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Auction Guarantee Report – December 2019

  • Analyst: Anders Petterson, Lindsay Dewar
  • Pages:
  • Access: Analyst Pro

ArtTactic is delighted to launch its second analysis of the auction guarantee market for the Post-War and Contemporary art market in London, New York and for the first time Hong Kong. The guarantee analysis is based on four years of data from over 300 artists that have featured in evening sales at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips between 2016 and 2019. 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 fall 18% in 2019: Auction guarantees have played an increasingly important part at the high end of the art market in the last five years, however, a softening market in 2019, suggests that the risk appetite for guarantees in New York and London is decreasing
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
The guarantees market addresses the gender bias in the auction market: Female artists accounted for 10.5% of guaranteed value in Post-War & Contemporary evening sales in 2019, up from 3.5% from 2018
Warhol and his protégé continue to dominate the guarantee market: Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat accounted for an estimated $835 million of guarantees (based on low estimates) between 2016 and 2019
Ed Ruscha returns to the guarantees market in 2019: Ruscha was ranked 7th in 2019, with estimated guarantees of $41.4 million

Analytical tools:
Auction Guarantee Trends 2016-2019 (value and lots)
Auction Guarantee Trends 2016-2019 – estimated return on guarantees
Auction Guarantee Trends 2016-2019 by auction house
Auction Guarantee Trends 2016-2019 by location
Auction Guarantee Trends 2016-2019 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.