Top Line Review

Volume through the major auction houses dropped by 13.8% in the first half of the year compared to the same period in 2015, yet value remained largely unchanged at -0.23%.  This is due in part to a few very large sales in the first half of the year such as Sotheby’s sale in New York for Bill Koch in May ($21.9m realized) and Zachy’s large Hong Kong sale ($9m) as well as some spectacularly expensive lots that raised the average lot price across the board, including the ten bottles of 1945 Mouton Rothschild from Sotheby’s Koch sale that made an impressive $343,000.  In our view, however, these fairly stagnant figures hide important shifts in demand type and demographics as outlined below.