By The Numbers: A Breakdown of Results From Christie’s 21st-Century Evening Sale, May 2023

The sale hit all its major marks.

Jean-Michael Basquiat, El Gran Espectaculo (The Nile) (1983). Image courtesy Christie's.

Last night’s sale at Christie’s was the second major evening event in this “giga” week of auctions, which will see no fewer than a half-dozen marquee sales taking place alongside Frieze and other fair openings in New York.

The auction was slender in terms of lots, but powerful in prices and sell-through rates, including the stars. The mood was energetic and lively as Christie’s hit all its major targets for the night.

Below, the story by the numbers…  

Total Sales After Fees: $98.8 million

Lots Sold Including Guaranteed Lots: 25

Lots on Offer Before Withdrawals: 27

Lots Withdrawn Presale: 1

Lots Bought In: 1

Sell-through Rate Counting Withdrawals: 92 percent

Sell-through Rate Excluding Withdrawals: 96 percent

Hammer Total: $83.625 million

Presale Low Estimate Before Withdrawals: $63.54 million

Hammer Total vs. Presale Low Estimate: +$20.1 million

Total Low Estimate of Withdrawn Lots: $800,000

Total Low Estimate of Guaranteed Lots: $49.5 million

Lots With House Guarantees: 0

Total Low Estimate of Third-Party Guaranteed Lots: $49.5 million

Lots with Third-Party Guarantees: 3

Top seller: Jean-Michel Basquiat’s El Gran Espectaculo (The Nile) (1983), hammered at $58 million ($67.11 million after fees)

Quote of the Night: “Are we all ready for this?” auctioneer Georgina Hilton said before opening the bidding on the Basquiat at $40 million.

Next sale up: Sotheby’s Mo Ostin collection evening sale, followed by its Modern evening auction, May 16 

Check back throughout the week for our continuing coverage of this spring’s sales slate.


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
  • Access the data behind the headlines with the artnet Price Database.
Subscribe or log in to read the rest of this content.

You are currently logged into this Artnet News Pro account on another device. Please log off from any other devices, and then reload this page continue. To find out if you are eligible for an Artnet News Pro group subscription, please contact [email protected]. Standard subscriptions can be purchased on the subscription page.

Log In