Auction Guarantee Report – April 2019

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ArtTactic is delighted to launch its inaugural analysis of the auction guarantee market for the Post-War and Contemporary art market in London and New York. The guarantee analysis is based on four years of data from just under 200 artists that have featured in evening sales at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips between 2015 and 2018. The report looks at geographical trends, auction house trends and trends by individual artists during this period.

If you are interested in a specific artist guarantee analysis – please contact us on and we would be delighted to give a you a quote on bespoke package.

Who is it for?

This report aimed at investors, dealers, auction houses and collectors, who want to get an in-depth understanding of how auction guarantees currently affect the art market and the performance of individual artists


Selected Report Findings:
Guarantee levels jump 30% in 2018: The use of guarantees have been on a steady increase, rising from 39% of total low estimate in 2016 to 58% in 2018.
Improved returns attract more guarantors in 2018: The estimated average return on guarantees have increased from a low of 3.4% in 2015 to 11.8% in 2018
Is the guarantee market fuelling gender bias in the auction market? Female artists only accounted for 5% of guaranteed value in Post-War & Contemporary evening sales between 2015 and 2018
Warhol and his protégé have dominated the guarantee market since 2015: Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat accounted for an estimated $948 million of guarantees (based on the low estimate) between 2015 and 2018
Diebenkorn’s market is lifted by guarantees in 2018: Among the Top 10 artists by levels of guarantees in 2018 was Richard Diebenkorn, who saw $72.1 million worth of guarantees in 2018, up from $1.25 million in 2017.

Analytical tools:
Auction Guarantee Trends 2015-2018 (value and lots)
Auction Guarantee Trends 2015-2018 – estimated return on guarantees
Auction Guarantee Trends 2015-2018 by auction house
Auction Guarantee Trends 2015-2018 by location
Auction Guarantee Trends 2015-2018 by Top artists

The use of guarantees has been on a steady increase, rising from 39% of total low estimate in 2016 to 58% in 2018.