Half-yearly Paris figures to August showed Christie’s consolidating their lead with sales of €100.3m (£67.3m), nearly twice as much as their nearest rivals, ArtCurial.
Christie’s total was down 18 per cent on 2006 (boosted by the epic €60m Dray Art Deco sale), while ArtCurial’s sales of €52m (£35m) represented a rise of six per cent, thanks mainly to a 38 per cent climb in totals for contemporary art to €14.8m.
The overall volume take-up was 82 per cent at Christie’s and 70 per cent at ArtCurial.
A successful €8m foray to Monaco at the end of July enabled Tajan to stay third with sales of €41m (£27.5m), although Sotheby’s, after several years in the Paris doldrums, closed the gap with sales of €38.3m (£25.7m), an increase of nearly 20 per cent.
The largest rise was at Piasa, where sales soared 38 per cent to €24.6m (£16.5m), thanks to the consignor-friendly innovations of Jacques Babonneau, installed by François Pinault as head of the firm for his financial wizardry.
Piasa duly led the Drouot-based firms ahead of Millon & Associés on €19m (£12.8m), Aguttes on €15.6m (£10.5m), Cornette de St-Cyr on €12.1m (£8.1m), and Beaussant-Lefèvre on €11.6m (£7.8m).
Overall sales from Drouot’s 74 firms totalled €250m (£168m), with just five individual prices of over €1m – compared to ten at Christie’s alone.
Highest price at Drouot was the €1.9m for Etienne Dinet’s Orientalist Vue Aérienne de la Palmeraie. At Christie’s the top lot was the €6.9m for Francis Bacon’s Untitled (Figure on a Dais) – the highest price at auction in France this year.
Meanwhile Pierre Bergé & Associés recorded sales of €8.9m (£6m) in Paris and €13.1m (£8.8m) in Brussels, confirming their position as leaders of the Belgian auction market.
• All figures include buyer’s premium.
By Simon Hewitt
Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.
Back to top