• Press release
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  • London
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  • For immediate release
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  • 16 December 2016

RESULTS: Christie's inaugural year of Classic Week concludes with a combined total of £206,440,675 / $272,305,384 / €247,109,456

DECEMBER CLASSIC WEEK ACHIEVES £47,830,938 / $60,231,515 / €56,433,800 

 

STRONG RESULTS ACHIEVED ACROSS ALL CATEGORIES INCLUDING OLD MASTERS, TOPOGRAPHICAL PICTURES, ANTIQUITIES, DECORATIVE ARTS AND SCULPTURE, VICTORIAN AND 19TH CENTURY ART

SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN TOTAL SALES, CROSS-CATEGORY BUYING AND NEW BIDDERS

GLOBAL PARTICIPATION FROM 53 COUNTRIES

CHRISTIE’S GLOBAL OLD MASTER AUCTION SALES FOR 2016 TOTAL £152 MILLION, DOUBLING THE AUCTION SALES TOTAL OF THE PREVIOUS YEAR

London – Classic Week at Christie’s concluded on 15 December, achieving a total of £47,830,938 / $60,231,515 / € 56,433,800 and brings the combined global Classic Week total for 2016 to £206,440,675 / $272,305,384 / €247,109,456. The December season presented a dedicated series of sales spanning Old Master Paintings, Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Antiquities, Japanese Art and private collections. Highlights included the record prices achieved for a variety of artists such as François Clouet, Corneille de Lyon, Christian Bérard, Salvador Dalí, Pavel Tchelitchew, Edward James, Johann Moritz Rugendas and Félix Resurrección Hidalgo y Padilla. The week saw robust prices, with global participation from over 1,200 registered bidders from 53 countries, and substantial cross-category buying accounting for 39% of the total spend for the week.

Karl Hermanns, Global Managing Director, Old Master, 19th Century, Russian Art: “Classic Week in December concludes an outstanding year for the classical arts at Christie’s. Following its launch in April in New York and in July in London the new Classic Weeks series, complementing Christie’s innovative 20th-century weeks, have achieved for our clients significantly increased sales, cross-category bidders and new bidders. We are particularly encouraged by the number of 20th-century clients and Asian collectors participating in these sale. Classic Week auction sales were led by the masterpiece by Rubens, ‘Lot and his Daughters’, which achieved £44.9 million, the highest auction price for any work of art sold in Europe in 2016. Old Master and Victorian pictures also sold well alongside the best modern and contemporary art in the Defining British Art sale, the flagship event of Christie’s 250th anniversary. Christie’s also led the market in Old Master private sales, led by the historic sale of Rembrandt portraits, which sold to the French and Dutch states. Our specialists will continue to innovate and to inspire collectors with curated sales weeks of the highest quality. We look forward to hosting the next Classic Weeks in New York in April 2017 and in London in July 2017.”

CHRISTIE’S DECEMBER CLASSIC WEEK BY NUMBERS

December Classic Week totalled: £47,830,938 / $60,231,515 / € 56,433,800.

Over 21,000 visitors to Christie’s King Street.

The week saw 1,200 registered bidders.

Registered bidders came from 53 countries.

39% of total spend for the week came from clients transacting in more than one category.

1,341 works of art sold.

The oldest lot sold was an Egyptian Flint Knife, circa 3500-2686 B.C, which sold for £3,750 in the Antiquities

The most modern work sold was Narcisses mauves (1953) by Bernard Buffet (1928-1999), which sold for £25,000 in From Ancient to Modern: A Distinguished Private Collection.

14 auction world record prices were achieved for record prices achieved for: François Clouet, Corneille de Lyon and Jean Decourt, Battista Zelotti, Judith Leyster, Christian Bérard, Salvador Dalí, Pavel Tchelitchew, Edward James, Johann Moritz Rugendas, Thomas Baines, Gottfried Lindauer, Félix Resurrección Hidalgo y Padilla.

Individual results of Classic Week

About Christie’s

Founded in 1766, Christie’s is a world-leading art and luxury business. Renowned and trusted for its expert live and online auctions, as well as its bespoke private sales, Christie’s offers a full portfolio of global services to its clients, including art appraisal, art financing, international real estate and education. Christie’s has a physical presence in 46 countries, throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific, with flagship international sales hubs in New York, London, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva. It also is the only international auction house authorized to hold sales in mainland China (Shanghai).

Christie’s auctions span more than 80 art and luxury categories, at price points ranging from $200 to over $100 million. In recent years, Christie’s has achieved the world record price for an artwork at auction (Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, 2017), for a 20th century artwork (Andy Warhol’s Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, 2022) and for a work by a living artist (Jeff Koons’ Rabbit, 2019). Christie's is also recognised as a reference for prestigious single owner collections, having auctioned 8 of the 10 most important collections in history.

Christie’s Private Sales offers a seamless service for buying and selling art, jewellery and watches outside of the auction calendar, working exclusively with Christie’s specialists at a client’s individual pace.

Recent innovations at Christie’s include the groundbreaking sale of the first NFT for a digital work of art ever offered at a major auction house (Beeple’s Everydays, March 2021), with the unprecedented acceptance of cryptocurrency as a means of payment. As an industry leader in digital innovation, Christie’s also continues to pioneer new technologies that are redefining the business of art, including use of hologram technology to tour life-size 3D objects around the world, and the the creation of viewing and bidding experiences that integrate augmented reality, global livestreaming, buy-now channels, and hybrid sales formats. 

Christie’s is dedicated to advancing responsible culture throughout its business and communities worldwide, including achieving sustainability through net zero carbon emissions by 2030, and actively using its platform in the art world to amplify under-represented voices and support positive change.

Browse, bid, discover, and join us for the best of art and luxury at: www.christies.com or by downloading Christie’s apps. The COVID-related re-opening status of our global locations is available here.