Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Drouot chief Dominique Ribeyre said that “despite the slowdown in the global economy, aggravated by the tragic events of September 11, Drouot has not just consolidated the growth of previous years, but continues to progress in the art field”.

The number of prices in Paris of over Fr1m remained stable at 238, but there were twice as many winning bids of over Fr5m (21). The year’s top price was Fr19.5m (£1.86m) for a Louis XVI mahogany guéridon by Thomire and Daguerre at Tajan – who remained the leading auctioneers after posting a 12 per cent rise in sales to Fr565m (£54m). Tajan’s prestige auctions at the Hôtel George V just before Christmas (December 17-19) yielded just under £7m hammer.