In the past 2 weeks, Sotheby’s online Day Sales, "Contemporary Art Day: An Online Auction” and “Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale Online” achieved the highest level of revenue ever achieved by online sales, respectively $13.7m and $9.9m. Sotheby’s called them “the two most successful online sales in Sotheby’s history.”
So are Online Sales about to replace Live Day Sales? Not yet.
When compared to their equivalent May New York Live Day sales each of the 2 sales still fell short both in terms of revenue achieved and number of lots that could be auctioned.
Sotheby’s 2020 “Contemporary Art Day: An Online Auction” revenue was 13% that of the Live 2019 “Contemporary Art Day Auction” with a consignment 40% the size of its 2019 equivalent (144 lots versus 363).
Sotheby’s 2020 “Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale Online” revenue was 22% that of the Live 2019 “Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale” with a consignment 36% the size of its 2019 equivalent (113 lots versus 315).
The performance of these two online sales are great news for online sales.
But will it be enough for Sotheby’s and consigners?