Solid demand bolsters 2022 auction sales
A strong 2022 turnout at major auction houses Christie’s and Sotheby’s is pointing to continued growth in the auction sector, bolstered by the art and luxury categories.
Total global sales at Christie’s reached US$8.4 billion in 2022, up 17 per cent from 2021. The art market accounted for US$6.22 billion in sales, followed by the luxury category (jewellery, watches, handbags and wine) at US$988 million, representing 21 per cent and 2 per cent increases, respectively.
According to Christie’s, luxury sales are the major point of entry for auction newcomers. “Global demand for luxury continues to drive Christie’s online platform, constituting more than half of all lots offered online, a notable shift that began during the pandemic,” the auction house said. It added that the average sold price for a luxury item (excluding wine sales) online in 2022 was US$24,500 from US$21,400 in 2021, indicating increased client confidence in online auctions.
Consumer appetite for large diamonds, both white and fancy colour, remain strong while jewels with great provenance are also highly coveted, such as the US$11.1 million sale of jewellery from the collection of actress Rosamund Kwan in Hong Kong and 12 lots by contemporary jeweller JAR, which sold from the Getty collection for US$5.9 million.
Sotheby’s meanwhile is expecting total consolidated sales to reach new heights of US$8 billion for 2022, with fine art and luxury auction sales currently standing at US$6.4 billion. Other sources of growth are Sotheby’s online sales of US$580 million, and revenue from newly acquired businesses RM Sotheby’s and Sotheby’s Concierge Auctions. Private sales are projected to reach over US$1.1 billion for the third consecutive year.
“Sotheby’s luxury sales have more than doubled and are set to reach US$2.3 billion this year,” the auction house said.