Auction highlights of 2018 — the year in art and objects

Christie’s specialists take a look back over the last 12 months and pick out some of their highlights

‘It’s been a year of consistent high-points,’ remarks Christie’s Global President Jussi Pylkkänen when asked to reflect on 2018. New ground was broken and auction records were set in many categories, including, memorably, the highest total ever for a private collection at auction with The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller, which realised $832,573,469

This result in the most significant charitable auction in history was the culmination of a six-month promotional campaign, 10 days of online sales and three days of live auctions at Rockefeller Center. More than 1,500 objects were sold, and record prices were achieved for Delacroix, Corot, Monet, Matisse and Rivera, among many others.

The second half of the year witnessed more standout sales and results, including an Assyrian Relief, which sold for $30,968,750 in October; The Winston Pink Legacy diamond, which realised CHF50,375,000 in Geneva; Su Shi’s Wood and Rock, which became the most expensive object sold by Christie’s in Asia; Edward Hopper’s Chop Suey, which was one of many highlights from The Barney A. Ebsworth Collection sold in New York; and a world record price being set for a living artist when David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)  was bought for $90,312,500. 

To find out more about the objects that produced these stunning prices, and plenty more besides, see our selected 2018 highlights below.