The economy in Europe and the U.S. is still on the rocks, but things seem to be going well in the auction business, with Christie’s reporting that it sold $5.7 billion worth of merchandise last year. That’s a nine percent jump over 2010.
Christie’s CEO, Steven Murphy, told Bloomberg, “Investors are entering the market and existing collectors are buying more.” Those collectors and “investors” seem particularly interested in contemporary art, which saw a 22 percent leap in sales, becoming the largest segment of Christie’s business for only the second time ever. (The last time was 2007.)
New Yorkers can be proud to know that their home city is still king of Christie’s business, accounting for about a third of the house’s totals. Did Christie’s make money on the year? That is impossible to confirm since it is privately held by a holding company controlled by billionaire French art collector Francois Pinault.