Auction Analysis: New York Post-War and Contemporary Sales – Nov 2015

  • Analyst: Peter Gerdman
  • Pages: 8
  • Access: Analyst

The Post-War & Contemporary Evening sales in New York this November, including post-war and contemporary art from Sotheby’s ‘The Collection of A. Alfred Taubman: Masterworks’ and Christie’s ‘The Artist’s Muse: A Curated Evening Sale’, raised a total of $827,955,000 (excluding buyer’s premium), but fell short of the total pre-sale estimates of $877,350,000 to $1,159,950,000.

The total among Sotheby’s, Phillips and Christie’s was 24.4% lower than November 2014 and 29.8% lower than in May 2015. The lower sales total has a direct correlation with Christie’s strategy to reduce the amount of financial guarantees.

Sotheby’s and Christie’s came in at similar results for their combined evening sales and curated evening sales. Sotheby’s market share was 45% (up rom 27.3% in November 2014) against 49.6% for Christie’s (down from 68.7% in November 2014). Phillips ended up with 5.5% of the market (up from 4.0% in November 2014).

Christie’s raised $410.27 million worth of post-war and contemporary art in their evening sales, just below the estimate range of $438.75 million to $569.55 million. The result was 45.4% lower than November 2014.Sotheby’s, with works from their two evening sales, generated $372.22 million, which was just short of the pre-sale estimate range of $385.7 million to $513.95 million. The result was 24.4% higher than their sale in November 2014. Phillips achieved an evening sale total of $45.47 million, just below the pre-sale estimate of $52.9 million to $76.45 million, that was 3.5% higher than November 2014.

The report includes overall auction totals, comparative performance, heat maps and auction guarantee analysis.