Christie's announces that sales figures are up for the first half of the year

This week Christie's announced worldwide sales of £1.71 billion ($2.57 billion) for the first half of 2010. The figure was up some 46% on last year's £1.2 billion ($1.8 billion) over the same six month period.

In total Christie's accounted for 75% of artworks sold for over $50 million so far this year. These sales included Nude, Green Leaves and Bust by Pablo Picasso which auctioned for a world record price of £70.2 million ($106.5 million).

Nude, Green Leaves and Bust - Pablo Picasso
Picasso's "Nude Green Leaves and Bust"

Globally, Christie's sales gained a 51% share of the market and saw 169 works of art sell for more than £1 million.

Private sales totals also increased by 37% in comparison to last year's figures, reaching an impressive £182.7 million ($274.1 million).

Edward Dolman, Chief Executive Officer of Christie's was pleased with the results, stating: 

"Global confidence in the art market has been evident throughout the first half of 2010 and we expect it to continue with our autumn sales...Great works continue to inspire and prices demonstrate a sustained commitment to art as a store of value."

Dolman also commented on the increasing interest in art in India, something we reported on last week, noting:

"Our results also reflect the growing role of Asia in the marketplace.  We continue to see significant return on our investment and leadership in the region."

The increasing use of online and telephone based services have also helped to make bidding on pieces as easy as possible, leading to increasing investment:

"We continue to see strength and depth in both vendor confidence and buyer activity despite the broader economic context.  ."

The next six months could prove even more fruitful for the world of fine art at Christies.


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