The fall sales in New York totaled $1.29 billion this year, a mark slightly higher than last May’s $1.2 billion figure but down significantly from this point a year ago. While unadorned sums may not be the only indicator of market strength—and simply stating figures does not account for the fact that, unlike last November, there was no special curated sale at Christie’s or one-off event akin to Sotheby’s Alfred Taubman collection sale—it appears we are still in the midst of a contraction.
Christie’s posted a net haul of $618.1 million, a total that bested that of its rival Sotheby’s, which brought in $555.3 million. Christie’s edged Sotheby’s overall by virtue of a big performance on the Impressionist and modern front; an unexpectedly impressive day sale on Friday put Sotheby’s ahead in the contemporary, after the two houses posted near-identical totals for their postwar evening sales.
Phillips showed dramatic improvement compared to past seasons, even if the total isn’t quite in the ballpark of its more established adversaries. A pair of sales netted Phillips $121 million, more than double its total from May.
The sales return to New York in May, timed to coincide with Frieze New York. Below are the results for each individual sale, along with links to our reports.
Total $1.29 billion
Sotheby’s total: $555.3 million
Christie’s total: $618.1 million
Phillips total: $121 million
Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Day Sale: $38.8 million
Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Day Sale: $61.5 million
Phillips 20th Century and Contemporary Art Day Sale: $9.8 million
Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper Sale: $10.5 million
Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Day Sale: $22.3 million