Lancashire antiques auctioneers struggling in the current economic climate have heard that Christie’s achieved a 53% rise in global sales in 2010, earning £3.3 billion in total. However, this was mainly through selling Chinese artworks and the odd Picasso, than sets of Victorian dining chairs . Preston antique dealers have seen a steady rise in popularity of Chinese collectibles. So it was no surprise that a large slice of Christie’s profit came from Hong Kong sales, which contributed almost £466 million to the total. This placed Hong Kong third behind London and New York in order of sales importance. The Far Eastern antiques market has far eclipsed any other in terms of sales growth, with Chinese Imperial artworks being especially sought after.
The results were the most detailed ever published by the privately owned auction house, highlighting substantial business development in art and fine furniture. Their most lucrative location continues to be South Kensington in London, where sales achieved a highest-ever total of £104.1m. Christie’s commented that this reflected the growing interest in “works of art offered at lower price levels”. This presumably ignores their New York sale room, where a Picasso went under the hammer for £65.1m. This means Christie’s retain their top spot for all-time highest individual price ever achieved at auction.
Over 90% of all sales were for items valued between £500,000 and £10m. A substantial proportion was from single owner furniture collections, for which Christie’s reported a “buoyant market”. January saw high returns on Victorian chairs and antique desks. Lancashire antique dealers have furniture of similar fine quality – though it’s doubtful buyers in Preston will find Victorian dining chairs with quite the price tag of Christie’s.
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