Art auction ‘snapping silver’ in 2021


International auction houses sell artworks for hundreds of millions of dollars on the online platform, NFT… in 2021.

Despite the difficulties and restrictions caused by Covid-19 globally during the year, the auction house’s revenue report recorded a record growth. Sotheby’s reached $ 7.3 billion – the highest in the auction house’s 277-year history, Christie’s reached $ 7.1 billion – the highest in 5 years, Phillips brought in $ 1.2 billion. “Auction sales hit a record $15 billion as young, affluent collectors enter the market,” CNBC write.

The most expensive auction work of the year is Femme assise pres d’une fenetre by Picasso grossed $103.4 million at Christie’s. The second tallest work is a drawing of a skull In This Case by Jean-Michel Basquiat for $93.1 million. Painting Portrait of a young man holding a roundel by Sandro Botticelli sold for $92.1 million – the third highest of the year.

Christie’s CEO – Guillaume Cerutti – said above CNBC: “Every category performs better. Auction records show global asset surge in times of pandemic, government stimulus, central bank easing, soaring asset values ​​and demand The recovery in consumption has created a huge wave of liquidity for buyers.The boom in cryptocurrency and stock trading has created a new generation of young, wealthy collectors who are just starting out. buy everything from art and classic cars to luxury goods, wine, watches and diamonds online.”

A Sotheby’s online auction. Photo: Nytimes

Innovating and diversifying auction forms are the factors that help brands succeed during the pandemic. Follow TheartnewspaperThe images of customers wearing suits and evening gowns coming to admire and hold up bid boards for artworks in luxury auctions are gradually decreasing due to the requirements of countries to limit gatherings due to the epidemic. family. From mid-2020, auction houses move online. Sessions are broadcast live on websites or social media platforms allowing thousands of people to watch at the same time. Collectors bid by phone and were updated by auctioneers, creating a thrilling atmosphere.

Sotheby’s attracted more than 200,000 online bids during the year, accounting for 92% of total orders and 16.6 million session watchers. Online sales reached $800 million, up more than 71% year-on-year.

Auction houses are no exception to the NFT game. NFT (non-fungible token) is a code string representing an item – using blockchain technology. The usability of the NFT lies not in items such as paintings, but in proprietary rights, which are certified by the NFT code chain. Thanks to that, the item becomes unique.

Christie’s launched an “explosive” NFT auction in March with the sale of the work Everydays: The First 5000 days of Beeple worth $69 million. The business has sold over 100 NFTs with $150 million in revenue. Sotheby’s raised $ 100 million when it launched the Sotheby’s Metaverse platform (virtual universe where collectors can interact, auction).

Alex Rotter, president of postwar and contemporary art at Christie’s, said: “Going forward, we’ll continue to explore new uses of NFT in conjunction with established artists. something new that’s relevant to our core audience.”

Everydays: The First 5000 days.  Photo: Christies

The work “Everydays: The First 5000 days”. Photo: Christie’s

In addition to the works of art, the category of luxury goods such as watches, jewelry, wines, bags… also surprises in price and demand. Phillips watch auction noted an unprecedented year when 100% of the lots put up for auction were sold for a total of $209.3 million.

Sotheby’s and Christie’s both reported about $1 billion in luxury sales as wealthy people bid much higher than estimates. At Sotheby’s, nearly two-thirds of luxury shipments sold above their estimates. Christie’s sells a 15-carat purple-pink diamond for $29 million, a Marie Antoinette bracelet for $8 million, and a 1931 Yankees jersey worn by baseball player Lou Gehrig for $1.4 million. Michael Jordan sneakers sold by Sotheby’s for $1.47 million…

Auction houses also profit from private sales, where properties are sold directly to buyers without an auction. Christie’s revenue in this segment reached a record $ 1.7 billion, Sotheby’s $ 1.3 billion.

The appearance of new, young collectors makes the market more exciting. Above CNBC, Alex Rotter said 35% of buyers are new, and a third of them are millennials – aka Generation Y, who were born between 1981 – 1995. A Sotheby’s representative said much of the success of the company last year thanks to an increase in auction participants, about 39% of buyers and 44% of bidders during the year were new. New buyers in Phillips make up 50%.

“They’re in their 30s and 40s, maybe even 20s. The new wave of Asian collectors splits into two main groups: One,” says Yuki Terase, a former Sotheby’s Asia director of contemporary art. are self-made and entrepreneurial, like tech billionaires, second or third generation.” Above Wsj, Amy Cappellazzo – president of the fine arts department of Sotheby’s – said many collectors come from the technology world. Crypto investor Justin Sun, 31, caught the eye when he bought the sculpture Le Nez (1947) by Alberto Giacometti for $ 78.4 million – the fifth highest auction work of the year.

Le Nez works.  Photo: Sothebys

The work “Le Nez”. Photo: Sotheby’s

Follow artnews, Asian buyers account for a third of sales at Christie’s and 46% of people order and purchase lots over $5 million at Sotheby’s.

Director Guillaume Cerutti said on Theartnewspaper: “More and more collectors and huge wealth has been born in the past year in Asia. Those two factors – new wealth in Asia plus liquidity, markets and cryptocurrencies – have helped. very useful”.

In the general flow of the world, Vietnam also had a successful year with eight works by domestic artists being auctioned for millions of dollars on international floors – the highest number ever.

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