2018 at Sothebys: Major Moments that Defined the Year
ONLINE BUYERS SPEND MORE THAN $200 MILLION THIS YEAR
26% of All Lots Sold in 2018 are Purchased Online Online-Only Sales Triple in Value
SOTHEBY’S LEADS ASIA FOR THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW
2018 Auction Sales Reach US$1 Billion
The Highest Total in Sotheby’s 45-year History in Asia
SOTHEBY’S WINE SALES CROSS $100 MILLION FOR THE FIRST TIME
Highlighted by the World’s Most Expensive Bottle of Wine: 1 Bottle of Romanée-Conti DRC 1945 Sells for $558,000
SOTHEBY’S FRANCE ACHEIVES HIGHEST TOTAL SINCE OPENING OF FRENCH MARKET
41 Auctions, Including 15 Single-Owner Sales, Bring €251.4 Million Half of All Buyers New to Sotheby’s France
TOP LOT OF THE YEAR AT ANY AUCTION HOUSE:
Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu couché Achieves $157.2 Million * Highest Auction Price in Sotheby’s History *
SOTHEBY’S ACHIEVES AUCTION RECORDS FOR
René Magritte | Kerry James Marshall | Oskar Kokoschka | Jenny Saville | Zao Wou-Ki Any Car | Any Pearl | Any Bottle of Wine| Any Book Illustration | Any Buddhist Manuscript Any Living Female Artist | Any Painting Sold in Europe
20 DECEMBER 2018 – Sotheby’s concluded our 2018 auctions this week, reaching an annual sales total of $5.3 billion that represents a 12% increase over our 2017 results. From the sale of Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu couché for $157.2 million – the highest auction price in Sotheby’s history – to the historic jewels of Marie Antoinette, below is a look back at the major moments that helped define the year at Sotheby’s.
• New world auction record for any single bottle of Japanese whisky: the Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky Aged 50 Years NV sells for HK$2.3 million / $298,879.
• The highest price for any painting ever sold at auction in Europe: Pablo Picasso’s Femme au béret et à la robe quadrillée (Marie-Thérèse Walter) makes auction debut to sell for £49.8 million / $69.2 million.
• To celebrate the first anniversary of its London salon, Sotheby’s Diamonds unveils for private sale the rarest white diamond ever to come to the market. At 102.34 carats, the stone is the only known round brilliant-cut diamond over 100 carats to have achieved perfection in all critical criteria: colour, clarity, cut and carat.
• Peter Doig’s landscape painting The Architect’s Home in the Ravine sells for £14.4 million / $19.9 million, one of only four works made for his breakthrough Whitechapel show in 1991.
• Sotheby’s sets a world record for any wine sales series when two days of auctions in Hong Kong bring a combined total of HK$228.3 million / $29.1 million. Comprising 1,758 lots, The Philanthropist’s Cellar, The Cellar from the Estate of Jerry Perenchio, and Finest & Rarest Wines are 100% sold.
• Qing Dynasty Gold-Pink Falangcai Bowl sells for HK$239 million / $30.4 million. Two sets of Ming Dynasty Imperial sutras achieve HK$239 million / $30.4 million, a new auction record for a Buddhist manuscript.
• Rare elephant bird egg, one of a few remaining in private hands, sells for HK$350,000 / $44,597. MAY
• The highest auction price in Sotheby’s history: Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) sells for $157.2 million. Modigliani becomes the first artist to cross the $150 million auction threshold twice.
• Kerry James Marshall’s Past Times, the most significant work by the renowned artist to ever come to market, sells for $21.1 million, quadrupling Marshall’s previous auction record of $5 million.
• Forty-two donated works raise $20.2 million for the Studio Museum in Harlem.
• The Farnese Blue, one of the foremost historic diamonds, sells for CHF 6.7 million / $6.7 million,
after 300 years in the same family.
• Sotheby’s sets a new record for any Chinese porcelain sold at auction in France when a lost treasure of Imperial China found in an attic in France sells for €16.2 million / $19 million. The exceptionally rare 18th-century Imperial Yangcai Famille-Rose porcelain vase was brought into Sotheby’s Paris by its unsuspecting owners in a shoe box.
• Lucian Freud’s late masterpiece Portrait on a White Cover (2002-3) sells for £22.5 million / $29.8 million in its auction debut, the most valuable work by the artist ever to be sold in London.
• Sotheby’s and Victoria Beckham open a first of its kind collaborative exhibition in which 16 highlights from Sotheby’s Old Master Paintings sale are presented in the contemporary setting of Victoria Beckham’s Dover Street store in Mayfair.
• Sotheby’s Wine unveils Instant Cellars, a one-click service that delivers a curated wine collection overnight, and Collection Management & Advisory, providing unrivalled expertise in building and maintaining world-class wine collections.
• A working autograph manuscript of “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen – the beginnings of the hit anthem that catapulted The Boss into the rock-and-roll stratosphere – sells for $250,000.
• A rare portrait of a Venetian Nobleman by Sir Peter Paul Rubens sells for £5.4 million / $7.2 million. The painting was unveiled in Dubai in March, making it the first Old Master painting ever exhibited by Sotheby’s in the Middle East.
• New auction record set for any book illustration, when the original map of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood by E.H. Shepard sells for £430,000 / $572,889. Possibly the most famous map in children’s literature, this charming sketch from 1926 was unseen for nearly half a century.