It is time to review the first six months of the year. Artcurial recorded growth of 4% compared to the same period last year. With a total of € 123m including the highest bid in France as well as the highest contemporary art bid in France so far in 2019, Artcurial has confirmed its position as the leading auction house on the French market for this first half of the year.
Departments and innovations at the heart of this rise
This rise is partially due to the success of the Contemporary Art Department, up 39% and boasting the highest bid in France for a painting so far in 2019 with the sale of a Chu The-Chun artwork at € 5.2m.
The exceptional results are also partially due to Artcurial Motorcars' dynamism which strengthened its leading position with + 37% compared to the same period last year. Furthermore, the Old Masters & 19th Century Arts Department, whose half-year sales totalled € 12.4m, also helped to confirm the House’s leading position on the French market.
Innovation, another area of development, made its contribution to the first half-year with an increase in off-site auctions, such as the one organized at WeWork or Automobiles en Scène which took place at the Théâtre du Rond-Point, as well as new thematic sales such as Monaco Sculptures which will be taking place this coming 19th July at the Hôtel Hermitage, Monte-Carlo.
Between pre-emptions from museums and million-Euro bids
Over the six months the auction house saw 45 lots pre-empted or acquired by museums and institutions and 7 bids of more than a million Euros. While the Louvre exercised a pre-emption over two Eugène Delacroix sketch books depicting views of London from the Aristophil Collections, the Musée d’Orsay added to its collections a magnificent Heraldic Dragon by Emile Gallé dating from 1894, acquired for € 244,600.
These pre-emptions bear witness to the quality of lots offered by Artcurial, as do the number of bids exceeding one million Euros, and not forgetting the 23 record prices set at auction. If contemporary art shone thanks to the sale of the famous Synthèse hivernale C by Chu Teh-Chun, followed by the artwork 24.1.61/62 by Zao Wou-Ki selling for € 4.7m, Artcurial Motorcars also excelled, obtaining, last February, on the occasion of Rétromobile, the highest bid in France so far in 2019 with the 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B Touring Berlinetta, changing hands for € 16.7m.
Finally, in March, during the Old Masters & XIXth Century Arts auction, an Allégorie de l’Architecture after Giambologna, stunned the saleroom, reaching € 3.7m.
Artcurial, the collectors’ auction house
With 37 private collections sold in six months, Artcurial once again demonstrated its ability to bring together and promote exceptional historic and heritage collections. Amongst those offered at auction, worthy of note was the Fernand Lafarge sculpture collection which quintupled its estimate, totalling € 6.2m. For the first time ever on the art market, 27 original and unpublished drawings from the adventures of children's heroine Martine were all sold, as well as all the lots offered during the André Malraux Intimate Collection auction. Contemporary art also met with considerable success with the urban art sale Don’t believe the hype
The strength of an international network
Success is also due to Artcurial’s network of European offices. The appraisal days organised in Belgium, Italy, Monaco, Austria and Germany increasingly contribute to the House's auctions. Pre-auction viewings or cultural exhibitions enable the auction programme to be shared beyond France’s borders, for example Vu d’Afrique, organised during FOTO Wien, in partnership with the gallery Magnin-A.
Know-how is widely shared within the Artcurial group, a leading broker of exceptional objects and property. John Taylor, John Taylor Yachting, ARQANA and Groupe Dassault, a historic partner to Artcurial, all enable an exceptional service to be provided to a network of international clients via numerous sites throughout the world.