Sotheby's and Bonhams 

Sotheby's and Bonhams reported sales figures for 2023.

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Sotheby’s announced it expected the total consolidated sales across its entire business to hit $8bn (£6.3bn), which is in line with 2022. However, the full figures will be released at the end of January.

Bonhams’ sales reached $1.14bn (£890m) for 2023, up 14% year-on-year.

Both the Sotheby’s and Bonhams figures include art, collectables and luxury as well as classic and collectors’ cars. Sotheby’s figure also includes real estate sales.


This 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta ‘Tour de France’ sold for a premium-inclusive £4.19m at Bonhams’ The Zoute Sale in Belgium on October 8.

The results announcements follow Christie’s, which published a preliminary sales total of $6.2bn for 2023, down 25% on the previous year. However, Christie’s business is purely art, antiques and collectables and does not include cars or property.

Picasso picture

Femme à la montre, a portrait of Marie-Therese Walter from 1932 by Pablo Picasso. It sold for $121m (£98.4m) or $139.4m including premium at Sotheby's New York on November 8. It was the most valuable work sold at auction this year.

Sotheby’s said of the 60,000-plus lots it sold, more than 70 surpassed the $10m mark. Sotheby’s CEO Charles Stewart added: “While the art and luxury markets are not immune to the more challenging market context, we see continued global demand for works of the finest quality, with exceptional provenance, and that are fresh to market.”

Signac picture

This Paul Signac (1863-1935) Sisteron picture of 1902 sold for a premium-inclusive £6.86m at Bonhams’ sale of The Alan and Simone Hartman Collection on December 14.

Last year Bonhams began its buying spree and its 2022 sales hit the $1bn mark for the first time. During 2022 it purchased Scandinavian firm Bukowskis in January, followed by US auction house Skinner and Danish saleroom Bruun Rasmussen in March. The firm then acquired French outfit Cornette de Saint Cyr in June. It now has 14 salerooms, 34 offices and 60-plus departments.

It has also focused on digital growth, with the number of lots sold online increasing 45% and online auctions increasing 105% compared to 2022.

Registrations to Bonhams’ auctions are up 31% this year.

A growth in younger buyers was also revealed by Bonhams with “acquisitions by Gen Z and Millennials up by 147% in 2023”.

Bruno Vinciguerra, global CEO for Bonhams, said: “With our expanded international platform, and the breadth of categories we offer, it shows Bonhams occupies a unique space among international auction houses.”

Among Vinciguerra’s highlights for the year were The Alan and Simone Hartman Collection sale of Impressionist and Asian Art and the sale of celebrity estates such as Alain Delon, Barbara Walters and Sir Roger Moore.