Photography_Market_2019 (Cover)

Photography Auction Market – March 2020

  • Analyst: Lindsay Dewar
  • Pages: 30
  • Access: Analyst

Sales in 2019 at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips were down 15.5% from 2018

Total photography sales at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips came in at $52.7 million in 2019, down 15.5% from $62.3 million in 2018. The number of lots offered was 4.8% lower than 2018. Although photography sales continue to fall from their peak in 2018, they are 1.6% higher than in 2015.

Top 25 artist account for 61% of photography sales in 2019

The top five artists last year were: Helmut Newton, Cindy Sherman, Andreas Gursky, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. The photography sales by these five artists accounted for 23% of the total in 2019. Dedicatd photography sales proved essential to all five artists, and only Cindy Sherman and Andreas Gursky sold through Post-War and Contemporary Evening and Day sales.

About this report:

This report presents an in-depth comparative analysis of the photography auction market at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips between 2015 and 2019.

What is new in this report?

The second edition of our redesigned photography market report, provides analysis of photography sold in Post-war & Contemporary day and evening sales in addition to the dedicated photography sales.

NEW FEATURE – Photography Under $5,000: This new section includes Comparable Performance, Top Artists Analysis and Photography Sales Channel Analysis for artworks sold with pre-sale mid-estimates below $5,000.

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 photography market and follow the performance of the three top auction houses last year.

ArtTactic also offer bespoke reports on the Photography market. For further information please contact us on


Analytical tools:
Comparable Performance: Photography sales performance comparison between Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips in New York, London and Paris including: Total sales, Lots sold, Average Prices and Auction Indicators.
Top Artists Analysis: Section looking at the top 20 artists sold across all sales channels.
Top Prices: Ranking by the highest prices achieved and by top price-to-estimate performance.
Photography Sales Channel Analysis: Photography sold at auction across all three sales channels with breakdown, analysis for and top prices.

Sales in 2019 at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips were down 15.5% from 2018