Auction Analysis: London Post-War and Contemporary Sales – October 2014

No. Pages6
ResearchersAnders Petterson
Report TypeAuction Analysis

The Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening sales in London last week raised a total of £70,343,000 (excluding buyer’s premium), just below the pre-sale estimate of £72,770,000 to £104,470,000. However, the result constitutes a 34.8% increase from October 2013 sales, and is the highest October Evening sales total achieved since 2007.

  • There were 9% more lots on offer this season, 130 lots vs. 119 lots in October 2013.
  • The average Evening auction price across the three auction houses increased by 26% from £438,303 in October 2013 to £553,777 this season.
  • Christie’s achieved a 48.8% market share in terms of the evening sales (up from 44.7% in October 2013), against Sotheby’s 33.5% (down from 34.5% in October 2013), and with Phillips’ accounting for the remaining 17.7% (down from 20.8% in October 2013).
  • The ArtTactic Auction Indicator (comparing the hammer prices to pre-sale estimates) came in at 43 (the average for all three auction houses), up from 36 in October 2013, which shows that there is more buying pressure in the market compared to 12 months ago, although the majority of the estimates are still on the aggressive side.
  • 18 lots sold above £1 million accounting for a total of 48% of the total sales value. Among these top lots were Peter Doig’s ‘The Heart of Old San Juan’ (1999), which sold for £4 million against a pre-sale estimate of £4 million to £6 million at Christie’s.

The report inlcudes a comparative performance analysis between Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips Post-War and Contemporary Evening sales.