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Revenue of leading auction houses in selected countries 2020

In 2020, Sotheby's was the auction house recording the highest revenue at fine art auctions in the United States, generating sales for roughly 1.2 billion U.S. dollars in this country. Sotheby's also recorded the highest sales in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong. Christie's, which reported the second-highest figure in the U.S., the UK, and Hong Kong, led the French market, with revenue amounting to roughly 160 million U.S. dollars in that country. Meanwhile, Poly International Beijing generated revenue of 502 million U.S. dollars in China, whereas Phillips registered aggregated revenues of 469 million U.S. dollars from fine art auctions held in the U.S., the UK, and Hong Kong.

 Sotheby’s vs. Christie's 

In 2020, auction house Sotheby's sold over 14 thousand fine art lots. Meanwhile, its competitor Christie's sold around 12 thousand lots in that year. Other leading auction houses in terms of number of sold lots included China Guardian, Phillips, and Poly Auction.

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.

Revenue of leading auction houses at fine art auctions in selected countries in 2020

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Release date

March 2021



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

The source specifies that figures refers to fine art auctions that occurred between January 1 and December 31, 2020. Data on fine art include: paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, prints, videos, installations, tapestries, but excludes antiques, anonymous cultural goods, and furniture.

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Statistics on "Art market in the United Kingdom (UK) "

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