Auction houses: the year at a glance

On 30 December 2018, by La Gazette Drouot
 
Geneviève Marot

The Paris market is said to be more immune to fluctuations than those of New York and London. This year, the Hôtel Drouot mirrored it, calmly staying the course with a total turnover of €376 million, including €92.8 M for the 128 collections dispersed there. Drouot remains France’s leading marketplace, confirming its good relations with public institutions, which exercised their preemption right 224 times. The year ended with a record-breaking €806,000 for Flemish painter Daniel Seghersat under the hammer of Drouot Estimations on 14 December and the successful fourth session of Aristophil’s letter and manuscript auctions. The company’s shareholders have reasons to be happy: Aguttes passed the symbolic milestone of €50 M and its turnover rose by 14%, closely followed by Millon (€45 M), while Leclère, with auctions in Paris and Marseille, consolidated its growth (€22.5 M). The top of the rankings shifted slightly this year. Sotheby's (€251.4 M) overtook Christie's (€234.3 M) for once. France’s Artcurial settled for a slight increase of 2% (€195,3 M) and achieved a breakthrough in Old Masters, placing it first in France in that category. Sotheby's also boasted the year’s highest bid: €16.2 M for a Qianlong Chinese vase. Outside Paris, sales rose by 6% at Fontainebleau’s Osenat (€22.74 M) and 2% at the Ivoire group and its 13 auction houses, which reaped €64 M. Vendôme’s Rouillac had its best year since 2013 (€13.1 M), thanks in particular to a world record for a painting by the Le Nain brothers (€3.6 M).

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