State of the Art

2023 In Review

S otheby’s marked 2023 as a standout year with unprecedented achievements across diverse categories and global locations. This spring witnessed remarkable success with our 50th anniversary sales in Asia. The summer saw throngs gathering in London for a glimpse of Freddie Mercury’s collection while in New York a Pablo Picasso masterpiece and a Ferrari 330 LM / GTO 250 contributed to over a billion dollars in sales in just over a week during the fall.

Total consolidated sales for 2023 are projected to reach around $8 billion, on par with 2022. Notably, more than 70 lots surpassed the $10 million mark among over 60,000 items sold, marking some of the highest benchmarks in Sotheby’s history.

The second edition of the Sotheby’s Insight Report – produced in partnership with ArtTactic – delves into the dynamics behind these numbers. It highlights the exceptional growth in the value of artworks trading above $1 million in the three years since the pandemic, attributing this surge to the allure of owning significant art during uncertain times.

Looking ahead to 2024, Sotheby’s unveils our global auction calendar and introduces a revamped sale architecture, aligning with significant cultural events worldwide. Alongside traditional evening sales, the auction house plans to diversify by introducing auctions in unexpected venues, expanding its reach and engagement.

Of particular note in the 2024 calendar are the marquee sales weeks inaugurating new premises in Paris and Hong Kong, symbolizing our commitment to investing in iconic gallery spaces. With plans for Sotheby’s Maison in Hong Kong and a flagship in Paris, alongside the Breuer building in New York, these locations represent new landmarks for art and luxury.

Dig deeper into a stellar year in the features below.