Record-Breaking Art Sales Kick Off 2014
19 February 2014
2013 was a glimmering year for the art market with Christie’s seeing a 16% rise in sales which climaxed with the record-breaking sale in November of Francis Bacon’s triptych, snapped up by an anonymous bidder for a huge $142.4 million. The market is showing no sign of waning this year either, with record sales realised by both Sotheby’s and Christie’s this month. Experts have reckoned that last year’s success stories have encouraged more collectors to sell, with demand kept buoyant by new buyers from emerging markets such as China, Russia and the Middle East.
Christie's' impressionist, modern and surrealist art auction set a new record for any London sale on 4th February, realising a combined total of nearly £177 million, with the top price going for Juan Gris’ ‘Nature morte à la nappe à carreaux’. At their post-war and contemporary evening auction on 14th February, the auction house saw the second highest total for a European sale in the category with a huge total of just over £124 million, with a top sale of Bacon’s portrait of muse and lover, George Dyer, which took £42.2 million. Other highlights were Jeff Koon’s ‘Cracked Egg’ and Gerhard Richter’s monumental canvas ‘Abstraktes Bild’.
At the contemporary art evening auction on 12th February, Sotheby’s hit a sale total of just under £88 million with the highest price reached for Gerhard Richter’s ‘Wand (Wall)’ at £17.4 million. Damien Hirst’s new ‘Mickey’ has been a favourite in the press this week for its £902,500 sale in aid of charity, Kids Company.