Christie's, the world's leading art auctioneer, has been a major asset in the Artémis group since 1998. In 2010, Christie's confirmed its position as world leader with auction sales including premium up 53% to £3.3 billion.
Founded in London in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's currently holds around 450 sales annually in over 80 categories from fine and decorative arts to collectibles, wine and cars.
At the same time, Christie's undertakes private sales, primarily via Haunch of Venison acquired in 2007 and also provides a range of auction-related services, including a secure storage facility (Christie's Fine Art Storage Services), education courses (Christie's Education), a network of high-end real estate broker agency (Christie's International Real Estate), the insurance of works of art (Christie's Insurance Services) and heritage and taxation advice.
Christie's is recognised for its expertise and the quality of its client relationships, with a reputation for its strong sense of integrity. These are strengths which have enabled it to play a major role in the international art market. Through their long experience and in-depth knowledge of the art market, Christie's specialists are acknowledged as the authority in their field.
In 2010, 606 works of art were sold for a unit price of over $I million. The most expensive lot was Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust of Pablo Picasso. This painting made art market history by setting a new world record for a work of art sold at auction: £106.5 million.
In 2010, Christie's sold several major collections, including those of Sidney Brody, Water and Phyllis Shorenstein, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, Michael Crichton and Max Pavlesky.
In Asia, Christie's confirmed its position as leader with the number of clients in Greater China up 28%. Sales in Hong Kong more than doubled compared to 2009, reaching a sales total of £466 million.
Present in the Middle East since 2006, Christie's continues to grow in this region. Sales in Dubai totalled £33 million. In October, Christie's also organised an exhibit in the city of Doha, the 2010 Capital of Arab Culture, with the support of the Qatar Museum.
In 2010, Christie's Education successfully launched a new evening class in London and New York aimed at individuals willing to deepen their understanding of the various aspects of the art market.
In 2010, Christie's LIVE™, an online real-time auction platform, furthered its development. In fact, more than one quarter (28%) of Christie's clients now use this online auction tool, a 5% increase on 2009. In addition, the total value of the items sold using this channel was up 69%. The launch of Christie's iPad app in December 2010 along the lines of its very popular iPhone app is yet another testament to Christie's commitment to new sales channels.
Chief Executive Officer of Christie’s International: Steven Murphy