Last year, London was the hotbed for art and Christie’s reaped the benefits. This year, sales there are down 22 percent, but the world-famous art auctioneers aren’t reeling – the burgeoning class of young, wealthy Chinese is driving sales throughout the world, according to The Independent.
Traffic from new Chinese buyers, as well as a greater presence on the Internet, have led Christie’s to announce that global sales are up 9 percent this year compared to the same period in 2012. For the first half of 2013, Christie’s reports a record-breaking £2.4 billion (about $3.7 billion). Like Russian and Middle Eastern buyers before them, new-rich Chinese are snapping up “Old Masters, Impressionists, and modern works,” reports the Independent. Additionally, Chinese are using their wealth to buy back historical treasures important to their heritage that have been sold out of China over time.
Responding to local demands, Christie’s has plans for two international auctions in Asia: one in Shanghai in September, and one in Mumbai in December. They will be firsts for both locales.
Stephen Murphy, CEO of Christie’s, said, “The market for art and the desire to acquire art continues to be incredibly strong. We are convinced there’s room for us to continue to grow.” With his company reporting a 15 percent increase in Asian bidders worldwide, as well as a 21 percent rise in interest in China, it sounds as though he is right on the money.
image credit: christie’s new york