Christie’s sets record with booming sales

City A.M. Reporter
CHRISTIE’S announced record first-half art sales of £2.2bn yesterday, a rise of 13 per cent over the same period of 2011 and further evidence of strength at the high end of the market.

The world’s largest auctioneer reported auction sales of £1.8bn in the first six months of 2012, seven per cent up on a year ago, while private art sales soared 53 per cent to £413m. All figures include buyer’s premium.

However, there was a steep drop in Asian and Middle Eastern auction revenues to £234m, 23 per cent down on the first half of 2011 as rampant Chinese buying cooled.

The top lot at Christie’s during the first half of the year was Mark Rothko’s Orange, Red, Yellow which sold for £53.9m at auction in New York in May.

Two Yves Klein works came in second and third place, with Le rose du bleu fetching £23.6m in London in June setting an auction record for the artist. A Henry Moore sculpture also set a record when it sold in February for £19.1m.