Auction Analysis: Post-War & Contemporary Day Auctions – October 2018

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London’s Day sales of Post-War and Contemporary art shows an 82.4% growth in sales over the last two years

The post-war and contemporary art day sales that took place during London’s Frieze week raised a total of £37,142,500 (excluding buyer’s premium), comfortably within the total pre-sale estimate range of £34,834,000 – £49,771,500; 16.2% higher than the sales total in October 2017 and 82.4% up from the same sales two years ago. The combined sales value was the second highest total across the three auction houses since 2012.

Art works in the £25k to £100k exceed expectations.

Works selling towards the lower end of the price range performed particularly well during the Frieze week day auctions, with lots selling in the £25,000 to £100,000 price range outperforming their pre-sale average estimates in all three auction. For Christie’s and Phillips this segment represented the best performing price bracket while it came second in Sotheby’s sale after the £100,000 to £250,000 price range. Works selling between £25,000 and £100,000 accounted for 27.1% of the combined sales value and 43.3% of sold lots across all three auction houses.

About this report:

This report presents an in-depth comparative analysis of the Post-War & Contemporary art day auctions at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips in London in October 2018. The analysis also provides analytical tools looking at annual trends between 2012 and 2018.

What is new in this report?

Based on feedback from our readers we have added a Guarantee Analysis for the first time in a day sale report and expanded the Auction Analysis overview, breaking down the sale results by price range, type of medium, gender and living vs. deceased artists.

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 top three auction houses this year.


Analytical tools:
Comparable Performance: Post-War & Contemporary art auction sales performance comparison between Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips in London including: Total sales vs Estimates, Average Prices and Market Share.
Auction Overview: Auction breakdown by price brackets, gender, medium and living vs. deceased artists.
Top Prices: Ranking by the highest prices achieved and by top price-to-estimate performance.
Auction Guarantee Analysis: Auction guarantee breakdown and analysis for Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips.

London’s Day sales of Post-War and Contemporary art shows an 82.4% growth in sales over the last two years