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Sotheby's 2019 Auctions Achieve $4.8 Billion | The Moments that Defined Our Year

SOTHEBY’S 2019 AUCTIONS ACHIEVE
$4.8 BILLION WORLDWIDE

55,000+ Lots Sold across 400+ Live & Online-Only Auctions
Welcoming 10,000+ New Bidders

LED BY
THE TOP LOT OF THE YEAR AT ANY AUCTION HOUSE:

Claude Monet’s Meules Achieves $110.7 Million
* World Auction Record for Impressionist Art *

SOTHEBY’S LEADS ASIA FOR THE FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW
2019 Auctions Total $936 Million
* Asian Clients Account for 30% of Sotheby’s Live Auction Sales Worldwide *

A RECORD YEAR FOR SOTHEBY’S FRANCE
2019 Auction Sales Total $395 Million
* Up 41% Over 2018 *

THE HIGHEST ANNUAL TOTAL IN
DESIGN AUCTION HISTORY

$193 Million in Auction Sales of 20th Century Design
Marks the Highest Annual Total for Any Auction House

WINE AUCTIONS REACH NEW HEIGHTS
Auction Sales Hit $118 Million,
Marking a 20% Increase Over 2018 &
The Highest Total in Sotheby’s History

A RECORD YEAR FOR WATCHES
Auction Sales Top $109 Million,
Marking a 22% Increase Over 2018 &
The Highest Total in Sotheby’s History

SOTHEBY’S ACHIEVES AUCTION RECORDS FOR
Banksy | Barkley Hendricks | KAWS | Lee Krasner | Claude Lalanne
Tamara de Lempicka | Norman Lewis | Claude Monet | Yoshitomo Nara
Charles White

 

19 DECEMBER 2019 – Sotheby’s concluded our 2019 auctions this week, reaching an annual sales total of $4.8 billion. From the sale of Claude Monet’s Meules for $110.7 million – a world auction record for Impressionist art – to the world’s most expensive sneaker, below is a look back at the major auction moments that helped define the year at Sotheby’s.

Charles Stewart, Sotheby’s CEO commented: “Our 275th anniversary marked an outstanding year for Sotheby’s, with record sales across categories and geographies. The more than 100 auctions we held over the past two months delivered particularly exceptional results that helped us end 2019 on a very high note. That energy and focus will carry us into 2020, which already promises to be an exciting year.”

JANUARY
In celebration of fearless and ground-breaking women artists of the pre-modern era, Sotheby’s Master Week sale series in New York presented The Female Triumphant: a group of masterworks by 14 trailblazing female artists from the 16th through the 19th centuries. Multiple new benchmark prices were established, most notably for Elisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, whose Portrait of Muhammad Dervish Khan achieved $7.2 million – a new world auction record for any female artist of the pre-modern era.

The only complete archive of skate decks by iconic streetwear brand Supreme in private hands sold for $800,000, to Vancouver collector Carson Guo. Diligently and passionately assembled over decades, the archive comprises all 248 decks produced by Supreme over 20 years from 1998 – 2018.

FEBRUARY
Claude Monet’s Le Palais Ducal, a shimmering view of the Doge’s Palace that had remained in the same family collection since 1926, sold for £27.5 million / $36.2 million, surpassing the previous benchmark price for a Venetian view by the artist.

MARCH
Agnes Gund and Oprah Winfrey served as Honorary Co-Chairs for By Women, For Tomorrow’s Women: the first-ever all-women artist benefit auction at a major auction house, whose full proceeds supported financial aid for Miss Porter’s School students. The sale totalled $3.9 million, including a new auction record for Carmen Herrera.

We celebrated our 275th anniversary on 11 March – on that date in 1744, Sotheby’s held its first sale in London at Exeter Exchange on The Strand. The auction of ‘several Hundred scarce and valuable Books in all branches of Polite Literature’ fetched a grand total of £826.

The Nobel Memorial Prize for Economic Science Awarded to Friedrich von Hayek, one of the greatest minds of the 20th-Century, achieved £1.1 million / $1.5 million – a new record for any item sold in an online-only sale at Sotheby’s to date.

APRIL
Our spring auction series in Hong Kong reached $482 million / HK$3.78 billion – the second highest total in company history. THE KAWS ALBUM by street artist KAWS made headlines when it sold for $14.8 million / HK$116 million, setting a new auction record for the artist. Additional highlights of the week included: a record total for any series of wine sales; an 88.22-carat oval-shaped diamond that sold for $13.8 million / HK$108 million; and Untitled (1958) by Chinese artist Zao Wou-ki, sold for $14.8 million / HK$116 million with proceeds to benefit the Art Fund of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

MAY
An icon of Impressionism from Claude Monet’s acclaimed Haystacks series, Meules from 1890 sold for $110.7 million in our Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale. That result represents: an auction record for any work by Monet; the first work of Impressionist art to cross the $100 million threshold at auction; and the highest auction price of 2019.

We unveiled our newly-expanded and reimagined New York City galleries to the public. Designed in collaboration with Sotheby’s by Shohei Shigematsu, of the internationally-acclaimed architecture firm OMA New York, the redesign features vast new galleries that we designed to provide the optimal exhibition space for everything from single objects to expansive collections, and can accommodate works of art of any scale.








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  • Claude Monet, Meules, sold for $110.7 million
    Claude Monet, Meules, sold for $110.7 million
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • A Highly Important Beijing-Enamelled Pouch-Shaped Glass Vase, Blue Enamel Mark and Period of Qianlong, Estimate $25 million
    A Highly Important Beijing-Enamelled Pouch-Shaped Glass Vase, Blue Enamel Mark and Period of Qianlong, Estimate $25 million
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Portrait of Muhammad Dervish Khan from 1788 Sells for $7.2 Million
    Portrait of Muhammad Dervish Khan from 1788 Sells for $7.2 Million
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Ivan Kliun, Sperical Suprematism, Lot sold,£4,867,900
    Ivan Kliun, Sperical Suprematism, Lot sold,£4,867,900
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus
  • Masterworks of Time, George Daniels Space Traveller I, lot sold, £3,615,000
    Masterworks of Time, George Daniels Space Traveller I, lot sold, £3,615,000
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus