Auction Analysis: London Post-War and Contemporary Sales – July 2015

  • Analyst: Anders Petterson
  • Pages: 6
  • Access: Analyst

This week’s Post-War & Contemporary Evening sales raised a total of £210,548,667 (excluding buyer’s premium), but fell 27% short of the pre-sale mid estimate of £290,245,000. The Evening sale total among Phillips, Christie’s and Sotheby’s was 5.5% lower than February 2015, but 24% higher than July 2014.

Sotheby’s demonstrated again its superiority in the London market with 54% market share (up from 48% in February 2015) for the Post-War & Contemporary Evening sales, against 39% for Christie’s and 7% for Phillips.

Sotheby’s raised a new London high of £122.9 million for this category, 6% higher than the previous high set in February 2015. However, despite the record, it fell 21% short of the low estimate, largely as a result of a number of high profile lots, including the catalogue cover lot of one of Bacon’s ‘Pope’ paintings, which failed to generate any interest at the £25-35 million estimate.

Christie’s generated £82.38 million in the evening sale, just above the low estimate of £82.25 million. The result was 19% lower than February 2015, but 3% higher than July 2014. Phillips achieved an evening sale total of £15.2 million against the pre-sale estimate of £17.9 million to £27.3 million. This was marginally (2%) higher than the total in February 2015, but almost double the sales achieved in July 2014.

With 157 lots sold (up from 150 in February 2015), the average auction price was £1,341,074 across the three houses, and was a decrease of 10% compared to February 2015. Lots sold above £1 million accounted for 80.3% of the sales value.

The report includes a comparative study of Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips Post-War & Contemporary Evening sales