Christie's beats rival Sotheby's in mega week for auction houses

Christie’s sold $1.1bn in art this past week, while Sotheby’s moved $835m of art and jewels

epa07169128 An auction is conducted for the painting 'Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)' by artist David Hockney (C) during the sales event of the Post War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale at Christie's auction house in New York, New York, USA, 15 November 2018. 'Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)' sold on 15 November for 90.3 million US dollar at auction, the highest recorded auction record for a living artist.  EPA/ALBA VIGARAY
Powered by automated translation

Christie’s beat out rival Sotheby’s in a billion-dollar week for both auction houses, thanks in part to eight-figure sales by bold-faced artists.

Christie’s sold $1.1 billion (Dh4.04bn) in art this past week, while Sotheby’s moved $835 million of art, plus more in jewelry and watches, according to press releases from both companies.

The Christie's haul was padded by the $90.3m sale of David Hockney's Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) - who eclipsed Jeff Koons as the most expensive living artist to sell at an auction. A new record for American art was also set by the company with the $92m sale of Edward Hopper's Chop Suey.


Read more:

David Hockney painting sells for $90.3m and smashes living artist record

Life and death and olive trees: Tagreed Darghouth on her biggest exhibition yet

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s new exhibition: Japanese and French cultures explored side by side


Billionaire currency trader Joe Lewis was the seller of the Hockney. The Hopper came from the collection of deceased businessman Barney Ebsworth. The buyers were not disclosed.

The highlight at Sotheby’s was the sale of a pearl and diamond necklace once owned by Marie Antoinette. The jewels sold for $36.2m. The auction house said it’s had a 15 per cent increase over last year in sales of impressionist, modern and contemporary works.

Phillips, a smaller auction house, announced $88.5m of sales, with works from Joan Miro, Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat bringing in the largest sums.