One of the largest auction houses spoke about its success in 2021. According to Guillaume Cerutti, CEO of Christie’s, the company has not only achieved outstanding results, but also made breakthroughs in new auction formats and categories, in particular NFT, which allowed the work of emerging and underrepresented artists to be shown, attracting a new audience of young clients. Christie’s shows strong growth of 54% compared to 2020 and 22% compared to 2019, with total projected sales in 2021 of $7.1 (£5.2) billion. The trend of previous years continued – about a third of all Christie’s auction sales came from customers in each of the regions: Americas (35%), Europe, the Middle East and Africa (34%), Asia (31%).

Sale of the top lot. Pablo Picasso, Woman Seated at the Window (Marie-Thérèse), New York, May 2021

Outstanding results include:

– Christie’s sets highest prices for works sold at auction in 2021: Pablo Picasso’s Woman Seated by a Window (Marie-Thérèse) sold for $103.4 million (the only work to sell for more than $100 million in 2021 -m), and the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat “In this case”, which went under the hammer for $ 93.1 million.

The most expensive work bought at auction for a museum (namely, for the Getty Museum in Los Angeles) is Gustave Caillebotte’s painting “Young Man at the Window” ($53 million – New York, November).

The most expensive work sold at auction for charity – Banksy Game Changer (£16.76 million – London, June).

– The most expensive work by a living female artist sold at auction is “Pumpkin” by Yayoi Kusama ($8.18 million – Hong Kong, December).

– Christie’s is the first auction house to sell a work of art as an NFT, setting an outstanding price for the Beeple artist’s The First Five Thousand Days at $69 million (March 2021).

– Over 100 NFTs sold in 2021 for $150 million. 75% of buyers in this category were new to Christie’s, with an average age of 42.

– The total volume of auction and private sales of luxury goods at the end of the year amounted to almost $1 billion.

– The main top lot of the auctions was the 15-carat Sakura diamond (the largest pink diamond in auction history), sold in Hong Kong for a record $29 million.

– Total revenue in the Watches category was $205.1 million, up 157% year-on-year.

In terms of sales of Russian art, the total proceeds were £17,322,250. A special event was the auction of Faberge masterpieces from the collection of Harry Woolf. With 98% of the lots sold, the auction brought in £5,203,250, more than double the pre-auction estimate.

Photo: Christie’s Images Limited 2021