Christie’s announced that it racked a total of $8.4 billion in revenues in 2022 – a record-high not just for itself, but for any auction house ever.
The positive announcement was delivered with a somber note by Guillaume Cerutti, the chief executive of Christie’s, where he talked about the various issues plaguing the world currently:
“We are sometimes in the art market dancing on the volcano when we see what’s happening in the world, in Ukraine, in Iran, in Asia, with the difficult Covid situation they are now facing, with the recession in many countries, inflation in many others, divided countries. We are lucky to deal with desires, art, passions, and of course to have these great results, so we are very aware of this.”
The record-breaking number was made possible due to a number of successful auctions held by the company this year. This includes the high-profile Paul Allen collection, which single-handedly brought in $1.6 billion. With five works sold for $100 million+, it was the highest-selling single-owner collection ever (beating the Macklowe sale at Sotheby’s which brought in $922 million).
The report revealed that $7.2 billion of the revenues came from live and online auctions, while the remaining $1.2 billion came from private sales. Like with Sotheby’s, private sales numbers were less than in the past two years due to the pandemic situation, which had earlier led to the cancellation of most auctions. In terms of categories, the 20th and 21st-century modern art collections formed the bulk of revenues for the company – $6.2 billion (21 percent more than last year). Luxury goods sold by Christie’s came second with almost a billion in revenues.