Record sales for Christie’s International on influx of first time Chinese buyers

Christie’s International Auction House broke sales records in the first six months of 2014 with $4.5 billion in fine and decorative art sales due to the influx of first-time buyers, many of them affluent young collectors from China.

Up 22 percent from the same period last year, Christie’s sold $3.5 billion worth of art at auction with an additional $828 million coming from private-brokered art sales, according to The Wall Street Journal. With 52 pieces of art that sold for over $10 million each, Christie’s owes its record success to new art buyers, who accounted for 24 percent of sales this year.

The auction house is betting big on China. Chinese art buyers accounted for 24 percent of total sales over the last six months, up 46 percent compared to the same period last year. To capitalize on this trend, Christie’s will conduct additional sales at its new showroom in Shanghai near the Bund once it opens in October.

The financials reported by Christie’s also indicate that wealthy Asian buyers are spending overseas at the company’s European and United States auction houses or through brokered sales rather than locally, in Asia.

Christie’s auction in China