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Everything you ever wanted to know about the art market but didn't know who to ask
Special Issue: Analyzing the May New York Auctions

Auction Week by the Numbers

Recapping the stats and facts

Louise Bourgeois, Spider (1996-97). Christie's Images Ltd. 2019

BY Joe Dunning
director at AAP

AND Julia Vennitti
editorial assistant

Published
In Analysis

Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale

In its Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, Sotheby’s offered 55 lots, selling 50 for a total of $349,859,150 with a sell-through rate of 91%.

24 lots (48% of the sale) hammered below the low estimate; 14 (28% of the sale) hammered within estimate, and 12 (24% of the sale) hammered above.

3 lots (6% of the sale) sold within the $100-500k range for a total of $993,750, representing less than 1% of the sale’s value.

6 lots (12% of the sale) sold within the $500k-1m range for a total of $4,732,000, representing 1% of the sale’s value.

28 lots (56% of the sale) sold within the $1-5m range for a total of $74,027,800, representing 21% of the sale’s value.

8 lots (16% of the sale) sold within the $5-10m range for a total of $58,754,000, representing 17% of the sale’s value.

5 lots (10% of the sale) sold within the $10m+ range for a total of $211,351,600, representing 60% of the sale’s value.

Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale

In its Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale, Christie’s offered 63 lots, selling 54 for a total of $399,041,000 with a sell-through rate of 86%.

18 lots (33% of the sale) hammered below the low estimate; 19 (35% of the sale) hammered within estimate, and 17 (32% of the sale) hammered above.

3 lots (6% of the sale) sold within the $100-500k range for a total of $562,500, representing less than 1% of the sale’s value.

6 lots (11% of the sale) sold within the $500k-1m range for a total of $5,310,000, representing 1% of the sale’s value.

24 lots (44% of the sale) sold within the $1-5m range for a total of $54,725,000, representing 14% of the sale’s value.

12 lots (22% of the sale) sold within the $5-10m range for a total of $81,161,000, representing 20% of the sale’s value.

9 lots (17% of the sale) sold within the $10m+ range for a total of $257,282,500, representing 65% of the sale’s value.

Thérèse sur une banquette (1939) by Balthus sold for $19m from the collection of Dorothy and Richard Sherwood. Christie’s Images Ltd. 2019

Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale

In its Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale, Sotheby’s offered 314 lots, selling 225 for a total of $44,733,250 with a sell-through rate of 72%.

79 lots (35% of the sale) hammered below the low estimate; 92 (41% of the sale) hammered within estimate, and 54 (24% of the sale) hammered above.

116 lots (52% of the sale) sold for less than $100k for a total of $6,151,250, representing 14% of the sale’s value.

86 lots (38% of the sale) sold within the $100-500k range for a total of $19,600,000, representing 44% of the sale’s value.

19 lots (8% of the sale) sold within the $500k-1m range for a total of $13,574,000, representing 30% of the sale’s value.

4 lots (2% of the sale) sold within the $1-5m range for a total of $5,408,000, representing 12% of the sale’s value.

Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale

In its Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sales (including the separate Works on Paper sale), Christie’s offered 370 lots, selling 279 for a total of $40,029,875 with a sell-through rate of 75%

91 lots (33% of the sale) hammered below the low estimate; 102 (36% of the sale) hammered within estimate, and 86 (31% of the sale) hammered above.

187 lots (67% of the sale) sold for less than $100k for a total of $6,810,625, representing 17% of the sale’s value.

72 lots (26% of the sale) sold within the $100-500k range for a total of $16,245,250, representing 41% of the sale’s value.

15 lots (5% of the sale) sold within the $500k-1m range for a total of $11,325,000, representing 28% of the sale’s value.

5 lots (2% of the sale) sold within the $1-5m range for a total of $5,649,000, representing 14% of the sale’s value.

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale

In its Contemporary Art Evening Auction, Sotheby’s offered 63 lots, selling 56 for a total of $341,850,050 with a sell-through rate of 89%.

6 lots (11% of the sale) hammered below the low estimate; 28 (50% of the sale) hammered within estimate, and 22 (39% of the sale) hammered above.

1 lot (2% of the sale) sold within the $100-500k range for a total of $475,000, representing less than 1% of the sale’s value.

3 lots (5% of the sale) sold within the $500k-1m range for a total of $2,184,000, representing 1% of the sale’s value.

33 lots (59% of the sale) sold within the $1-5m range for a total of $93,835,000, representing 27% of the sale’s value.

11 lots (20% of the sale) sold within the $5-10m range for a total of $71,357,900, representing 21% of the sale’s value.

8 lots (14% of the sale) sold within the $10m+ range for a total of $173,998,150, representing 51% of the sale’s value.

Lee Krasner, The Eye is the First Circle (1960) sold from the collection of Sarah Wittenborn Miller for $11.7m. Courtesy Sotheby’s

Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale

In its Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale, Christie’s offered 56 lots, selling 51 for a total of $538,971,750 with a sell-through rate of 91%.

16 lots (31% of the sale) hammered below the low estimate; 22 (43% of the sale) hammered within estimate, and 13 (25% of the sale) hammered above.

2 lots (4% of the sale) sold within the $100-500k range for a total of $725,000, representing less than 1% of the sale’s value.

1 lots (2% of the sale) sold within the $500k-1m range for a total of $855000, representing less than 1% of the sale’s value.

26 lots (51% of the sale) sold within the $1-5m range for a total of $69631500, representing 13% of the sale’s value.

11 lots (21.5% of the sale) sold within the $5-10m range for a total of $73905750, representing 14% of the sale’s value.

11 lots (21.5% of the sale) sold within the $10m+ range for a total of $393854500, representing 73% of the sale’s value.

Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Sale

In its Contemporary Art Day Sale, Sotheby’s offered 363 lots, selling 301 for a total of $105,759,500 with a sell-through rate of 83%.

57 lots (19% of the sale) hammered below the low estimate; 117 (39% of the sale) hammered within estimate, and 127 (42% of the sale) hammered above.

118 lots (39% of the sale) sold for less than $100k for a total of $5,893,000, representing 6% of the sale’s value.

113 lots (38% of the sale) sold within the $100-500k range for a total of $26,037,500, representing 25% of the sale’s value.

45 lots (15% of the sale) sold within the $500k-1m range for a total of $30,030,000, representing 28% of the sale’s value.

25 lots (8% of the sale) sold within the $1-5m range for a total of $43,799,000, representing 41% of the sale’s value.

Christie’s Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale

In its Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sales, Christie’s offered 317 lots, selling 255 for a total of $92,978,125 with a sell-through rate of 80%.

59 lots (23% of the sale) hammered below the low estimate; 92 (36% of the sale) hammered within estimate, and 104 (41% of the sale) hammered above.

84 lots (33% of the sale) sold for less than $100k for a total of $4,711,875, representing 5% of the sale’s value.

121 lots (47% of the sale) sold within the $100-500k range for a total of $29,265,250, representing 31% of the sale’s value.

35 lots (14% of the sale) sold within the $500k-1m range for a total of $24,693,000, representing 27% of the sale’s value.

15 lots (6% of the sale) sold within the $1-5m range for a total of $34,308,000, representing 37% of the sale’s value.

Horse and Rider (1976) by Roy Lichtenstein sold for $5.95m from the Miles and Shirley Fiterman collection. Courtesy Phillips

Phillips 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

In its 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale, Phillips offered 43 lots, selling 42 for a total of $99,932,750 with a sell-through rate of 98%.

19 lots (45% of the sale) hammered below the low estimate; 12 (29% of the sale) hammered within estimate, and 11 (26% of the sale) hammered above.

5 lots (12% of the sale) sold within the $100-500k range for a total of $2,025,000, representing 2% of the sale’s value.

11 lots (26% of the sale) sold within the $500k-1m range for a total of $7,912,000, representing 8% of the sale’s value.

20 lots (48% of the sale) sold within the $1-5m range for a total of $44,365,000, representing 45% of the sale’s value.

5 lots (12% of the sale) sold within the $5-10m range for a total of $35,362,750, representing 35% of the sale’s value.

1 lot (2% of the sale) sold within the $10m+ range for a total of $10,268,000, representing 10% of the sale’s value.

Phillips 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

In its 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sales, Phillips offered 328 lots, selling 268 for a total of $34,688,500 with a sell-through rate of 82%.

74 lots (28% of the sale) hammered below the low estimate; 94 (35% of the sale) hammered within estimate, and 100 (37% of the sale) hammered above.

161 lots (60% of the sale) sold for less than $100k for a total of $6,872,750, representing 20% of the sale’s value.

100 lots (37% of the sale) sold within the $100-500k range for a total of $22,831,250, representing 66% of the sale’s value.

6 lots (2% of the sale) sold within the $500k-1m range for a total of $3,860,500, representing 11% of the sale’s value.

1 lot (1% of the sale) sold within the $1-5m range for a total of $1,124,000, representing 3% of the sale’s value.

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