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London Auction Analysis – February 2013

No. Pages6
Report TypeAuction Analysis
MembershipAnalyst

London’s Post-war and Contemporary auction sales last week were the highest February sales since the downturn in 2009 (only 12% lower than February 2008); the overall volume sold amounted to $143,355,000 (excluding buyer’s premium) from a pre-sale estimate of $129,940,000 – $179,480,000, more than 21% higher than February 2012.

The top 10 prices amounted to £67,700,000 or 47% of the entire sale. There were 30 works that sold for over £1 million (excluding buyer’s premium), and these accounted for £104,450,000 or 73% of the sale, showing that blue-chip work is still dominating the Contemporary sales. This is similar to February 2012, where works above £1 million accounted for 71% of the total value.

The recent Post-war and Contemporary sales continued the trend of 2012, but the question is whether the trend can be sustained throughout 2013. The art market is already turning its attention to the New York sales in May, and the pressure on the auction houses to continue to find high quality consignments is mounting.