Sotheby’s hails record sales in 2021
Auction house Sotheby’s announced on Dec. 15 that it had enjoyed record annual sales of $7.3 billion in 2021 as the art market rebounds from the pandemic.
Sotheby’s said in a statement it had already made $6 billion from auctions this year, up 71 percent on 2020, with 20 auctions still to go. It achieved another $1.3 billion in private sales.
Sotheby’s added that its year-to-date consolidated sales of $7.3 billion represented “the strongest total” in the company’s 277-year history.
Sales were boosted by Asian buyers, new collectors, and the Macklowe collection, the world’s most expensive to hit the market.
Asian collectors accounted for 46 percent of bids and purchases of lots over $5 million.
Sotheby’s said the purchase of Alberto Giacometti’s “Le Nez” by cryptocurrency entrepreneur Justin Sun for $78.4 million was symbolic of “an influx of younger, tech-savvy collectors.”
The first part of an art collection owned by New York real estate developer Harry Macklowe and his ex-wife Linda Burg that was put on sale after their bitter divorce fetched $676 million last month.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs), unique digital objects that confer ownership through blockchain technology, contributed almost $100 million.