Thursday, March 18, 2010

Auction in New York Beats Estimates

Christie's buyers bid a total of $1.2 million for 99 lots at the 20th Century decorative items auction. This was double Christie's own low-end estimate for the 2010 event. By value, 96 percent of the lots were sold, while 89 percent of the individual items found buyers.

"There is definitely more energy and excitement in the sales room than last Spring," said head of sale Carolyn Pastel from Christie's New York offices in Manhattan. "We really had a lot of interest in the States and internationally."

The global international art market was hit hard last year. Sales have been sluggish to say the least and this result is heartening to the decorative arts as a whole. The last two or three years have taken it's toll on luxury brands and purchases. Total global revenue from fine art sales contracted by $3.7 billion in 2009 from the previous year, and was only half the $9.3 billion posted in 2007, according to research by Artprice, a provider of art market information.

Ms Pastel who handles sales figures for the noted auction house Christie's in Manhattan, said buyers from 18 countries joined U.S. counterparts via telephone and Christie's Internet bidding system, which Pastel reckons probably experienced its heaviest usage ever. Twenty five percent of buyers and underbidders - participants with the second best bid - came in via the Internet in 2010, she says.

A similar auction last Spring generated about $981,000, while only 81 percent of the auction was sold by value and 77 percent by lot.

Participants bid for 20th century objects and furniture, including items from Tiffany Studios, Frank Lloyd Wright, Daum, George Nakashima, Harry Bertoia, Sam Maloof and Joe D'Urso.

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