Christie’s post-war and contemporary art evening sale in London was a swift success, if not a rollicking one, with all but three of the evening’s 41 lots finding buyers in a little over an hour, for a sell-through rate of 93% by lot.
The sale’s total of £79.2 million ($104.3 million) was a significant drop from the equivalent evening sale one year ago, which brought in £137.9 million
($190 million) across 65 lots, setting a record for a contemporary art auction in Europe. With a no-deal Brexit now looming and London’s status as the foremost art marketplace in Europe hanging in the balance, it’s not entirely surprising that Wednesday night’s sale was a more measured affair. The Christie’s sale also fell short of rival house Sotheby’s evening sale of contemporary art the night before, which notched £93.2 million
($122.8 million); Sotheby’s did, however, have a marginally worse sell-through rate of 90.9%.
Still, the evening’s banner lot outperformed its pre-sale estimate, and a number of artists’ records were broken.