Sotheby’s Scores Another Record Year


Sotheby’s sales for 2021 surpass $7.3bn, the highest total in company history, reports

Proving once again that Art is Bigger Than Ever!

In part, the eBay syndrome seems to be at work: people will gladly bid twice as much online for a piece they’d scarcely look at in real life. Nevertheless, only a piddling $800 million in sales were done online.

Why pay more online? Who knows?

Quoth the article:

As the tail end of a second year governed by a global pandemic turns the corner and a new year hopefully less constricted by Covid-19 approaches, Sotheby’s total sales for 2021 have reached $7.3bn, the highest in the company’s 277-year history, and more than 68% higher than last year’s total sales for the same period, which topped out at $5bn. And the auction house has 20-odd sales still to go.

Like many people, Bruce Chatwin worked for Sotheby’s in his early life.

The landmark year shouldn’t come as a complete surprise. The Covid-19 pandemic upended nearly every tradition and convention in the art market, from the art fair calendar to how galleries sell art online. The auction houses were no exception. The inability to travel combined with a younger generation of well-heeled collectors who are new to the market, have a fondness for viewing things digitally and are keen to speculate meant the auction house was able to capitalise on the digital infrastructure they built out in 2020.

Read the whole thing, if you dare.

Author: Cooper Ward

Cooper Ward hails from Lake Plains, IL, which he describes as “the flattest place east of Nebraska.” He enjoys watching cooking shows and listening to semi-classical music.