Guest Post: May & June Auction Insights from CollectorIQ

CollectorIQ shares interesting insights from the major May and June evening auctions, including a deeper analysis of three artists with the most lots up for sale.

Overall, the market remains strong.

Christie’s edged out Sotheby’s ($946M vs. $904M) in total sales, driven primarily by strength in its New York sales.

Sotheby’s posted gains in Total Sales Value, Number of Sales, Sell-Through Rate, and Realized Price / Estimate vs. the same auctions in 2018. 

Christie’s posted declines in most major stats with the exception of a slight increase in total sales and significant increase in Average Sale Price (thanks to Jeff Koons’ Rabbit for $91M).

Across the board Sotheby’s London outperformed Christie’s London.

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But what’s more interesting than a high level look at the overall robustness of the market is a deep dive on the artists with the most lots up for sale in these auctions - Claude Monet (11 lots), Andy Warhol (9 lots), and Pablo Picasso (25 lots). 

Monet’s Meules (1890) crossed the $100M mark. Across the board the master of Impressionism posted strong gains in Average Sale Price, Sell-Through Rate and Realized Price to Estimate vs. the same auctions a year prior.

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On the heels of his retrospective at the Whitney, Warhol posted 50% increase in Average Sale Price but the auction houses may have been a touch aggressive when it came to their estimates. Warhol’s Sell-Through Rate declined 22% to 78% and there was a 6% decline in Realized Price / Estimate.

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Picasso - with the most lots up for sale in these auctions - is the only of these three artists to see a decline in Average Sale Price (-13% vs. these auctions in 2018). However, his works did see a strong uptick in Sell-Through Rate (+34%) and Realized Price to Estimates (+15%) after a weaker spring season in 2018.

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We leave you with a look at the four Jeff Koons lots from these auctions. Rabbit (1986) broke the record for the price paid for a work by a living artist. We’ll be eager to see the estimates and whether there is an increase in the number of Koons lots in the November auctions.

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