By the Numbers: A Breakdown of Results From Christie’s 21st Century Evening Sale, November 2023

Get the stats behind the spin.

Cy Twombly's Untitled (Bacchus 1st Version II) (2004). Courtesy of Christie's Images, Ltd.

The semiannual actions in New York got off to a solid start at Christie’s 21st century evening sale last night (November 7). A cadre of international buyers and their proxies gathered at the Rockefeller Center salesroom with bated breath. A lot is at sake during this auction cycle, with at least $1.9 billion worth of art on the block. All eyes are on collectors’ willingness to open their pocketbooks in the current macroeconomic climate. Will they be distracted by the events in the Middle East?

At the first auction of the season, the speculative emerging segment seemed active as ever, if perhaps not as vertiginous. A painting by Jade Fadojutimi, A Thistle Throb (2021), set a new auction record at $1.7 million including fees. But a painting by Henry Taylor drew just four biddersunderwhelming given his acclaimed retrospective at the Whitney Museum. Estimated at $300,000 to $500,000, “Batman” Part Alien (2018) hammered at $650,000.

Total Sales After Fees: $107.4 million

Hammer Total: $88.4 million

Top Seller: Cy Twombly’s Untitled (Bacchus 1st Version II)(2004), $19.96 million

Lots on Offer Before Withdrawals: 43

Lots Sold (Including Guaranteed Lots): 41

Lots Withdrawn Presale: 2

Lots Bought In: 2

Sell-through Rate Counting Withdrawals: 95.3%

Sell-through Rate Excluding Withdrawals: 90.6%

Presale Low Estimate Before Withdrawals: $99 million to $143 million

Presale Low Estimate After Withdrawals: $92.5 million to $134 million

Hammer Total vs. Presale Low Estimate (adjusted for withdrawals): +4.6 million

Total Low Estimate of Withdrawn Lots: $6.5 million

Total Low Estimate of Guaranteed Lots: $52.6 million (59 percent of total presale low estimate)

Lots With House Guarantees: 15

Total Low Estimate of Third-Party Guaranteed Lots: $23.7 million (25.6% of total presale low estimate)

Lots with Third-Party Guarantees: 8

Lots Guaranteed: 15

Next Up: The hotly anticipated sale of the Emily Fisher Landau collection at Sotheby’s tonight (November 8).

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