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

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London’s evening sales of Post-War and Contemporary art 20% short of their combined pre-sale estimates

The post-war and contemporary art evening sales in London last week raised a total of £146,985,000 (excluding buyer’s premium), falling short of the total pre-sale estimate of £158,170,000 – £224,650,000; 8.7% lower than the sales total in October 2017. If including Christie’s Italian evening sale (Sotheby’s did not organise one this year), the sales total would show an overall decrease of 10.9% from October 2017.

Financial guarantees increase by 48.8% by value in the last 12 months

The overall value of guarantees (based on the low estimate) increased by 48.8% from October last year, from an estimated £44.8 million to £66.6 million. The number of guaranteed lots increased 53.1% from 32 in October 2017 to 49 lots this year. This includes the single owner History of Now: The Collection of David Teiger collection at Sotheby’s, which included 25 guaranteed lots.

About this report:

This report presents an in-depth comparative analysis of the Post-War & Contemporary art evening sales at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips in London in October 2018. The analysis also provides analytical tools looking at annual trends between 2007 and 2018.

What is new in this report?

Based on feedback from our readers we have added a new section, which provides a detailed list of all the lots in the auction with its sales (hammer) prices. The list also includes list of guaranteed lots and the type of winning bid. We have further expanded the Guarantee Analysis in the report as well as the overview Auction Analysis.

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 level of Guarantees.
Auction Lot Details: Details on the full auction including:  hammer prices, guarantees, bought-in lots and winning bids.
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 Guarantee Analysis: Auction guarantee breakdown and analysis for Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips.

London’s Frieze week Evening Sales of Post-War and Contemporary Art are down 8.7% from last year