Global auction sales at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips jumped 21.6% in the first half of 2018.

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ArtTactic said Christie’s and Phillips have gained market share in the period: Phillips reported auction sales rose to $511.8m (£386m), up 59% from the same period a year ago, while Christie’s grew 27% to $3.6bn, and Sotheby’s rose 11.3% to $2.8bn.

Christie’s high-profile auction of the Rockefeller Collection, which raised $646.1m in New York in May, boosted the performance of modern and impressionist art overall which overtook post-war and contemporary art at auction in the first half of 2018.

ArtTactic noted that competition between the three auction houses continues to intensify and auction guarantees - financial guarantees on artworks to sell at a certain price ahead of auctions – “played an increasingly important role”.