Thursday, August 14, 2008


How big is the International Art Market ?
For Simon de Pury, Chairman of Phillips de Pury,
it is big like that...
But not big enough to prevent him
to sell a majority stake in his house to a Russian investor

According to an exhaustive survey made in 2007 by the European Fine Art Foundation (EFAF) which interviewed 3500 art dealers and 3000 auction houses in the world, the global art market was about $ 55 billion in 2006. Out of this total, the private art market (art dealers only) was $ 28.6 billion.

However for Simon de Pury, Chairman of Phillips de Pury New York, the private art market is at least four times bigger than the public art market. The same survey found that the art dealers concluded 1 million transactions in 2006 which makes an average transaction amount of about $28,600.

In 2007, Sotheby's and Christie's accounted for $12 billion of the global art market whose definitive figure is not yet known. Minor auction houses like Bonhams and Phillips de Pury accounted respectively for $ 600 million and $ 308 million. The five major German auction houses - Lempertz, Grisebach, Ketterer, Hampel and Neumeister- realized global sales of $ 231 million in 2007 while the French houses made $ 1.2 billion.
The volume of Fine Arts (paintings, drawings...) sales realized by Christie's and Sotheby's in 2007 was respectively of $ 5 billion and $ 3.7 billion. The volume of private sales achieved in 2007 by those two auction houses through their galleries and dealers was respectively of $ 730 million (+123%) and $ 542 million (+111%).

Finally the EFAF found that the global art market increased by 95% between 2002 and 2006 from $ 25.3 to $ 54.9 billion of which the USA represent 46% and the UK 27%.

NB : Simon de Pury sold in November 2008 a majority stake in his auction house to a very powerful Russian investor.

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