Indicators from the auction sector revealed a more subdued market in the first six months of 2023. Aggregate sales at the major international auction houses of Christie’s, Sotheby’s, Phillips, and Bonhams were down by 16% on the same period in 2022, although still exceeded the first half of 2019, and accounted for 84% of values sold in 2022, a record year for some of these companies.
Trade statistics showed a vibrant exchange of art and antiques across borders in 2022 and early 2023. Imports of art and antiques reached their highest-ever level of $30.7 billion in 2022 and exports their second-highest at $33.4 billion. While global imports across all industries were down in the first quarter of 2023, the value of inflows of art and antiques to key hubs continued to grow, including double-digit increases in Hong Kong (50%), the UK (38%), and the US (15%).