Christie's Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art Totals $388.5M

New York - Christie's highly anticipated Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on May 8 totaled $388.5 million (£240.9 million/ €299.1 million), marking the highest total ever in auction history for the category.

Record after record fell throughout the night, as bidders from around the world convened in the saleroom to compete for the sale's exceptional roster of works by the top artists of the category, including Mark Rothko, Gerhard Richter, Jackson Pollock, Alexander Calder, Yves Klein, Richard Diebenkorn, Barnett Newman, and Willem de Kooning, among others.

Fourteen new auction records were established, as well as a new record for the most expensive Post-War and Contemporary work sold at auction. The sale was 99% sold by value and 95% sold by lot.

"This was an historic event in the auction world, with three major records set in the space of a few short hours: a record for any Post-War and Contemporary art sale at $388.5 million, a record for any private collection of Post-War and Contemporary Art at $174.9 million for the Pincus Collection, and a new record for the most expensive work of the period, with Rothko's Orange, Red, Yellow sold for $86.9 million," said Brett Gorvy, Chairman and International Head of Post-War and Contemporary Art. "This was truly a season of icons, with the best works by Rothko, Newman, Richter, Pollock, Calder and Klein to come to market in many years. To see so many major records established in one evening was a tribute to the exceptional works on offer this season."

Bid to Save the Earth: Christie's Annual Charity Auction

Christie's International, the world's leading art business, is pleased to announce the third annual Green Auction: BID to Save the Earth, to be hosted by Christie's at Rockefeller Center on April 11, 2012, just two weeks before Earth Day. 

A world-class companion auction powered by will run online from March 29 to April 19. The Green Auction is a borderless collaboration of individuals, organizations, and businesses who are engaged, in spirit and action, in the protection and conservation of the environment. 

 Initiated in 2010 by Christie's,  the star-studded affair is expected to raise significant proceeds for four of the world's leading environmental nonprofits – Oceana, Conservation International (CI), Central Park Conservancy (CPC), and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) – specifically to benefit  water-conservation projects central to each organization. 

"Christie's is delighted to again host the Green Auction:  BID to Save the Earth – fulfilling our commitment to help raise crucial funds and awareness for the preservation of our planet's precious resources," said Steven P. Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of Christie's International.  "By partnering with four globally renowned and respected not-for-profits, we are honored to help serve as a catalyst in such an endearing effort."

The 2012 Green Auction, generously supported by JW Marriott, will be co-chaired by Graydon and Anna Carter, James R.  Hedges IV, François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek, and David and Susan Rockefeller, with a live musical performance by Grace Potter of Grace Potter & the Nocturnals and overall support from a host committee comprised of New York's most influential environmentalists, celebrities and philanthropists.


Christie's Reports $5.7 Billion in Total Sales for 2011

Christie's, the world famous art auction house, has released its 2011 total global auction and private sales figures. Christie's reported total sales of $5.7-billion an increase of 9% over total sales for 2010. Some of the highlights from 2011 include the $43,202,500 sale of a Roy Lichtenstein painting and the $158-million sale of Elizabeth Taylor's collection of art, jewelry and film memorabilia.

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Christie's Holds Record Breaking $115,932,000 Sale of Elizabeth Taylor's Collection of Jewels

New York – The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: The Legendary Jewels Evening Sale achieved $115,932,000 (£74,196,480/€89,267,640), becoming the most valuable jewelry auction in history* and setting the tone for Christie's highly anticipated four-day series of landmark auctions devoted to the iconic collection of Elizabeth Taylor (13-16 December 2011). A tribute to the discerning eye of this celebrated film star, fashion icon, and humanitarian, the sale was 100% sold by lot and 100% by value, with 24 of the 80 jewels fetching over $1 million and 6 jewels over $5 million. 7 new world auction records were established: price per carat for a colorless diamond and for a ruby; a pair of natural pearl ear pendants; a pearl jewel; an Indian jewel and an emerald jewel.

The top lot of the sale was the legendary 16th century pearl La Peregrina which realized $11,842,500 (£7,579,200/ €9,118,725), setting two world auction records: for an historic pearl (against the previous record of $2.5 million set by La Regente at Christie's Geneva, 2005) and for a pearl jewel (surpassing the $7 million record paid for The Baroda Pearls at Christie's New York, 2007). A gift from Richard Burton in 1969 (having been bought for $37,000 at auction), this remarkable pearl of 203 grains in size is equivalent to 50 carats. Discovered in the 1500s in the Gulf of Panama, it became part of the crown jewels of Spain and ranks as one of the most important historic pearls in the world. Elizabeth Taylor designed the Ruby and Diamond Necklace with Al Durante of Cartier to offset what she called "the most perfect pearl in the world."

"Elizabeth Taylor's magnificent collection of jewels has captivated the auction world this fall, resulting in world-wide bidding and this first landmark result. Without a doubt the greatest private collection of jewelry ever assembled, this sale marked the powerful start of Christie's historic week of sales auctioning the Jewelry, Fashion, Accessories and Memorabilia from The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor between the 13 – 16 December, in tandem with the online-only sale (3 – 17 December)," said Marc Porter, Chairman and President of Christie's Americas.

To see pictures of the jewels and complete story, please click here.


Christie’s International Real Estate Releases Inaugural “State of the International Luxury Real Esta

London, UK - Christie's International Real Estate released its inaugural "State of the International Luxury Real Estate Market" report. The research paper compiles the results of a survey completed by affiliated brokerages in the network--all experts in the luxury market--enhanced with their supporting commentaries and insights.

"The resulting report is an intriguing snapshot of the current global prime real estate market as viewed by the world's leading network of luxury real estate experts," says Neil Palmer, Chief Executive Officer of Christie's International Real Estate. 

The paper examines the prevailing mood of buyers and sellers, how market activity is trending worldwide, and how transactions in the upper levels of the market are completed. For instance, when it comes to buying, 87 percent of the network reported that cash is the preferred means of payment.  

The report further reveals that buyer optimism is slowly increasing while seller expectations in pricing are improving but remain somewhat unrealistic. More than 67 percent of the survey respondents reported an increase in buyer activity for the first eight months of 2011 when compared to the same period last year. The largest upticks were reported in metropolitan cities like London, Paris, Hong Kong, New York, and Beverly Hills.

Spanning more than 40 countries with a combined annual sales volume estimated at US$100 billion, the Christie's International Real Estate network focuses exclusively on the world's properties valued above US$1 million. Real estate brokers are invited to become Affiliates only after a rigorous approval process.

The report concludes with bulleted market reports from a selection of the geographies represented by the exclusive Affiliates of Christie's International Real Estate.

Download the State of the International Luxury Market Report 



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