £136,030,000 to £191,490,000. The sales total was 20.0% lower than London’s winter sales in 2019, and represents a decrease of 41.1% from March 2018. Overall, the sell-through rate across Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips sales came in at 93.5% up from 90.6% in March 2019, with Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale performing best, achieving a sell-through rate of 98.2%.

Young female artists continue to defy negative market sentiment.

Auction sales by a younger generation of female artists continued
to generate a buzz this week. ‘Witch’, a painting by Julie Curtiss (b. 1982), sold at Sotheby’s for £130,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £50,000 to £70,000. Jordan Casteel’s ‘Mom’ exceeded market expectations at Christie’s selling for £420,000 against the £180,000 to £250,000 estimate. Tschabalala Self’s (b. 1990) work titled ‘Princess’, sold for £350,000 at Phillips (pre-sale estimate of £150,000 to £250,000), setting a new auction record for the artist.

About this report:

This report presents an in-depth comparative analysis of the Post-War and Contemporary art evening sales at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips in London in February 2020. The analysis also provides analytical tools looking at annual trends between 2009 and 2020.

Who is it for?

This report is popular among dealers, auction houses and collectors, who want to get an in-depth understanding of auction trends in the Post-War & Contemporary art auction market and follow the performance of the three top auction houses this year.


ArtTactic offers bespoke reports on Post-War & Contemporary artists and other market sectors. For further information and a quote please contact Anders Petterson at


Analytical tools:
Comparable Performance: Post-War and Contemporary art auction sales performance comparison between Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips in London including: Total sales vs Estimates, Average Prices and level of Guarantees.
Auction Lot Details: Details on the full auction including:  hammer prices, guarantees and bought-in lots.
Auction Overview: Top selling artist by value and numbers and a breakdown by type of Auction Bids.
Top Prices: Ranking by the highest prices achieved and by top price-to-estimate performance.
Auction Forecast Analysis: Auction sale price forecast and consensus analysis for Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips.


London's Post-War and Contemporary evening auctions see a drop in year-on-year sales by 20%.