New York auction week saw over $2 billion worth of art sold

Melanie Gerlis reviewed the November auction week in her article ‘Results as Clear as day’ in which she highlighted the pattern of ‘relatively few fireworks’ in both the evening and day sales. Whilst discussing the day sales, she raised the point that although much lower in their price levels than the evening sales, their higher volume can give a ‘more realistic sense of market dynamics’.

The evening sales had a few important artist records, notably the Hockney record for a living artist but ultimately a number of key pieces fell below their low estimates which limited sale totals to the lower end of their pre-sale estimates. Gerlis notes that Phillips fielded it’s highest ever total for a day sale at $20.7 million although this came in below its presale low estimate of $23.8 million. Similarly, Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern auction was also below low estimate, totaling $40.5 million compared to a $53.7 million low estimate. The day sales were consistent in their sales and attested to the overall health of the market.

As Guy Jennings, managing director of The Fine Art Group, commented to Melanie: “You can’t say that the market isn’t healthy when the auction houses shifted more than $2 billion of art overall. They are probably pretty pleased with the way the week went, without being too excited.”

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