As Christie’s report sales down 5% to £4.8 billion during 2015, Matthew Steeples asks: ‘Has the art market peaked?’
This morning the self-described “world’s leading art business” Christie’s announced 2015 sales of £4.8 billion ($7.4 billion), down five percent on the same period in 2014.
Of the results, the firm’s chief executive officer Patricia Barbizet commented:
“Last year saw continued strength in the art market and showed that there is breadth of demand across geographies, categories and price ranges. Amidst an increasingly challenging global financial environment we are in a strong position to adapt to the marketplace and well equipped to service the new, broader, geographically diverse audience for art. Our strong overall sold percentages demonstrated how we have achieved great results for our clients and we will remain focused on service, bringing the best art to collectors around the world”.
“It is also encouraging that new buyers represent 30% of our total buyer base, coming to us through our curated auctions, various categories as well as digital sales. As we begin our 250th year, Christie’s will continue to celebrate our heritage and, with innovation and expertise at the heart of our business, continue to lead the industry”.
Some might suggest the market has peaked but early evidence in 2016 has already proven to the contrary. Last week, a world record was set at Christie’s New York for ‘outsider art’ with the sale of an oak and pine polychrome ‘Hadley’ chest which realized £722,000 ($1,025,000).
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