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Christie’s claims pole position

Christie's has released a total sales figure for 2002 of nearly US$33m – claiming pole position in the world wine auction market.

The 250-year-old auction house took US$32,893,509 (€32.14m) from 34 sales in seven venues across Europe and the United States, confirming its ‘preeminent position as the world’s leading wine auctioneer,’ a statement said.

Christie’s has offices in New York, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam, Belgium, Los Angeles and the Far East. In September it held its first wine sale in Paris, taking advantage of a 2001 change in French law that allowed foreign auction houses to set up in France.

That sale – at which an imperial of Château Latour 1961 fetched €25,300 (US$25,975) – achieved the biggest result seen by any wine auctioneer in France that year.

The combined result of sales in Los Angeles and New York was US$15.5m (€15.09m) with rare Burgundies fetching most of the highest prices. A dozen bottles of Romanee-Conti 1978 sold for US$69,000 (€67,185) in September, while 10 bottles of the 1962 vintage went for US$55,200 (€53,748.79) in Los Angeles in June.

David Elswood, head of European wine sales, said Christie’s totaled €16.8m (US$17.2m) in Europe this year, twice that of the nearest competitor. ‘We have every reason to celebrate,’ he said.

‘With our regional salesroom network well-established, coupled with our developing presence in Paris, we look forward to the New Year with confidence.’

Written by Adam Lechmere20 December 2002

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