This week’s impressionist, modern and contemporary art auctions in New York are estimated to sell at least $2.3 billion (£1.8 billion) of art, which, if you add the buyer’s premium, will amount to nearer $2.65 billion, close to the record $2.74 billion for the series set in May 2015. If things go better than expected, we could see a new high.
The American economy is strong, and the world’s super rich are getting richer, but there is a question mark hanging over China. This will concern the impressionist departments, where the Chinese have been most active. These sales are already under way and, although an Asian bidder bought the top lot at Christie’s, a Monet, for $31.8 million (£24.7 million), it was below estimate. A Van Gogh landscape failed to sell at $30 million.