The combined sales of more than 500 auctioneers have risen from £763m in 2015 to £821m in 2017 at a compound annual growth rate of 4%, according to new figures from thesaleroom.com, sister brand to Antiques Trade Gazette.
Figures across the last three years show that the market share held by the UK ‘regionals’ (defined here as auctioneers outside London’s big four of Sotheby’s, Christie’s, Bonhams and Phillips) has remained steady – it was 24% in 2015, 28% in 2016 and 26% in 2017.
For more than a decade, the international salerooms have stepped back from selling objects in the £500-5000 price bracket – a move that last year culminated in the closure of Christie’s secondary London rooms in South Kensington, giving the regional players greater opportunities in the mid-market. A number of them have responded by hiring extra staff and adding to their specialist sales roster.
The contribution of regional salerooms – led in 2017 by Fellows with January to December sales figures of £17m – is sometimes overlooked when estimates of the size of the UK art and antiques market are calculated.
Last year’s art market report from the British Art Market Federation, penned by Dr Clare McAndrew of Arts Economics, found that in 2016 the UK had a 21% share of global art and antiques sales.
Read and download the full report.