Christie’s clocks record sales | Mint


NEW DELHI : Christie’s total sales reached $8.4 billion in 2022, the highest ever in its history, the British auction house said. While sales from auctions, including online-only sales, were at $7.2 billion, private sales accounted for $1.2 billion, it added.

However, NFTs or non-fungible token sales for the year was not impressive considering that it was a very hot category in 2021.

“Part of the decline is due to the situation with crypto currencies. The broader volatility of the market tested this nascent collecting category. But we are still active in this field, ” the company’s chief executive officer Guillaume Cerutti said.

It had offered 87 NFT collections this year, and will continue to invest in technology, web3 and blockchain, he said.

Last year, the company had reported sales of $7.1 billion. Its luxury category grew 2% over 2021 with jewellery, watches, handbags and wine accounting for $988 million.

“The champion collections in watches were able to fetch good price. This was the highest level for watches, handbags and wines,” he added. Classics witnessed the highest growth at 37%, while the Asian and World Art market fell by 20%. In its overall sales, the Americas accounted for $4.5 billion, up 73% over 2021. Europe, the Middle East and Africa accounted for about $1.8 billion, up by 3% over the previous year.

“This is a year to be remembered. We are aware of macro challenges in the world, Asia, Europe and America. But we were able to deliver a strong year because of the resilience of the market,“ he said.  

Sales in Asia Pacific fell by 20% to $833 million. “We recognise strengths in Asia. There was a bit of a wait-and-watch situation in the market. But we are seeing a revival. About 34% of our buyers from here were millennials, ” he said. 

India is also an important art market for Christies. “There is very strong demand for the art market. Indian collectors are quite focused on south Asian art. We are excited to engage with the collectors in India,” said Francis Belin, president, Asia Pacific, Christies.

Navigating this (Asian) environment was not easy as many Asian currencies were devalued, the company said. At an aggregate level, millennials shopped for handbags and watches worth $110 million in the year. Of this, handbags accounted for 39% in the luxury category and watches were at 33%.

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