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A round-up of the week’s top stories

The privately-owned firm posted total sales of £4bn in 2016, a decrease of 16% compared to the previous year and well down from the art market’s high watermark of £5.1bn in 2014.

However, the auction house states that “the global appetite for art remains strong”.

“Despite the uncertainty in wider economic and political environments, the art market maintained momentum, ” said Christie’s CEO Guillaume Cerutti. Sell-through rates were strong, averaging 79% by lot across all auctions.

A break-down of the headline figure shows auction sales, which totalled £3.3bn, fell by 22% in 2016. The firm recorded four of the top five lots sold across the year including Claude Monet’s record-breaking Meule (Grainstack) sold in New York for $81.4m.

However, with less money spent on price guarantees, in EU referendum and US election year the owners of the world’s most expensive art were sometimes reluctant to test the deepest water.

For more, see antiquestradegazette.com