Sotheby’s global wine sales hit US$64m

In a further sign of the health and robustness of the global fine wine auction market, Sotheby’s has said its sales total for the year was US$64 million.

The auction house held 21 auctions this year in London, New York and Hong Kong, selling 14,000 lots with an average value of $4,436. However, the total was $10m less than last year when the auctioneer realised $73m. On the other hand, Sotheby’s held six more sales last year and sold over 3,000 more lots but the average value per lot was slightly higher in 2017 compared to 2016.

The most expensive lot sold overall was a collection of The Macallan in Lalique Legacy, which sold for $987,994 in Hong Kong this spring.

The top-selling wine lot was a 12-bottle case of Henri Jayer’s 1990 Vosne Romanée Cros Parantoux which realised $156,825 – highlighting Burgundy’s on-going success in the market.

Hong Kong contributed the most to the final tally, $24,503,078, helped along in no small measure by the Macallan sale.

New York’s total sales were not too far behind – $22,948,780 – and London’s sales were $16,380,529 leading to a total of $63,832,387.

Despite the high tally, Sotheby’s reported that 25% of the lots sold were for under $1,000 but six high profile single-owner sales and 64% of all lots exceeding their high estimates boosted the overall haul.

Jamie Ritchie, worldwide head of Sotheby’s Wine, commented: “2017 was a very strong year for Sotheby’s Wine in which we delivered great results across both our retail and auction businesses at a time of market stability. All vintages of red Burgundy, from the best growers, as well as mature wines, that are ready to drink, from all regions all over the world continue to be the main areas of growth, with demand from collectors around the world driving outstanding prices.

“Our highpoints this year included the recording-breaking sale of The Macallan in Lalique Legacy Collection, the Cellars of Don Stott and Park B. Smith, and robust growth in our retail and online stores. We look forward to building on this success and rolling out new digital products and an expanded range of services in 2018.”

The price Jean-Michel Basquiat’s ‘Untitled‘ fetched at auction was greater than the total from 21 fine wine sales Sotheby’s held this year combined.

Although it might have been a successful year for the fine wine department but it was even more successful for the fine art division.

The top lot sold at Sotheby’s this year was Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 painting ‘Untitled’ which was sold to the Japanese collector Yusaka Maezawa for $110.5m, a record for a Basquiat work and any piece of American art and more than the total sum of fine wine sold by the house throughout the year.

In total Sotheby’s total sales this year amounted to $4.7bn.

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