Strong Results for Christie’s in 2021

Sales Total $7.1 B / £5.2 B

  • Highest total in last five years
  • Highest price for a work at auction
  • Record year for private sales
  • $150M for NFTs

Pablo Picasso’s "Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Thérèse)" sells in New York, May 2021, for $103.4 M. The highest value work sold at auction this year. (Photo: Business Wire)

LONDON--()--Guillaume Cerutti, Christie’s Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“We are pleased with our 2021 achievements. Beyond our auction and private sales results -which are exceptional, Christie’s has also made a breakthrough in new sales formats and categories, NFTS in particular. They have allowed us to showcase works by new emerging and under-represented artists, and to reach out to a new audience of younger clients. We have also made great progress in other priorities, with important investments in Asia and with our commitments to becoming carbon net zero by 2030, and to building and sustaining a more equitable and diverse profile for our company. Growth, innovation and responsibility remain at the forefront of our objectives for 2022.”


1. Total projected sales in 2021: USD$ 7.1B (£5.2B)

  • Strong Rebound +54% vs 2020; +22% vs 2019.
  • Highest total in last 5 years, back to higher levels than pre-COVID
  • Breakdown: Total auction (Live and Online): USD $5.4B / £3.9B, Private sales: USD $1.7B / £1.3B
  • Continuing the pattern of previous years, clients in each region contributed roughly one third of Christie’s total auction sales by value: Americas 35%, EMEA 34% and Asia 31%.

2. Historic sell-through rate and highest prices at auction

  • Historic sell-through rate at auction : 87%, demonstrates depth of demand and performance
  • Christie’s holds the two highest prices for works sold at auction in 2021:
    Picasso’s Femme assise près d’une fenêtre (Marie-Therese) for USD $103.4M (the only work at auction above $100M in 2021) and Basquiat’s In This Case USD $93.1M.
  • Several other results of interest at auction in 2021:
    • Highest value work bought by a museum at auction - Caillebotte’s Jeune homme à sa fenêtre
      (USD $53 M – New York / November)
    • Highest value work sold at auction for a charitable cause - Banksy’s Game Changer
      (£16.76 M – London / June)
    • Highest value work sold at auction for a living female artist - Yayoi Kusama’s Pumpkin
      (HKD $62.54 M/ USD$8.18 M – Hong Kong / December)

3. Christie’s is the leading auction house for NFTs

  • First major auction house to sell an NFT; establishing a landmark price: Beeple’s Everydays sold for USD$69 M – March 2021
  • More than 100 NFTs sold in 2021, for nearly $150 M
  • 75% of buyers in this category are new to Christie’s, with an average age of 42

4. Online auction sales continue to grow

  • up 43% to USD$ 445 M
  • average lot value USD$ 23,400 (vs USD$ 6,100 in 2016)
  • Nearly half of all of Christie’s auctions now take place online

5. Record year for Private Sales

  • Total projected private sales $1.7 B (£1.2 B) : +12% vs 2020, +108% vs 2019
  • 4 works selling privately above USD 50m

6. Major contribution from Asia

  • Asian buyers contributed a total of USD$1.68B, +32% up on 2019
  • Asian spend across all auction rooms in the world represented 39% of sales in H1 and 31% for full year
  • Auction sales in Hong Kong reached USD$ 1.03 B in 2021, with record season in the Fall 2021
  • New Headquarters in Asia – Christie’s new Hong Kong HQ opens in The Henderson by Zaha Hadid Architects in 2024 and Christie’s Shanghai relocates to BUND ONE in Spring 2022 with inaugural sale in March 2022

7. Strong influx of new clients and millennials

  • 35% of all buyers in 2021 are new to Christie’s, with almost 2/3 entering via online sales
  • 32% of new buyers are millennials
  • Luxury is the largest recruiter of new clients at 32%

8. Paving the way to the future

  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives: Christie’s has done much to diversify its sales this year notably through its 20/21 sales, with 66 new world auction records for women artists and 47 new auction records for BIPOC artists in this category; plus partnerships with organizations that present the work of diverse artists
  • Sustainability: Christie’s is first international auction house committed to becoming NetZero by 2030 and first to achieve Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi) accreditation for reducing carbon emissions by 50%
  • Key Leadership Appointments: President Christie’s Americas (Bonnie Brennan), Chairman for Christie’s China (Rebecca Yang)

Notes to Editors
*In accordance with standard accountancy practice, Christie’s uses a sales weighted average to account for exchange rate fluctuations. During 2021 please note that all cumulative sales figures are reported in £ and US$, using a sales weighted average (SWA) of £1: $1.372. The prices for individual lots for 2021 are reported as when sold. All auction sales figures include premium and are reported net of applicable fees.




Europe, Middle East, Africa
Nicky Eaton
+44 207 389 2664

Deidrea Miller
+1 212 636 2690

Gigi Ho
+852 2978 6719



Europe, Middle East, Africa
Nicky Eaton
+44 207 389 2664

Deidrea Miller
+1 212 636 2690

Gigi Ho
+852 2978 6719