Cover Framed

Data Tools

Total Auction Guarantees 2016-2020PNG CSV
Auction Guarantees 2016-2020 by Auction HousePNG CSV
Guarantee Returns 2016-2020 by LocationPNG CSV
Top 10 Guaranteed Artists 2016-2020PNG CSV

Auction Guarantee Report – March 2021

  • Analyst: Anders Petterson, Lindsay Dewar
  • Pages: 22
  • Access: Analyst Pro

ArtTactic is delighted to launch its third analysis of the auction guarantee market for Post-War and Contemporary art.

The guarantee analysis focuses on Post-War & Contemporary Art Evening sales in London, New York and Hong Kong during the period of 2016 to 2020 – taking a closer look at over 1,270 guaranteed lots with an estimated guaranteed value of $4.87 billion (based on the low pre-sale auction estimate). The Evening Sale sample includes over 220 artists, but the guarantee market is heavily skewed towards a smaller pool of artists, with the Top 25 artists accounting for 71% of the total value during the five-year period we have analysed.

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 a 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


For Click & Buy purchases of this report, you will also receive a free copy of Revisiting: Wayne Thiebaud (£95 value).

Selected Report Findings:
Auction guarantees shore up the top end of the market during the pandemic: In line with the overall decline in the market for Post- War and Contemporary art, guaranteed sales cooled further in 2020, with a decrease of 19.9% year-on-year.
Strong appetite for auction guarantees in Hong Kong as the market shifts East: Whilst both New York and London saw a decline in auction guarantees by value of 29% and 19% respectively, the Hong Kong evening sales of Post-War and Contemporary art at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips experienced a 27% increase in the level of guarantees to $127 million.
Returns vary across regional art market hubs: The estimated average return on guarantees has decreased from the peak in 2018 of 13.8%, to a five year low of 11.8% in 2020.
Higher levels of bought-in lots in 2020 signal increasing risk levels: There were $21 million in bought-in lots (by low estimate) in 2020, accounting for just 3.6% of lots offered. This is up from 1.0% in 2019 ($8.5 million by low estimate).
Female artists are slowly gaining ground in the guarantee market: In 2016, female artists made up 6.0% of the guaranteed sales value internationally, however, this ratio has risen in 2020 to 12.8%, the highest reading since 2016.

Analytical tools:
Auction Guarantee Trends 2016-2020 (value and lots)
Auction Guarantee Trends 2016-2020– estimated return on guarantees
Auction Guarantee Trends 2016-2020 by auction house
Auction Guarantee Trends 2016-2020 by location
Auction Guarantee Trends 2016-2020 by Top artists