ModCtp_African_Auctions_October2019 Cover
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Sotheby’s Modern & Contemporary African Art Auctions: 2017-2019

  • Analyst: Lindsay Dewar
  • Pages: 16
  • Access: Analyst

Sotheby’s London’s Modern & Contemporary African Art Auctions are up 56% in 2019 compared to 2018: Since Sotheby’s successful inaugural £2.26 million sale of Modern & Contemporary African art in May 2017, the auction houses have now introduced two auctions per year, with sales in 2019 coming in at £5.1 million, a 55.9% increase from last year.     

Attractive estimates reignite confidence in the market: Sotheby’s attached attractive estimates to many of its key lots, such as the top lot Christine by Ben Enwonwu, which sold for £900,000 against the generous pre-sale estimate of £100,000 to £150,000. Overall, Sotheby’s raised £3.23 million exceeding its pre-sale high estimate of £2.8 million, again lifting the confidence in the African art market.

This ArtTactic report provides a unique insight into modern and contemporary artworks sold at auctions in London at Sotheby’s from 2017 to October 2019. This report provides a new and unique insight into the Sotheby’s auction market for Modern and Contemporary art by African artists in London. The report includes analytical tools looking at annual trends in this period by Auction Houses as well as nationality of the individual artists.

ArtTactic also offer bespoke reports on the African art auction market. For further information please contact us on

Analytical tools:
Comparable Performance: Sales performance comparison for Sotheby’s auctions in 2018 and 2019: Total sales, Lots sold, Average Prices and Auction Indicators.
Top Prices: Ranking by the highest prices achieved and by top price-to-estimate performance.
London Sales Artist Nationality Analysis: Modern and Contemporary art sold at auction with breakdown, analysis and top prices.

Sotheby’s London’s Modern & Contemporary African Art Auctions are up 56% in 2019 compared to 2018.