Several of the main French auction firms and French branches of international houses have produced their half-year sales figures.
Many show sizeable increases over the
equivalent period last year, with Modern and Contemporary art much
to the fore for the biggest earners.
Sotheby's produced their highest ever
total since first opening an auction house in France, chalking up a
premium-inclusive figure of €106m for the period up to June 27
compared with €91.4m for the same period last year.
They saw 14 lots make over €1m with
premium included. In a list led by Jean Michel Basquiat's Crown
Hotel painting on paper of 1982 which made €5.7m (£5.09m)
in their June 5 Contemporary art sale, 10 of the 14 were for Modern
or Contemporary art.
Christie's recorded a
premium-inclusive figure of €92m up to mid July, which while behind
Sotheby's, represented a 33% jump over the €69m sold in the first
half of 2012. Here 12 lots topped the €1m mark, again weighted
towards Modern art, led by Francis Bacon's oil on canvas
Painting March 1985 which fetched €3.68m (£3.29m) on
Christie's sales were almost neck and
neck with those of Artcurial who raised a premium-inclusive €91.6m
for their first half figures, a 25% increase on last year's
equivalent. This was without factoring in the results of their July
series in Monaco which took the firm over the €100m mark.
Contemporary art was again to the fore, producing €17m, a massive
70% hike over the €10m for the same period in
The Drouot auction centre, which is
home to a co-operative of Paris auctioneers, reported half-year
premium-inclusive sales figures of €237m (excluding after
Eight individual lots topped the €1m
mark. This was a varied mix of Asian, Old Masters, Modern art,
furnishings and antiquities, as one might expect from such a broad
pool of firms offering material ranging from general to specialist
The list was led by the rare ink on
silk painting thought to date from the Tang Dynasty which fetched
€4.65m (£4.15m) at Thierry de Maigret on June 19.
Other individual firms who released
figures included Piasa who sold a premium-inclusive €19m, a 22%
rise on the €15.5m from the first half of 2012 helped by the €4m
sales recorded in their new Left Bank saleroom Piasa Rive Gauche,
devoted to 20th century design and decorative art.
Beaussant Lefevre recorded a
premium-inclusive €12m worth of sales, slightly down on the €13.2m
seen for the first half of 2012; Millon €21m, a premium-inclusive
figure which includes their Brussels and Geneva sales as well at
their Paris auctions, while Aguttes realised premium inclusive
sales of €15.5m from the 103 auctions held between their rooms at
Neuilly and Lyon and at Drouot.
All totals and prices are premium