NEW YORK, NY.-
Guillaume Cerutti, Christies
Chief Executive Officer, commented: We are pleased with our 2021 achievements. Beyond our auction and private sales results -which are exceptional, Christies has also made a breakthrough in new sales formats and categories, NFTS in particular. They have allowed us to showcase works by new emerging and under-represented artists, and to reach out to a new audience of younger clients. We have also made great progress in other priorities, with important investments in Asia and with our commitments to becoming carbon net zero by 2030, and to building and sustaining a more equitable and diverse profile for our company. Growth, innovation and responsibility remain at the forefront of our objectives for 2022.
CHRISTIES KEY TAKE-AWAYS FROM 2021
Total projected sales in 2021: USD$ 7.1B (£5.2B)
Strong Rebound +54% vs 2020; +22% vs 2019.
Highest total in last 5 years, back to higher levels than pre-COVID
Breakdown: Total auction (Live and Online): USD $5.4B / £3.9B, Private sales: USD $1.7B / £1.3B
Continuing the pattern of previous years, clients in each region contributed roughly one third of Christies total auction sales by value: Americas 35%, EMEA 34% and Asia 31%.
Historic sell-through rate and highest prices at auction
Historic sell-through rate at auction : 87%, demonstrates depth of demand and performance
Christies holds the two highest prices for works sold at auction in 2021:
Picassos Femme assise près dune fenêtre (Marie-Therese) for USD $103.4M (the only work at auction above $100M in 2021) and Basquiats In This Case USD $93.1M.
Several other results of interest at auction in 2021:
Highest value work bought by a museum at auction - Caillebottes Jeune homme à sa fenêtre (USD $53 M New York / November)
Highest value work sold at auction for a charitable cause - Banksys Game Changer (£16.76 M London / June)
Highest value work sold at auction for a living female artist - Yayoi Kusamas Pumpkin (HKD $62.54 M/ USD$8.18 M Hong Kong / December)
Christies is the leading auction house for NFTs
First major auction house to sell an NFT; establishing a landmark price: Beeples Everydays sold for USD$69 M March 2021
More than 100 NFTs sold in 2021, for nearly $150 M
75% of buyers in this category are new to Christies, with an average age of 42
Online auction sales continue to grow
up 43% to USD$ 445 M
average lot value USD$ 23,400 (vs USD$ 6,100 in 2016)
Nearly half of all of Christies auctions now take place online
Record year for Private Sales
Total projected private sales $1.7 B (£1.2 B) : +12%vs 2020, +108% vs 2019
4 works selling privately above USD 50m
Major contribution from Asia
Asian buyers contributed a total of USD$1.68B, +32% up on 2019
Asian spend across all auction rooms in the world represented 39% of sales in H1 and 31% for full year
Auction sales in Hong Kong reached USD$ 1.03 B in 2021, with record season in the Fall 2021
New Headquarters in Asia Christies new Hong Kong HQ opens in The Henderson by Zaha Hadid Architects in 2024 and Christies Shanghai relocates to BUND ONE in Spring 2022 with inaugural sale in March 2022
Strong influx of new clients and millennials
35% of all buyers in 2021 are new to Christies, with almost 2/3 entering via online sales
32% of new buyers are millennials
Luxury is the largest recruiter of new clients at 32%
Paving the way to the future
Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives: Christies has done much to diversify its sales this year notably through its 20/21 sales, with 66 new world auction records for women artists and 47 new auction records for BIPOC artists in this category; plus partnerships with organizations that present the work of diverse artists
Sustainability: Christies is first international auction house committed to becoming NetZero by 2030 and first to achieve Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) accreditation for reducing carbon emissions by 50%
Key Leadership Appointments: President Christies Americas (Bonnie Brennan), Chairman for Christies China (Rebecca Yang)
CHRISTIES FULL-YEAR HIGHLIGHTS
PRELIMINARY PROJECTED RESULTS
MARKETS AND CATEGORIES
TOTAL SALES BY CATEGORY
Total projected 2021 global sales by category, including (live and online) auction and private sales:
20/21 (Impressionist, Modern, Post-War, Contemporary, Design, Prints, Photography): $5,050 M (up + 57% from 2020)
Luxury (Jewellery, Watches, Handbags, Wine): $980M (up + 153% from 2020)
Classics (Old Masters, Russian art, Iconic Memorabilia, Antiquities, Decorative Arts): $570 M (up + 62% from 2020)
Asian and World Art (Asian, African, Oceanic, Islamic Art): $500 M (up + 56% from 2020)
Christies offered the top two most valuable artworks sold at auction in 2021: Pablo Picassos monumental masterpiece Femme assise près dune fenêtre for $103.4 M and Basquiats In This Case for $93.1 M; both highlights of Christies inaugural 20/21 category sales in New York this May.
In November, the Cox Collection, one of the greatest privately held collections of Impressionist art to be offered at auction, featuring three works by Van Gogh from the end of the artists lifetime, was 100% sold for $332,031,500. Gustave Caillebottes Jeune homme à sa fenêtre, from the Cox Collection, was purchased by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles for $53M, the highest value work bought by a museum at auction this year.
In June and July, Old Masters broke records in London, including a world record for Bernardo Bellottos View of Verona with the Ponte delle Navi (£10,575,000 / $14,561,775) and Leonardo da Vincis Head of a Bear, setting a new world auction record for a drawing by the artist (£8,857,500 / $12,196,778).
In Paris in November Woman at the Fountain from Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin set a new auction record at 7,110,000 ($8,024,912) and in May in Hong Kong Zhang Daqians Temple at the Mountain Peak sold for HK$ 209,100,000 ($27,062,468).
Private Sales at Christies is growing in size, value and depth and is no-longer counter-cyclical to market strength. Transactions at all levels now occur around key sale weeks within a strong auction market.
Private Sales in 2021 totalled $1.7 B/£1.2 B, an 108% increase on 2019; the number of transactions between $5-10m doubled in 2021 (vs. 2020); the number of buyers for Private Sales rose 42% against 2019; 60% of all Private Sales clients are also active across Christies auction sales.
Christies pop-up programme continues around the world in key collecting centers such as Palm Beach, Southampton, Aspen, Monte Carlo and online, including the annual summer sculpture exhibition, Dream Big, on christies.com.
NON FUNGIBLE TOKENS
In 2021, Christies launched the worlds NFT market at auction and has helped to propel this new category into a powerful force for the future of the global market. NFT sales made up 8% of Christies contemporary art 2021 sale total.
Sales of the more than 100 NFTs sold by Christies in 2021 totalled nearly $150M USD; the historic online sale of Beeples Everydays achieved $69 million this March; Larva Labs Cryptopunks ($17 M) and digital artwork by FEWOCiOUS ($2.16 M) attracted new and younger collectors, 74% of whom were new buyers to Christies; Christies first NFT sale in London took place in October and in November Beeples HUMAN ONE hybrid NFT sculpture achieved $28,985,000.
Other NFT highlights include partnerships with The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Gucci and collectibles giants Superplastic. The first-ever NFT sale in Asia, hosted by Christies in its No Time Like the Present online auction, achieved a total of HK$122 M ($15.6 M). Christies held the first-ever live auction with bidding conducted entirely in Ether during Post-War to Present sale in October in New York.
The first-ever on-chain NFT auction curated by Christies and hosted on OpenSea achieved $3.5 M in December.
LUXURY (JEWELS, WATCHES, HANDBAGS, WINE)
Luxury at auction and through private sales reached almost USD $1B in 2021, marking a strong rebound compared to previous years.
Sales at auction totalled USD $736.1M, marking a 73% increase over 2020. Private sales have had a stand- out year, doubling sales made in 2019. Online sales comprised 5% of total Auction in 2019, now 21% in 2021; the average lot value for Luxury sales online has more than tripled in 2021 vs 2019 (£4,500 to £14,200).
Jewellery: sales were led by the Sakura diamond in Hong Kong, 15cts, the largest purple pink diamond ever offered at auction which achieved a record-breaking USD $29m; the historic Geneva sale of Marie-Antoinettes diamond bracelets achieved CHF 7,46M / $8.20M, tripling the low estimate; Online demand for jewellery soaredwith a 101% increase in the number of jewels lots sold online between 2019 and this year.
Watches: a record year for watches at Christies with $205.1 M, a 157% increase versus 2020 including the most expensive watch sold online in the Dubai for USD $1,590,000; Christies sale in November in Geneva was 100% sold, highlighted by the first Rolex Deep Sea Special No. 1 for 1.89 M CHF. Also in November at Christies, more than 800 bidders and viewers participated in Genevas ONLY WATCH, the prestigious charity auction, achieving CHF 30 M for 53 lots, with a Patek Philippe table clock selling for CHF 9.5 M.
Handbags: a Hermès Himalaya Diamond Kelly 28 became the most valuable handbag ever sold at auction for HK$4M / USD $515,416.
Wine: sales achieved a very solid 93.6% sold by lot, led by multiple 100% sold sales and saw the largest wine auction ever held at Christies King Street in December.
Plus: Michael Jordans Game-worn & signed Air Jordan Nike Sneakers sold for USD $375,000 and a SUPREME Branded Pin Ball Machine sold for $52,000.
Auction sales (live and online) in the Americas totalled USD $2.61 B in 2021, up +92% from 2020
American buyers contributed 35% to Christies global auctions in 2021
2021 highlights in Christies Americas include the Spring and Fall Marquee 20/21 sales, which proved to be a successful format that accurately predicted clients' tastes by offering diverse artists. The Spring Marquee week earned $775 million with 24 new auction records, and Fall Marquee week reached more than $1 billion with a total of 62 auction records.
2021 saw exceptional results for single-owner collection sales across multiple categories, from Cox to Image World to Sydell Miller.
Christies Americas debuted a new hybrid salesroom in 2021, which hosted the return of in-person bidding in a global format. Luxury sales in the Americas remained robust, generating more than $155M, 30% higher than luxury sales in 2020. Christie's in the Americas also strengthened its efforts to increase diversity and representation at every level by appointing more women (including BIPOC) to executive roles, maintaining a 50/50 gender balance of auctioneers, and staging exhibitions such as "Say it Loud," to create opportunities for Black curators and artists.
The New York saleroom generated $50M in sales with proceeds to benefit charitable organizations including the New York Aids Memorial Fund.
EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)
Auction sales (live and online) in EMEA totalled USD $1.76 B in 2021, up +63% from 2020
Of the total sales for EMEA, contributions came predominantly from London (USD $980M / (£ 699 M) and Paris ($ 494 M / (£ 360 M, 421 M) +88% vs 2020 and +63% vs 2019 (EUR), the second highest result in Christies Frances history and the best since 2009.
EMEA buyers contributed 34% to Christies global auctions in 2021
In London, highlights for 2021 were the sale of Banksys Game Changer, for £16,758,000, the highest value work sold for charity this year at auction with proceeds to support healthcare in the UK. Notable Collections sold in London were: Faberge from the Harry Woolf Collection, the Collection of Victoria, Lady de Rothschild, and the Collection of Mrs. Henry Ford II. The B.J. Eastwood Collection: Important Sporting and Irish Pictures achieved more than £14 million across 30 lots, and the Roger Federer charitable sale totalled £3.4M.
Christies London hosted an online exhibition for 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair during the physical fair in October, at which Christies debuted on site and offered the first NFTs by an African artist at auction in Europe.
In France, the number of auctions in 2021 (54, +20% vs 2020 and +38% vs 2019) underlines the increased global reach of Christies Parisian auction room. A total of 62 new world auction records were set by offering 24 private collections and a total of 7,340 lots. Top lot of the year on the French art market was Magrittes La Vengeance from the Francis Gross Collection, achieving 14.5 million. A new world auction record was achieved for any African and Oceanic art auction (66 million) with La Collection Michel Périnet. This also represents the highest total for any collection sold at Christies France in the past decade. Other highlights include the Einstein-Besso manuscript, achieving 11.6 million. Design sales achieved a historic total of 73.5 million, including collections such as La Maison de Verre (15.2 million) and Daniel Lebard (31,6 million). 50% of the lots offered by Christies France in 2021 were sold to online bidders.
ASIA - PACIFIC
Auction sales (live and online) in Asia Pacific totalled USD $1.03 B in 2021, up +59% from 2020
Asian buyers contributed 31% to Christies global auctions in 2021, up 32% on 2019, with notable Asian buying power in New York evening sales in May and November.
2021 highlights in Asia: Across this year, the Hong Kong saleroom alone achieved a record auction total of HK$8.1B/ USD$1.03 B, including HK$3.8B/ USD$495M for the highest ever total for Christies Asia achieved this fall with combined sell-through rates of 90%, demonstrating market strength in Asia; Basquiats Warrior became the most valuable western work ever to be offered in Asia, selling for USD$41.9 M via livestream from London to Hong Kong in March;
Four sales in December drew 1.8 M livestream viewers and realised HK$2,007,615,000/ USD$258,733,286, the highest ever auction total for 20th and 21st Century Art at Christies Asia; number of clients buying at Private Sale rose significantly after Hong Kong and Shanghai 20/21 art and Luxury exhibitions.
Christies debuted at Shanghais China International Import EXPO (November) and opened Radiance exhibition of 11 works by Basquiat, to celebrate Shanghai Art Week.
Christies announced it will open its first year-round saleroom and state-of-the-art gallery space in Asia in 2024 when its Hong Kong headquarters moves to The Henderson, Zaha Hadid Architects iconic and sustainably designed tower in the citys luxury centre. Christies Shanghai office and galleries relocate this spring to BUND ONE, launching inaugural Shanghai sales with London in March.