Christie's is to close its South Kensington auction rooms by the end of the year.
All changes are subject to a month-long consultation, but the auction house is also expected to scale back its operations in Amsterdam with layoffs across the firm potentially numbering 250 employees or around 12% of current staff.
In a statement released last week, Christie’s said it was “undertaking a global review… to better serve the evolving art market, a growing international client base and enable ongoing investment in the company’s world-leading digital art sales platform”.
The statement referred to a “current proposal to offer a single destination to collectors in London” with the King Street premises potentially offering a “fuller, broader range of sales at a wider range of price levels”.
A spokesman later told ATG: “At this stage no departments are confirmed as closing and a priority is retaining the best and broadest base of expertise.”
Christie’s South Kensington saleroom in Old Brompton Road was established in 1975 as the auctioneer’s secondary London premises alongside its flagship King Street rooms.
Traditionally offering a wide mix of material at a lower price-point, CSK once staged some of the most popular sales in London.
Observers see the decision to close CSK’s saleroom as part of the firm’s continuing shift to selling top-end lots and boosted demand for online-only sales, which numbered 118 in 2016.