The best auction houses in the world in 2021, by fine art auction revenue
Sotheby’s was the auction house with the highest revenue at fine art auctions worldwide in 2021, generating roughly 4.4 billion U.S. dollars. That year, Christie’s recorded the second-highest figure, with a fine art auction revenue of around four billion U.S. dollars, and Poly Auction ranked third.
Sotheby’s vs. Christie’s
When looking at the number of lots sold, the scenario did not change much, as Sotheby’s and Christie’s led the way, while China Guardian, Phillips, and Poly Auction followed behind. Overall, Sotheby’s sold over 14 thousand fine art lots in 2020. Meanwhile, its competitor Christie’s sold around 12 thousand lots in that year.
The global art market
From 2015 to 2020, the global art market value fluctuated significantly. In 2020, art sales worldwide amounted to roughly 50 billion U.S. dollars, decreasing sharply over the previous year, due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In 2020, the volume of transactions in the art market worldwide also dropped significantly, reaching about 31 million, whereas it peaked at 40.5 million in 2019.
Source: © Statista