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May Auctions In New York Totaled $1.2 Billion, About Half of November Haul

Christie's New York headquarters at Rockefeller Plaza.COURTESY CHRISTIE’S

Christie’s New York headquarters at Rockefeller Plaza.

COURTESY CHRISTIE’S

The May sales of Impressionist, modern, and contemporary art in New York totaled just under $1.2 billion during what was hailed as a “gigaweek,” with all the auctions stuffed into a six-day period. But the total was a far cry from last November’s $2.33 billion haul—about double this May’s sales total—and less than half of the record-breaking $2.7 billion total last May.

The auction world duopoly continued amid the slowdown. Christie’s posted a total of $657.7 million, edging out its rival Sotheby’s, which brought in $483.6 million.

Perennial bridesmaid Phillips totaled $57.1 million over the course of two sales.

All three houses saw their totals for the spring sales drop dramatically from the auctions in New York in November, as specialists curated modest sales lacking in blockbuster lots to reflect a cooling market and more selective bidding.

The sales return to New York in November. Click below for individual reports.

Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale: $144.5 million

Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Day Sale: $41.9 million

Phillips 20th-Century and Contemporary Art Evening Sale: $46.6 million

Phillips 20th-Century and Contemporary Art Day Sale: $10.5 million

Bound to Fail: A Curated Evening Sale at Christie’s: $78.1 million

Christie’s Postwar and Contemporary Evening Sale: $318.4 million

Christie’s Postwar and Contemporary Day Sale: $82.7 million

Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening Sale: $242.2 million

Sotheby’s Contemporary Day Sale: $54.2 million

Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Evening Sale: $141.5 million

Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper Sale: $10.5 million

Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Day Sale: $24.9 million

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