TOTAL auction sales in France rose by 8.6 per cent in 2011 to €2.38bn. Art, antiques and other collectors' sales accounted for just over half that figure at €1.25bn, a record total that surpassed the boom years of 2006 and 2007, as well as 2009 when the Yves St Laurent sale at Christie's in Paris gave a huge boost in what was otherwise a lacklustre year.
Christie's again came out on top in 2011,
with total sales of €165m, closely followed by Sotheby's with
€157m. Sales of €98m for the year put ArtCurial in third place.
In Paris, Sotheby's and Christie's now
account for 38% of total sale revenue, with 47% taken at Hôtel
Drouot and 11% at ArtCurial.
The Paris region dominates the art and
antiques sector, with 119 auctioneers producing a total of €940m in
sales. The only auction house from outside the Paris region to
appear in the top 20 in 2011 was Marc Labarbe from Toulouse, whose
sales were posted at €20m thanks to spectacular bidding on a
Chinese scroll in March. That exceptional item aside, the major
sales outside Paris were concentrated in the Rhone Valley, Provence
and Cote d'Azur regions.
Within this sector the €1.25bn total was
further broken down, showing €866m for art and antiques, €147m for
collectors' items, €102m for silver and jewellery and €43m for wine
Secondhand cars are the other big sellers at
auction in France, accounting for €926m, while plant and machinery
totalled €93m. Bloodstock sales of horses accounted for €109m.
These annual figures, released by the
Government's auction supervisory body, the Conseil de Ventes, do
not include court-order sales which come under a separate
jurisdiction in French law. Most French auctioneers conduct both
types of sale.
All figures are quoted without premium or