According to a report released by the market analysis firm ArtTactic, worldwide art auction sales fell 20.3 percent in the first half of 2019 when compared to the same period in 2018. The report details that the three major auction houses, Christies, Sothebys, and Phillips, all suffered declines during the first half of the year. The Financial Times notes that the 2018 numbers were slightly skewed due to Christie’s sale of the collection of David and Peggy Rockefeller, which broke the record for most expensive single collection when it sold for $832.6 million at the New York salesroom in May of that year.
While Postwar and Contemporary sales crawled upwards to $2.3 billion from $2.2 billion this time last year, the Impressionist and modern sales plummeted down to $1.5 billion from its previous $2.4 billion. In both periods, Impressionist and modern auctions found record breaking sales for artists like Claude Monet in 2019 and Amedio Modigliani in 2018.
The Financial Times also noted the steady decline of Chinese and Asian art, which fell from $875 million to $447 million from the first half of 2018 to the first half of 2019.