The global art market grew to €51bn in 2014. This 7% rise means the market as a whole has roughly doubled in value over the past ten years.
The revelations come in the TEFAF Art Market Report 2015, out this week.
The US remains the largest single market with a 39% share at €19.9bn, with the UK and China in joint second place with 22% of global share each at €11.2bn. This represents a 2% increase in share for the UK and 2% fall for China.
Importantly for an economy subject to Brussels' regulations, the UK art market accounts for two thirds of the entire European art market.
With the US increasing its share by 1% in 2014, the market has remained relatively stable.
Auction sales of post-War and Contemporary art have grown at such a phenomenal rate in both volume and value that they had already outstripped the pre-crash, 2007 high of €3.49bn by 2011. At an all-time high of €5.88bn for 2014 - a year-on-year increase of 19% - they have quadrupled the €1.42bn post-crash low of 2009.
The top 20 artists in this sector, ranging from Andy Warhol to Martin Kippenberger, accounted for 42% of the money spent here, but only 4% of lots.
Created annually by Art Economics, Dr Clare McAndrew's firm, the report provides the leading overview of the global art market each year as she unveils it at TEFAF Maastricht.
Our table of statistics, below, shows the main trends in each area of activity, but the report goes into much more detail about key market indicators such as buyer behaviour as well.
"The persistence of low selling rates over 2014 shows that buyer confidence has been slow to return and many collectors are now more vigilant, particularly regarding provenance, and with a lower tolerance for what are perceived to be over-priced, low quality works," the report concludes.
"Some caution undoubtedly relates to the persistent problems of fakes and forgeries. A lack of legislation on guarantees of authenticity and little legal recourse for fakes has failed to provide adequate incentives for many auction houses to issue full warranties and leaves little protection for customers."
The issue of late and non-payments for high-value artworks, especially among Chinese buyers, continues to dog auction houses and got worse in 2014.
"In the year to June 2013, for all licensed auction houses, 30% of the lots sold for more than RMB10m were not paid for within six months, which although high, represented an improvement of 10% on 2012," the report reveals. "However, in 2014, the non-payment rate for these high level works increased again to 35%, despite considerable improvements in some individual auction houses."
HEADLINE FIGURES FROM TEFAF ART MARKET REPORT 2015
* Market share: US (35%), China (31%), UK (20%), France (5%)
* Total transactions (€24.6bn) in 2014 passed the 2007 total (€24.0bn) for the first time
* The trade hold the balance - just - accounting for 52% of all transactions at €26.4bn
* Post-War & Contemporary dominate fine art sales, making up 48% of the sector by value
* Post-War & Contemporary auctions rose by 19% to the highest levels ever
* Modern art came next with €3.3bn in sales, 28% of the auction market
* The US controls 46% of Post-War & Contemporary sales
* 1530 items sold for over €1m at auction, 96 for more than €10m - a 17% rise over 2013
* Together that's 48% of the fine art auction market by value, but only 0.5% by volume
* Christie's and Sotheby's together account for 42% of the global auction market
* Art fairs came second only to gallery sales in importance for dealers, accounting for 40% or €9.8bn of all transactions by value
* 180 major art fairs had an international element - the top 22 attracting over 1m visitors
* Art fairs cost the industry €2.3bn or 19% of the overall spend within the market
* Three quarters of dealer sales are valued at €50,000 or under
* 68% of dealers felt the growth in numbers of art consultants was not a good thing, largely because of the lack of control and regulation over this area of activity and because consultants did not require any qualifications or experience to set up in business
* The number of transactions across the market as a whole grew 6% year on year to 39 million, but it was still lower than 2007's peak
* Around 309,000 companies make up the global art market, employing 2.8 million people
* The global art market spent an additional €12.9bn on external support services, accounting for another 315,745 jobs
* Online sales accounted for €3.3bn or 6% of the market by value
* The focus of online sales has been the middle market, with a price range of $1000-50,000
The TEFAF Report lists a number of data sources in its appendix