Despite an early sign of success with the February 2009 Yves Saint Laurent auction
wasn't able to knock China
from the #3 spot among the world's art markets. According to Artprice
, China finished the year behind the usual leaders (New York
), making considerable progress in a severe year for the art market. Fine art sales in China hit $830 million, taking a 17.33 percent share of the global market. In 2008, China had only a 7.83% share. Nearly half the 2009 fine art result in China came from three auction houses: Poly International, China Guardian and Beijing Council. The Hong Kong branches of Christie's
were good for another $200 million.
Because of the strength the Chinese art market
showed last year, 15 Chinese hammer prices, including a contemporary sale, forced their way into the top 100 results worldwide ... and ever.