The New York November 2019 auctions at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips are around the corner...

The New York November 2019 auctions at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips are around the corner...

Posted by Pi-eX Research on 4th Nov 2019

Among the important sales in the auction calendar, the New York November sales are right at the top of the list, only surpassed by the New York May sales. It is therefore not surprising to see the excitement grow as the final preparations for the upcoming November 2019 sales are in full swing. Beyond the glamorous Impressionist and Contemporary evening sales, there are other sales that historically have taken place during the same period. What are these sales? How have they evolved over time? How have they performed? These are some of the questions we review in this blog.

A surprisingly regular schedule

Looking at the past 12 years, it is striking to see that the composition of the New York November sales has been extremely similar over the years, with Impressionist Evening and Day Sales (in green) and Contemporary Evening and Day Sales (in blue) making the core basis of the sales.

Noticeable also are the Latin American Art Sales (in red) and since 2014 the American Art Sales (in dark blue), which are scheduled right after the Contemporary Art Sales (*).

Finally on top of these, come a range of additional auctions. These include Private Collection sales (in gold), Curated Sales (in orange), Furniture/Design sales (in brown) and even Wine Sales (in dark red). 

(*) American Art auctions were scheduled later on in December until 2014, when they were grouped with the Latin American art auctions and the other November New York auctions. 

Less and less lots offered for sale

While the number of sales arranged this year by the auction houses is average versus the years before, the number of lots catalogued this year is the smallest ever.

This is definitely due to the fact that there is no wine auction this year, as wine auctions are always composed of large numbers of lots. Another cause is that the Auction Houses have been decreasing the number of lots catalogued per auction over the past few years. Evening sales for example this year only consist in 338 lots while there were over 1,000 lots in 2015.

The importance of evening sales

Out of the 23 auctions scheduled for the upcoming New York November sales (22 within 10 days), 6 will tell us whether this year will be a success or not. These sales are the evening sales.

As shown on the two graphs above, evening sales only count for a small number of lots, but represent the largest share of the revenue generated by the November New York sales.  All eyes therefore will be on these key evening sales!

For more insights on the November auctions in New York, check out:

Pi-eX MESO Auction report for New York November auctions